Robert Huntley is taking another run at eliminating sales tax exemptions to fund education.
The former state Supreme Court justice and Democratic gubernatorial candidate is pushing a three-year campaign to eliminate $2.2 billion worth of sales tax exemptions while reducing the overall sales tax rate to 4 percent. Betsy Russell of the Idaho Press wrote about Huntley’s plan Thursday.
The bottom line: The tax shift would yield an additional $769 million, with an eye to increasing public school funding, Russell reported.
In court and on the campaign trail, Huntley has argued for years for boosting education spending, and he has frequently criticized Idaho’s patchwork of sales tax exemptions. While legislators have studied the exemptions for years, they have made no concerted effort to repeal them.
This time, Russell reported, Huntley is working with a group made up largely of retired school administrators and teachers who call themselves“Totally Optimistic Advocates Dedicated to Students,” or TOADS. Also signing on with TOADS are two prominent Idaho Democrats: former U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick and former gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brady.
The group plans to present sales tax legislation in 2021 and pursue a voter initiative in 2022, Russell reported.