by Logan Finney, Idaho Reports
The Idaho Legislature convened for a special session in early September to consider a budget surplus proposal from Gov. Brad Little that included education investments and income tax cuts.
The education funds in the new law will not be spent by lawmakers until the upcoming legislative session. In the meantime, tax rebates are already on their way to Idahoans.
2022 Special Session Rebate
Little’s press secretary Madison Hardy confirmed to Idaho Reports that the Idaho State Tax Commission would begin sending the first rebate payments the last week of September.
The commission’s rebate FAQ website says payments will “start with taxpayers who are eligible to receive the rebate through direct deposit and then move to those who will receive a check” at a rate of about 75,000 payments per week.
Physical rebate checks are marked “Official State Business” and sent by Brandon Woolf, Idaho State Controller.
Taxpayers must be full-time Idaho residents to qualify for the income tax rebate. They must file 2020 and 2021 state income tax returns to qualify, and have until Dec. 31, 2022 to do so.
Idahoans will receive a minimum rebate of $300 for individual filers or $600 for joint filers, or a higher rebate of 10% of income tax paid in 2020. The credit will apply first to any outstanding tax debts or unpaid obligations such as child support or court fines.
WITH INFLATION THE HIGHEST IN 40 YEARS, WE ARE GIVING BACK YOUR HARD-EARNED MONEY AND FUNDING SCHOOLS WHILE CUTTING TAXES.
WE ARE DELIVERING HISTORIC TAX RELIEF AND EDUCATION INVESTMENTS WITH OUR RECORD BUDGET SURPLUS.
ALL IDAHOANS WILL RECEIVE ONE-TIME REBATES AND ONGOING TAX RELIEF THROUGH A NEW LOWER FLAT INCOME TAX. THESE TAX CUTS BOOST PROSPERITY AND KEEP OUR BUSINESS CLIMATE VIBRANT.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR DEDICATION TO IDAHO!
GOV. BRAD LITTLE AND THE SIXTY-SIXTH LEGISLATURE
The Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy released a report ahead of the special session which found the average rebate for households with incomes under $71,000 ranges from $334 to $445, while the rebate for households with incomes over $557,000 is about $6,485 on average.
That fiscal analysis also found that most Idaho families earning around the medium income will see an average tax savings of $103 per year after the change to a flat income tax.
Idaho Voters’ Pamphlet
The 2022 voters’ pamphlet is also arriving in mailboxes across the state. A publication of the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office, the pamphlet includes information about a proposed constitutional amendment, an advisory ballot question, and important dates and voting information.
In addition to elected offices, the November ballot will include SJR 102, an amendment to the state constitution which would allow lawmakers to call themselves into special session rather than relying on a call from the governor.
Multiple lawmakers expressed frustration with the fact that they were limited to the topics and sole bill proposed by the governor during the September special session.
The ballot also includes an advisory question which asks voters whether they agree or disagree with the spending package that was passed during the special session. The advisory question is nonbinding and has no policy effect, but is expected to guide lawmakers’ priorities when they reconvene in January.
The voter pamphlet was expected to contain detailed information about education funding proposal Proposition One, but Reclaim Idaho organizers withdrew their initiative from the ballot following the special session.
The voter initiative, titled the Quality Education Act, would have raised income tax rates for corporations and high earners to generate $323 million for K-12 schools. The legislative package lowered income tax rates, issued rebates, and directed $330 million for K-12 schools and $80 million dollars for a new in-demand careers fund.
Logan Finney | Associate Producer
Logan Finney is a North Idaho native with a passion for media production and boring government meetings. He grew up skiing, hunting and hiking in the mountains of Bonner County and has maintained a lifelong interest in the state’s geography, history and politics. Logan joined the Idaho Reports team in 2020 as a legislative session intern and stayed to cover the COVID-19 pandemic. He was hired as an associate producer in 2021 and they haven’t been able to get rid of him since.