BOISE, Idaho — There will be new property tax relief in Idaho.
Wednesday afternoon the Idaho Senate successfully voted to override Governor Brad Little’s veto of House Bill 292, a controversial bill that extends dollars around Idaho to help cutdown on growing property tax rates.
The Senate override matches the vote in the Idaho House from earlier in the week, so the property tax bill will become law despite the veto from Governor Little.
However, Little supported the move by lawmakers explaining that he is happy with the fixes lawmakers made to portions of the bill he saw major issues with.
Those issues were addressed by a trailer bill that the Senate and House also both passed this week.
Governor Little applauded lawmakers for a more simple approach to meaningful property tax relief.
“I’m pleased the Legislature passed $117 million in property tax relief for Idaho citizens and businesses. I called for $120 million at the start of the session, and they came close to my recommendation. I’m also pleased the Legislature fixed concerns I identified in my veto of House Bill 292 – transportation bonding and public defense funding. The process worked, and we are getting real property tax relief done for Idahoans,” Little said in a statement.
Republican lawmakers showed major support for the legislation, both in original votes and the veto override, despite the winding and complicated decision. Republican House Speaker Mike Moyle acknowledged issues Little saw and the fixes that made it passable.
"Makes it a lot simpler, gets us out of here a lot faster. We'll have to do a couple of trailer bills to fix a couple of issues that were concerns of the governors. There's one trailer bill following to address his concerns because we because he brought up some good points. We want to be sure to address those. And and I think you could actually end up with more property tax relief because if that bill passes, you've got the school facilities fund and there's still a little money sitting around here,” Moyle said.
Idaho Democrats have pushed for property tax relief, but they say the legislation that is set to be law was not the correct answer. Democrats say a ‘poison pill’ in the legislation takes away a crucial March election date that Idaho Schools utilize for bond and levy elections.
Senate Democratic Leader Melissa Wintrow, said “We knew our constituents expected us to enact sensible property tax reform this session. It’s unfortunate that the best, simple solutions, like reindexing the homeowner’s exemption and significantly increasing property tax assistance for seniors, fell by the wayside in favor of an overly complicated approach with harmful side effects.”
The March election day was a compromise chip that Republicans proponents explain was a fair exchange for schools. Some argued that the March elections have low turnout and come at an awkward budgeting time. Democrats simply disagree.
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