BOISE — The Idaho Senate ended the year by killing a bill that would have cut unemployment insurance and income taxes — meaning the only major tax cut to pass this year is one the governor opposes and might veto in the coming days.
Shortly after the House adjourned just before 11 a.m., the Senate voted 5-29 to kill the bill, which had left the Senate as just an unemployment insurance tax cut but came back from the House with an amendment reducing each income tax bracket by one tenth of 1 percent. Sen. Kelly Anthon, R-Rupert, was the only member of the local delegation to support it.
“Our employers are going to end up paying more unemployment tax than they should because of the games that were played with this bill,” said Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens.
A bigger income tax cut passed the House early in the session but stalled in the Senate for about a month. When it finally passed committee there, after a deal to turn it into a smaller tax cut like the one the Senate rejected Wednesday, the Senate instead amended the bill to turn it into one getting rid of both the sales tax on groceries and the grocery tax credit.
Grocery tax repeal passed both the House and Senate, but Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter opposes repealing the grocery tax. As of Wednesday afternoon Otter had not signed nor vetoed the bill.