State report: Idaho tax burden ranks No. 48 in nation

Idaho’s tax burden ranks No. 48 in the nation and lowest in the West, the Spokane Spokesman-Review reported Friday.

The news comes weeks before the 2018 Legislature convenes in Boise — for an election-year session when tax talk figures to be a hot topic.

According to the State Tax Commission’s annual Tax Burden Study, Idaho’s tax burden falls 29.6 percent below the national average.

And the state’s tax burden remains low, even when taxes are weighted against income. The tax burden still comes in 11 percent below the national average, and ranks No. 37 in the nation, Betsy Russell of the Spokesman-Review reported.

For several years, some lawmakers and business lobbyists have pushed to roll back the state’s income tax rates. Idaho’s corporate and high-end personal income tax rates sit at 7.4 percent — and critics say the rate leaves Idaho at a competitive disadvantage.

But the rates do not account for differences in the way states structure their taxes, from the way they define taxable income to the deductions and exemptions allowed under state laws.

“Just looking at the raw rate is quite misleading,” College of Idaho professor Jasper LiCalzi told Russell. “You have to look at the effective rate: What do people pay?”


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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