Idaho Lawmakers Talk Transportation as Session Comes to a Close
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Lawmakers are tip-toeing back into the transportation tax debate that proved treacherous for Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter in 2009. The House Transportation Committee on Tuesday introduced several measures that would produce more than $200 million in annual revenue, to be directed toward improvements to Idaho's aging road and bridge system.
But they have to be adopted first, no small feat in conservative Idaho. Four years ago, Otter finished the 2009 session a battered leader after a similar push backfired. Tuesday's proposals included boosting the sales tax to 7 percent; registration fee hikes; taxing rental cars; and increasing Idaho's existing 25-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax.
Nothing will be voted on this session. But Sen. Bert Brackett expects to generate discussion before 2014, helping provide direction for lawmakers, to help them eventually set policy.