Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Press: Winder Set to Revitalize Local Option Tax Measure in 2014 Legislature

Posted By on Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Idaho Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder briefed attendees of a north Idaho "legislative summit" on his effort to revitalize the debate at the Idaho Statehouse over a proposed local option tax.

The summit, sponsored by the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce, featured an address from Congressman Raul Labrador and an update from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare on Medicaid expansion.

But the Coeur d'Alene gathering paid particular attention to Winder when he video conferenced into the summit to explain a new version of a local option sales tax measure, modeled after a similar bill in Oklahoma. Winder explained that his new version would be a "pay-as-you-go" tax that would not allow cities or counties to borrow against the revenue generated. Simply put, the tax would be collected for specific projects or developments and that would be the sole source of revenues, instead of leveraging the taxes against larger amounts of money.

This morning's Coeur d'Alene Press reports that Winder's proposed measure would tie local option sales taxes to specific projects and a simple majority vote to pass. Winder cautioned that lawmakers may insist that a 60 percent majority vote be attached to the measure, but "it would still be easier to pass a local project at that threshold."

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