BOISE - Idaho House lawmakers spent several hours exchanging insults, accusations and heated remarks before ultimately advancing a sweeping $200 million tax cut plan.
In total, the proposal passed on a party-line vote on Wednesday with only the House's 11 Democrats voted against the bill.
However, the lengthy debate involved multiple efforts by Republicans and Democrats to circumvent legislative leadership and kill the proposal by using legislative rules and procedures. All of those attempts failed to gain enough support.
If approved, the plan would reduce personal income and corporate tax rates and create a $130 Idaho child tax credit, an amount opponents of the bill don’t think is enough.
“It actually probably needs to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $285 to $288 per child in order to hold families harmless,” says Democrat Representative Matt Erpelding.
The bill is designed to offset the increase in taxes Idaho families are expected to pay under the recently signed Republican tax plan signed by President Donald Trump.
It includes increasing the standard deduction and eliminating personal and dependent exemptions, along with reducing the individual and corporate tax rates by .475 percent.
It’s a reduction Republican Rep. Mike Moyle of Star says is good for the state's economy.
“When a business comes to your state they look at your income tax rates, and when yours is the fourth highest west of the Mississippi it’s a disincentive for businesses to come to the state because your rates are so high,” says Moyle.
HB 463 now heads to the Senate.