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Idaho governor signs property tax legislation

by KEITH RIDLER Associated Press
| May 12, 2021 10:55 AM

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Wednesday signed a property tax relief bill that opponents say is deeply flawed but backers say is better than nothing.

The Republican governor on Wednesday approved the legislation rushed through by lawmakers last week.

The new law takes effect immediately with significant portions retroactive to Jan. 1.

The measure raises the homeowner’s exemption from $100,000 to $125,000. It also raises from $1,320 to $1,500 a property tax reduction for qualifying low-income seniors, called a circuit breaker.

Businesses get a property tax exemption boost from $100,000 to $250,000.

Opponents contend the bill will cut into basic services provided by local government entities by limiting tax revenue from new construction.

Little had reservations as well about House bill 389.

“I have always subscribed to the adage that our taxes need to be fair, simple, competitive, and predictable,” he wrote in a letter to lawmakers explaining his signing of the bill. “When considered against these pillars of tax policy, House Bill 389 falls short.”

He said the homeowner's exemption would fail to provide long-term relief considering the rapid rise in home values.

Little on Monday signed legislation that has $220 million in one-time income tax rebates and $163 million in ongoing income tax relief.