The Quality Education Act will appear on the general election ballot for a statewide vote in November, the secretary of state’s office confirmed late Friday afternoon.
If it receives a simple majority vote, the Reclaim Idaho initiative would generate $323 million for K-12 schools by increasing taxes on Idaho’s corporations and top income-earners. The initiative will likely appear on the ballot as Proposition 1.
Reclaim submitted over 100,000 signatures to the secretary of state for final verification on July 6. The organization needed signatures from at least 6% of voters statewide, a total of 64,945 valid signatures. Reclaim also needed to reach the 6% threshold in at least 18 of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts to qualify the initiative for the ballot. Reclaim surpassed the signature requirement and qualified in 19 districts, the secretary of state’s office said Friday.
This is the second initiative Reclaim has gotten on the Idaho ballot in the last five years. In 2018, the organization’s Medicaid expansion initiative qualified and passed with a 61% majority vote.
The Quality Education Act aims to funnel money from the income tax increases into a fund for K-12 programs. Money from this fund could go into a number of areas, such as pay increases for teachers and school support staff, career-technical tracks like carpentry and welding, and arts programs.
To raise the money, the initiative would increase the corporate income tax rate to 8%; the 2022 Legislature reduced this tax rate to 6%.
The initiative also would create a new, 10.925% tax rate for personal income exceeding $250,000, and family income exceeding $500,000. The 2022 Legislature reduced those income tax rates to 6%.
Taxpayers earning less than $250,000 would not see a income tax increase. The initiative would not affect sales or property taxes.