The House Revenue and Taxation Committee printed HB 604, introduced by Rep. Mike Moyle (R-Meridian) on Monday morning. This legislation would expand the personal property tax exemption for business equipment from $100,000 per taxpayer per county to $250,000. Rumors have been circulating around the statehouse for weeks that this bill was going to be introduced and passed before the legislature concludes their business and adjourns sine die on March 21st.
Rep. Moyle told committee members that this bill had been tweaked all weekend and that the result was not necessarily one that everybody would support. That was confirmed when the vote to print the bill fell along party lines; all three Democrats on the panel opposed printing the measure. Late on Monday afternoon, an article by Dan Popkey posted on the Idaho Statesman website shed some light on who else might have problems with the bill.
The 23-page bill, which costs the state about $8.7 million each year beginning in 2015 and would provide replacement dollars for funds that would have otherwise been generated by personal property taxes, has been scheduled for a public hearing on Tuesday morning by the committee chair. And, further complicating the issue is a committee agenda item that seems to indicate that the committee will be asked to print a new bill dealing with the same subject.