Bill Description: House Bill 229 creates a new state snowmobile avalanche fund and committee. It also increases fees for snowmobile users and for those who rent out snowmobiles.
Amendment Analysis: An amendment adopted in the Senate raises the fee increases even further. Instead of increasing the $31 fee to $35.50, the amendment raises it to $45.50 (a 47% increase). Instead of increasing the $61.00 fee to $65.50, the amendment raises it to $75.50 (a 24% increase). From a policy perspective, major fee increases like this (and the many others proposed in this session) largely serve to negate the benefit of so-called tax relief because Idahoans still end up paying more of their hard-earned money to the government overall.
The rating of the bill remains the same.
Analyst Note: House Bill 229 is similar to House Bill 163, but two of the three fee increases contained in House Bill 229 are lower than they were in the original.
Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government?
House Bill 229 creates Section 67-7107A, Idaho Code, which establishes a new state snowmobile avalanche fund and a five-member state snowmobile avalanche fund committee to direct distributions from the fund.
New government funds and committees represent an increase in the size and scope of government.
Does it directly or indirectly create or increase any taxes, fees, or other assessments? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce any taxes, fees, or other assessments?
House Bill 229 amends Section 67-7103, Idaho Code, to increase the application fee for a "certificate of number" for "each snowmobile requiring numbering by the state of Idaho" from $31.00 to $35.50. This is a 15% fee increase.
House Bill 229 further amends Section 67-7103, Idaho Code, to increase the application fee for a "certificate of number" for "snowmobiles used for rental purposes" from $61.00 to $65.50. This is a 7.4% fee increase.
House Bill 229 amends Section 67-7104, Idaho Code, to increase the application fee for a "nonresident snowmobile user certificate" from $31.00 to $59.50. This is a 92% fee increase.
Section 67-7106(4), Idaho Code allows vendors to charge an additional handling fee of $1.50 per certificate of number for the distribution of certificates of number. House Bill 229 amends this subsection to say, "Vendors shall be entitled to retain a handling fee" of $1.50. This change does not negate the fee increases imposed, but it may save some registrants an additional $1.50 fee added by vendors.
The fee increases implemented by this bill would be used, among other things, to increase funding for the "state snowmobile search and rescue fund"; to provide a new funding source for the Idaho Department of Lands; and to bankroll the newly created "snowmobile avalanche fund."
STAY CONNECTED with the latest news, research and opinions from the Gem State.