The personal property tax holding pattern

GaryCollins20

Rep. Gary Collins, R-Nampa

There were a few murmurs on the House floor early Friday afternoon, when Revenue and Taxation Committee Chairman Gary Collins told colleagues that his panel would not meet Monday morning.

No meeting means no movement on the personal property tax repeal — one of the big contentious issues still looming over the 2013 legislative session.

“We will have a vote before the committee. But it won’t be before Tuesday or Wednesday of next week,” Collins, R-Nampa, told Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review Friday morning.

But Collins didn’t tell Russell what bills the committee might hear.

Will it be House Bill 272, the $18 million to $19 million partial repeal of the tax on business equipment, supplies and furnishings, supported by the Idaho School Boards Association and the Idaho Association of School Administrators?

Will it be House Bill 276, a $120 million full repeal? The Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry wants the full repeal — but education groups say this would make it tougher for school districts to get voter support for future levies and bond issues.

Or, will it be some third bill that hasn’t yet surfaced?

Alex LaBeau

Alex LaBeau, Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry

IACI President Alex LaBeau submitted a third draft bill Thursday, for a possible discussion in committee Friday. Collins never put the bill on the agenda — which may have been just as well, since the committee spent its two-hour hearing discussing and ultimately endorsing House Bill 286, which would provide $10 million in income tax credits to support private school scholarships.

As for the personal property tax, the waiting game continues.

More reading: Personal Property Tax 101, my rundown on the issue and its implications for schools.