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Coming up at the Statehouse -- taxes, taxes, taxes

Lawmakers will start dealing with tax conformity this week. (KBOI Photo){p}{/p}
Lawmakers will start dealing with tax conformity this week. (KBOI Photo)

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Week One of the 2018 Idaho Legislature saw little action but as Week Two gets going, lawmakers will step knee-deep into one of the biggest issues they face this session: tax conformity.

In short, that's aligning Idaho's tax code with the newly changed federal code. What are the positives? The negatives?

And that will be the topic Tuesday of a joint hearing involving the Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee and the House Revenue and Taxation Committee starting at 8:30 a.m. in the Lincoln Auditorium.

It's essentially going to be a huge question-and-answer forum.

The governor's office estimates conformity will increase collections by about $97 million in tax revenue. But Gov. Otter's plan to is to turn around and give that money back to Idaho taxpayers as part of his goal to provide some $200 million in tax relief this session.

A big part of the overall tax relief package sailed through committee Monday.

We're talking specifically about House Bill 335 which would cut the unemployment insurance tax for Idaho employers.

The bill cleared the House Revenue and Taxation Committee Monday and scooted over to the full House with a "do pass" recommendation. Debate and a vote could be days away.

If it passes both the House and the Senate, the proposal is expected to save employers a total of $115 million over the next three years by reducing a key component in how idaho calculates the unemployment insurance tax rate.

It would also reduce the cost of unemployment insurance taxes by 30 percent.

Lawmakers tried this last year, but the idea never got off the ground.

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