Since 1976, Idahoans have contributed about $1.6 million to state political parties with a $1 checkoff on their Idaho income tax returns.
But that practice — which cost the general fund $1 for every checkoff — is on its last legs. Boise GOP Rep. Lynn Luker's bill to end the practice passed the House 64-1 and the Senate followed suit, 35-0.
On Wednesday, House Speaker Lawerence Denney signed House Bill 379 and sent it to Gov. Butch Otter for his likely signature.
But on the same day, a bill by Democratic Reps. Phylis King of Boise and Elfreda Higgins of Garden City was introduced to revive the practice of Tax Day contributions without costing the state money.
King's HB 512 allows taxpayers to elect for a checkoff, only the money would be deducted from any refund they are due, or added to their tax liability. HB 512 also allows contributions of up to $50.
A news release from King says, "This is an example of good government because it allows individuals to participate in political parties and the political process even though they have little time or means."
A hearing will be held later in the House State Affairs Committee.
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