On September 1, the Legislature convened for a single day to consider and pass a bill that does three things:
- designates $330 million of sales tax proceeds to be earmarked for K-12 schools and $80 million for higher education;
- allocates $500 million for a one-time tax rebate based on 2020 income tax filings, with a minimum rebate of $300 per individual and $600 per household; and
- cuts the income tax rate to a flat rate of 5.8%.
All three of your D18 legislators sponsored this bill. While I would have preferred a different approach to the tax component (ideally a cut to food tax, sales tax or property tax, any of which would have yielded more benefit to most working Idahoans), this was a historic boost to education funding. I want to thank Reclaim Idaho and the hundreds of volunteers who got the Quality Education Act on the ballot – without their work it’s inconceivable we’d have an education investment of this magnitude. We were also pleased that our years of pressure succeeded in getting a meaningful minimum of $600 per household – historically these rebates have yielded giant refunds for the very wealthy and almost nothing for everyone else. This time we were able to get more help to the folks who need it most.