Idaho House committee advances 1-year freeze on property taxes

The full Idaho House will consider a one-year freeze on property taxes. The House Revenue and Taxation Committee today (THU) sent the measure to the House floor with a do pass recommendation. The legislation would freeze the property tax portion of a taxing district’s budget for one year with the exception of school taxing districts. Voting on the measure had been delayed after hours of testimony on Tuesday and Wednesday. House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, a member of the committee, sponsored the bill and said the one-year, statewide freeze on property taxes is needed to start a conversation because people are being forced out of their homes. City and county officials spoke against the measure, arguing that freezing revenue won’t freeze expenses, leading to a financial hardship because municipalities typically have contractual obligations. Property taxes have become a top issue in this legislative session as explosive growth in many parts of Idaho has caused property values to increase, forcing up property taxes. Moyle said the one-year freeze is not a solution but simply a pause so various groups can come together to find a solution. But several county commissioners say the freeze would have serious ramifications. City and county elected leaders also noted that if residents felt they were unfairly taxed, they could vote different people into office. (Idaho Joint Democratic Caucus, AP)