Boise Republican Rep. Lynn Luker introduced legislation Thursday that
would eliminate donations to political parties on Idaho state tax
The money comes not from an individuals’ return, but from money in the
general fund, Luker said. Last year, more than 34,000 people checked
the $1 box, diverting part of their taxes to the political party of
In 2008, an election year, more than 71,000 people made the donation.
The provision has been on Idaho's tax returns since 1976, Luker said.
“This seems like a good place to gather up a few dollars,” Luker said.
“It’s questionable whether the state should be involved in funding
parties at all. That’s up to private citizens.”
Other so-called check-offs on the Idaho state tax return, such as the
Fish and Game non-game species check-off, would remain on the form.
Those donations come out of the individual’s rebate or are added to
their tax bill.
“This is not money that an individual is contributing out of their own
money. It is a dollar that is coming out of the money they owe the
state,” Luker said.
The bill will be printed after a 13-4 vote in the House
State Affairs Committee. Four of the five Democrats on the committee voted
against the measure after arguing that the proposal was anti-small
contributor. Mary Lou Shepherd, D-Wallace, voted to print the bill.
"This is taking away a freedom, a choice people have had for quite some time," said Rep. Elfreda Higgins, D-Garden City.
The Idaho Freedom Foundation and Citizens Against Government Waste mentioned the idea of doing away with the donation in their 2010 Idaho Pork Report.