Arguing that a proposed state tax cut, being promoted by Republican leadership at the Idaho Statehouse, would widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots, Idaho Kids Count, a nonprofit child advocacy group, says wealthy Idaho families could realize enough tax advantage to travel to France while other Idaho families could only afford some french fries with the tax break.
"Depending on your income level, you may see no change in your tax bill, enough savings for a monthly order of French fries, or enough for a trip to France—if you are in the top 1 percent of earners," said Idaho Kids Count Director Lauren Necochea. "French fries are nice, and a French vacation is even nicer. But if we continue to reduce the funds available for schools and other needs, it is hard to invest in our state's future."
The current GOP proposal being bandied about the Idaho Capitol is calling for a decrease in state tax rates in all brackets by one-tenth of one percentage point annually, for six years. Idaho Majority Leader Mike Moyle said the proposal would deplete the state's general fund by approximately $21 million each year—totaling nearly $126 million.
"When you talk to businesses coming to Idaho, the big thing they talk about is your income tax rates are out of whack," said Moyle.
But an analysis by the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy indicates that a typical Idaho family of four earning $30,000 per year could expect a savings of $13. In contrast, similar families with incomes of $300,000 would receive a tax break of $1,633. Low-wage families earning less than $27,800 would see no savings, according to the Center.