State of the States Roundup

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Idaho Governor Butch Otter's State of the State included one good tax policy idea, but failed to provide additional information on one terrible idea that the Governor has championed in the past. In his January 7 speech, the Governor once again proposed improvements to the state's innovative "grocery tax" credit, which seeks to offset some of the impact of the sales tax on food purchases, but suffers from a serious flaw: the poorest taxpayers in the state are unable to receive it. He neglected, however, to discuss his proposal to follow the disastrous lead of Florida and other states and limit the growth of a house's value for property tax purposes until it is sold. Such limitations allegedly help state residents afford to the pay the property taxes on their homes, but, as the experience in Florida has shown, they end up leading to enormous inequities within the property tax, not to mention constraining the revenue needed to provide public services.

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