The next budget for Idaho Public Television (IPTV) includes a $269,300 drop in state funding, a 16.2 percent reduction. IPTV would get $97,200 in additional federal funding, and its overall $2.43 million budget would be an 8.3 percent reduction. The budget set by the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee (JFAC) doesn’t include the governor’s recommendation to phase out IPTV’s funding. JFAC hasn’t included any phaseouts in its budget recommendations. Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, said phaseouts are policy issues, which should be decided by other legislative committees.
“We support what JFAC has done,” said IPTV General Manager Peter Morrill. “We will continue to work closely with the Legislature and the governor to find efficiencies and new sources of revenue wherever we can.”
Morrill said he also supports a House proposal that could increase tax credits on donations to IPTV and other state agencies. “This would give more opportunity for donations, especially at the higher giving level, to see some positive tax credit,” he said. The average gift to IPTV is $90, which is just under the current $100 limit for a tax credit for a single taxpayer. That limit would rise to $500 under the plan that awaits a House vote. “It clearly gives more opportunity for those givers at the higher level to contribute, not only to Idaho Public Television, but potentially to those other folks that were recommended,” Morrill said.