Listen to the state’s chief executive, Lt. Gov. Brad Little, discuss their health-care initiative in an exclusive telephone town hall with NFIB members
State Director Suzanne Budge reports from Boise on the small-business agenda for the legislative week ending February 16
It’s time to start watching the game of chicken that will unfold over competing tax measures: Gov. Butch Otter’s bill, H463, which has passed the House on a 59-11 vote, and the Senate’s competing measure, H558
H463 would conform with the federal tax code, including the provisions for pass-through entities, section 199A, which reduces most pass-through income by 20 percent on a business owner’s income tax return. Pass-through entities are businesses organized as sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, or S corporations. They are taxed at the individual income tax code, not the corporate tax code.
Senator Dan Johnson’s version, H558, would give less income tax relieve and does not include the pass-through provision. NFIB predicts that the “going home bill” will be an outgrowth of the battle over these provisions in the 2018 conformity bill.
The governor’s H463 now sits in the Senate Local Government Committee, awaiting a hearing. Senator Johnson is chairman of that committee.
The joint legislative budget committee, JFAC, started setting budgets. JFAC voted to increase the revenue projections from the governor’s and EORAC’s original general fund revenue estimate for FY2018 of 5.3 percent growth or $3.63 billion. The new estimate being used for FY2018 is $3.65 billion, which is an increase over FY2017 of 5.9 percent.
JFAC also adopted the recommendations of the Joint CEC Committee to fund merit raises averaging 3 percent for state employees. This includes $19.5 million from the General Fund, $14.2 million from dedicated funds, and $6.3 million from federal funds for a total of $40.1 million.
The budget-setting schedule ahead includes public school support and financing among many others. With the budget-setting now underway, the Legislature is on the downhill side of the 2018 session. It is starting with the big-ticket items like public education, which accounts for half of the state budget.
Once the budgets are set, we can expect about two weeks left in the session.
Telephone Town Hall
Thanks to everyone who participated in the NFIB Telephone Town Hall with Governor Otter and Lt. Governor Brad Little on February 13. There was a full discussion of legislative activities, including Idaho’s state-based health plans and proposed tax cuts. An audio recording of the 45-minute town hall can be heard here.
Day at the Capitol, February 27
Lawmakers will meet with NFIB members on February 27 for a legislative reception hosted jointly by NFIB and the Idaho Retailers Association. Please join us from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Beside Bardenay Restaurant and Distillery to meet your lawmaker and share your stories and priorities for the Legislature. There is no cost to attend but a reservation is required and can be made online here.
Prior Reports, News Releases, Editorials, Testimony
[Tile photo courtesy of The official website of the Idaho Legislature.]