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Shift in Grocery Tax May Not Help Low Income Idahoans

Ingram Publishing

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho’s former chief economist says families of four earning more than $117,750 would see lower taxes, should lawmakers adopt House Speaker Scott Bedke’s proposal to shift money from a grocery tax credit to individual and corporate income tax cuts.

Mike Ferguson, chief economist for six governors including Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, said Thursday families earning less would likely see a higher tax burden, according to his calculations. For instance, Ferguson said somebody earning $50,000 would see their tax liability increased $305, based on his analysis of Bedke’s proposal, which Otter says he’d at least consider.

Bedke’s plan would leave the grocery credit intact for families earning 138 percent of the federal poverty line, or $32,499. Ferguson now heads the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy, which analyzes budget and tax policy.

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