Property tax relief bill stalled in committee

A $750 million property tax relief proposal will not advance through the Idaho Legislature this session, as sponsors seek more time to educate people about its benefits.

House Bill 741 would have changed the way cities and counties are funded, shifting a major portion of their budgets from property taxes onto the state sales tax.

The legislation proposed raising the state sales tax by 1.85%, from 6% to 7.85%.

In exchange, it eliminated all local property taxes on primary residences, except voter-approved bonds and school levies. The sponsors estimated it would cut taxes on homes by about 65% statewide.

The measure also boosted the grocery tax credit from $100 to $175 per person, helping to offset the impact the higher sales tax had on food purchases.

“This is a good bill,” said House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star. “Once people have a chance to sit down and go through the numbers, they recognize that.”