Explaining the Impact of Tax Cuts in Idaho

In the 2013 Legislative Session, Idaho legislators debated repealing the personal property business tax. If their proposal passed, businesses would have seen a $140 million decrease in their taxes and their commitment to supporting Idaho’s public systems. Meanwhile public education, health care, and services to low-income families were certain to be cut because property tax revenue, on the whole, made up about a quarter of local government general revenue in 2010. Many organizations opposed the repeal of this tax. But, one in particular – the Partnership for Idaho’s Future – was concerned about the negative impacts the tax repeal would have.. Through the Partnership, children’s advocates, public sector unions, faith groups, and others banded together and presented a united message about the importance of public revenues in investing in education, safety, and prosperity in Idaho communities. And, in the end, they successfully limited the reduction in public support to only $20 million.
All the credit for this legislative success goes to the Partnership and other groups who worked to educate the public and lawmakers about the impact of this change. But, Public Works welcomed the opportunity to be a part of the process. Through a series of presentations and workshops spanning three years, Public Works taught important lessons about building support for an effective public sector and the revenues needed to sustain it. Public Works also helped the coalition develop their communications related to this specific legislative proposal.
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