Proposal Would End Idaho Sales Tax on Groceries

Feb 28, 2014

An Idaho state senator and gubernatorial candidate has introduced a bill that would repeal the sales tax on groceries.

Republican State Senator Russ Fulcher says it’s time Idahoans were able to take advantage of the same savings that neighboring states like Washington, Oregon, and Montana have, by not having to pay sales tax on most grocery items.

An Idaho state senator introduced a bill that would repeal the sales tax on groceries.
Credit Michael Pendergrass / Wikimedia Commons

The state already passed a grocery tax credit that went into effect in 2008 that is being implemented in stages. By 2016, Idahoans will be receiving $120 a year in the form of a tax rebate.

Fulcher says by repealing that tax credit just as it comes into full effect in 2016, and replacing it with a complete ban on sales tax on groceries, state coffers won’t suffer too much from lost tax revenue. He says that’s in part because lawmakers often are tempted to use the money collected by the sales tax before citizens get it back each year at tax time.

“Instead of give the credit out as a tax on food, someone always wants to tap into that, and so frankly I believe, we're wiser to remove that temptation and not collect that tax in the first place,” Fulcher says. 

Fulcher says while the Speaker of the house has not yet allowed the bill to be heard, that the support is very strong for the measure.

“We’ve got 20 some sponsors, both republican and democrat, I think that bill is likely to pass,” Fulcher says. 

Fulcher, who has been in the Idaho senate since 2005, announced his plan to challenge Governor Butch Otter for the Republican nomination for Governor last November.

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