Bill description: HB 648 would provide some one-time property tax relief for homeowners.
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?
HB 648 would offer property tax relief to many Idahoans by using money in the tax relief fund. This fund was specifically created to capture sales taxes from sales that were outside traditional brick and mortar retailers, such as internet sales.
This bill would split up the money currently held in this relief fund and distribute it equally to every residence that currently qualifies for Idaho’s homestead exemption (so primary residences). This fund is projected to have $84 million in it by January 1, 2021. This money would be split into about $180 per residence that has the homestead exemption, based on the number of homesteads in Idaho.
Does it increase government redistribution of wealth? Examples include the use of tax policy or other incentives to reward specific interest groups, businesses, politicians, or government employees with special favors or perks; transfer payments; and hiring additional government employees. Conversely, does it decrease government redistribution of wealth?
HB 638 benefits homeowners, but there are other properties that will not benefit. Farms, that are not part of a homestead, will not benefit. Commercial properties will not benefit. Renters will not benefit.
Ultimately this money, which is paid by all consumers who pay sales taxes, will be used to benefit only homeowners, and thus represents a redistribution of wealth. While this is a fairly broad group, it would be better to confer the savings on all consumers.
A better property tax policy would be to change taxing district budgets and levy rates in a manner that produces tax relief for all.