2021-2022 Small Business Victories from the Idaho Legislature

Date: September 21, 2021

Historic tax relief highlight NFIB Idaho accomplishments

The 66th Session of the Idaho Legislature (2021-2022) was one of historic achievements for the small businesses of the state. Taking the lead or working with coalition partners, NFIB Idaho was able to achieve some significant victories for the state’s Main Street enterprises.

From the 2022 Half of the Session

Won Reduction in Top Income Tax Rate

House Bill 436 was the crowning achievement for small business. It provides $600 million in one-time relief for taxpayers and lowered the state’s top income tax rate to 6% from 6.5%.

Defeated State Sales Tax Increase

House Bill 741 would have raised Idaho’s sales tax to the highest in the nation to pay for a reduction in property taxes. NFIB members were having none of it, and their response to an Action Alert sent them by NFIB overwhelmed representatives and senators.

Prevented Unemployment Insurance Tax Increases

House Bill 450 sent small-business owners an even stronger message than HB 436, letting them know their unemployment insurance taxes would not spike on them for the next two years. Employers are the only ones who pay into the UI trust fund from which unemployment benefits are paid out to those in need of them.

Obtained Liability Protection Against Unfair COVID Lawsuits

House Bill 444 extended liability protection against unfair COVID-related lawsuits small-business owners were potential victims of.

From the 2021 Half of the Session

Won Historic Income Tax Relief

NFIB lobbied extensively, every legislative step of the way, for passage of House Bill 380, which:

  • reduced the number of brackets to five
  • set the top individual and corporate tax bracket to 6.5% retroactive to January 1, 2021
  • provided Idahoans with $162.9 million in continuing tax relief
  • gave a one-time sales tax/income tax rebate, returning $220 million to Idaho taxpayers.

H380 was signed into law by Gov. Brad Little on May 10

Secured Significant Property Tax Relief

Working in concert with other business groups, NFIB succeeded in winning significant property tax relief and curbing local governments’ ability to tax projects. House Bill 389, among other things, increased the homeowner’s exemption to $125,000 and it reduced the amount of tax valuation local governments can take on new construction and annexation, creating a total cap of 8% in any budget year. It also reduced the amount of forgone revenue a taxing district may take for ongoing budget growth but provides a mechanism for expenditures that are considered one-time capital projects. H389 was signed into law by Gov. Brad Little on May 12.

Defeated ‘Ban the Box’ Proposal

NFIB helped kill House Bill 196 in its first committee stage. Efforts to prohibit employers from asking job-applicants about any prior criminal history are not unique to Idaho. This has been part of the so-called progressive agenda in states across the nation. In lobbying against this ‘Ban the Box’ bill, so named because of some job applications having a box to check if convicted of a criminal offense, NFIB Idaho argued that study after study has revealed it has the opposite effect of what it intends, especially punishing, not helping, minority job-applicants. S196 never made it past its first committee, Judiciary Rules & Administration.

Won Greater Local Government Accountability

NFIB supported House Bill 73, which established a Committee on Uniform Accounting and Transparency for Local Governmental Entities. “The committee’s primary duty and responsibility will be to cooperatively develop, approve, monitor, and revise, as needed, the uniform accounting, budgeting, and financial reporting system, and manual, for local governmental agencies,” according to the bill’s statement of purpose. H73 was signed into law by Gov. Brad Little on March 18.

Supported Improved Signature Verification for Ballot Petitions

NFIB lent its support to House Bill 290, “to ensure the security of absentee voting and the validity of petition signatures by clarifying the requirement that county clerks verify voter signatures in these instances,” according to the bill’s statement of purpose. H290 was signed into law by Gov. Brad Little on April 19.

Backed Greater Political Involvement

NFIB also lent its support to Senate Bill 1110, which, according to the bill’s statement of purpose, ensures “signatures are gathered from each of the 35 legislative districts, so every part of Idaho is included in this process.” S1110 was signed into law by Gov. Brad Little on April 17.

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