FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 31, 2023
Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little commented today on The Wall Street Journal editorial board’s piece highlighting Idaho’s historic tax cuts.
“The Idaho Legislature and I have worked together to achieve historic tax cuts for Idaho businesses and families, and we’re not done yet. We’ve turned back more tax relief per capita than any other state, with more property tax relief on the way,” Governor Little said. “It’s wonderful to see Idaho in the national spotlight for our relentless focus on the taxpayer. For years, we have demonstrated that ‘kitchen table economics’ leads to prosperity – we choose to live within our means, continually return the people’s money, cut waste and stretch our dollars further, make investments where they count, and save for hard times.”
The editorial titled “The State Tax-Cut Movement,” states in part:
“Many states that cut taxes in the early stage of the revenue boom have sustained or expanded their surpluses. That’s what happened in Idaho, which boasts one of the best-performing state budgets according to Pew. In May 2021 Gov. Brad Little cut the top rate on income to 6.5% from 6.93% amid a $900 million surplus. The state’s surplus grew by more than 50% the next year, and Gov. Little followed up by reducing the income tax to a flat 5.8%.”
Since 2019 when Governor Little took office, Idaho has returned more than $2.7 billion in one-time tax relief and more than $650 million in ongoing tax relief, including the new, lower flat income tax adopted during the September 2022 extraordinary session. Eighty-percent of Idaho voters approved the move along with historic investments in public schools.
The editorial goes on to compare Idaho’s success with the failures of California:
“States that don’t cut taxes in times of surplus invariably spend more, often building commitments that are hard to sustain and lead to pressure to raise taxes in the lean economic years. That’s what happened last year in California, where Gov. Gavin Newsom followed a $97 billion surplus with a $300 billion budget, including new climate spending and expanded Medicaid for illegal migrants. This month the state announced a $23 billion deficit.
“The tax-cutting spree is increasing the tax divide between GOP-led and progressive Democratic states. This in turn contributes to more cross-state migration. From Florida to Texas and Idaho, the states that draw the most new residents from other states tend to have much lower tax rates. Population losers like New Jersey, New York and California are among the most punitive taxers.
“Competition is moving states toward better tax codes, and the trend is compounding. Americans in states that haven’t joined the tax cutters at least have more places to move to.”
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