BOISE– Governor Brad Little and legislative leaders announced today a special legislative session will be held Sept. 1, to use the state’s record $2 billion projected budget surplus to counteract the impacts of 40-year high inflation on individuals and schools.
“We’re calling an extraordinary session to address the crushing impacts of historic inflation on Idaho families and schools. The cost of basic fundamentals to live everyday life has skyrocketed, and schools are faced with the burden of rising operating costs. Idaho’s powerful economic engine, combined with years of fiscal conservatism in state government, mean tax revenues have outpaced government spending, month after month, year after year. As a result, we are now projecting a new record budget surplus – $2 billion – which is hundreds of millions more than we expected. With the emergency before us, we’re going to give it back to the people and help our schools,” Governor Little said.
The single subject bill on inflation that will be considered by the Idaho Legislature on Sept. 1 includes:
- Immediate TAX CUTS FOR ALL – $500 million in immediate one-time income tax rebates. Idahoans will get back 10-percent of 2020 income taxes paid, with minimum rebates of $300 for individuals and $600 for joint filers. Seniors who apply for the grocery tax credit are also eligible for the minimum rebate. Rebates will start rolling out as soon as September.
- Ongoing TAX CUTS FOR ALL through new lower, flat income tax – Eliminates the first $2,500 of income from taxation for individuals and $5,000 for joint filers, and establishes a new lower flat tax of 5.8-percent across the board (down from 6-percent), to provide more than $150 million in ongoing relief to all working Idahoans starting in January 2023.
- New historic ongoing education investments while cutting taxes – Puts $410 million total to Idaho education through an ongoing sales tax transfer, the single largest investment in education in state history. The plan puts $330 million toward K-12 public schools to help with rising costs due to inflation, and $80 million will go toward training for in-demand careers and prepare our institutions for the likely increase in workforce development training that occurs during times of economic uncertainty.
The bill to be considered by the Legislature has a long list of bipartisan cosponsors.
Information on the 2022 special legislative session, including the bill language to be considered, statement of purpose and cosponsor list, and Governor’s proclamation, is available at https://gov.idaho.gov/legislative-sessions/2022-special-legislative-session/.