Bill description: HB 513 would exempt free and charitable clinics from Idaho’s sales tax requirements.
Does it increase government redistribution of wealth? Conversely, does it decrease government redistribution of wealth?
HB 513 would exempt the Idaho Association of Free and Charitable Clinics and its member organizations from paying Idaho’s sales tax. There are currently 25 organizations or groups specifically labeled as health-related entities in I.C. § 63-6322O that are eligible for this sales tax exemption. Per the Fiscal Note for this legislation, the total savings to the association and its member organizations would be $10,227 annually. On the downside, other organizations that are not association members, but perform similar work, would continue to pay the state sales tax.
Does it violate the principle of equal protection under the law? Conversely, does it restore or protect the principle of equal protection under the law?
The Idaho Legislature tends to favor organizations that lobby, independently or with a lobbyist, for tax breaks. As a result, Idaho tax policy is a welter of benefits for special interests to the exclusion of others. This is not an appropriate way to create tax policy.
HB 513 would give favorable treatment to the individual members of this association. Further, if passed, the legislation would give an unfair advantage to the Idaho Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. A different association performing similar work in the state would be at a perpetual disadvantage as this legislation’s specific mention to the current association would give it an advantage to expanding membership, as its members would not be required to pay any sales.