Rep. Moyle Does Not Want You To Shop In Idaho
by Shari Dovale and Bret Roush
Three years ago, the people were heard on their desire to stop the grocery taxes in Idaho. In an overwhelming 51-19 bipartisan vote, the House passed the grocery tax repeal, which then-Governor Butch Otter vetoed and forced to the courts.
This week, the grocery tax repeal came back for a meaningful discussion with the people in the state.
Oops, wait, that is incorrect. That discussion was shot down by the House Revenue and Taxation Committee.
Here is how it went: There were 3 different bills presented. The first bill was sponsored by Rep. Priscilla Giddings. This was arguably the best bill for removing the onerous taxes on groceries that Idahoans are forced to pay.
Giddings bill would have eliminated the tax on food as defined by the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program program (also known as Food Stamps).
Reps. Thyra Stevenson (D6), Mike Moyle (D14), Robert Anderst (D12), Terry Gestrin (D8), James Addis (D4), Doug Ricks (D34), Megan Kiska (D21), Gary E. Collins (Chairman) (D13), Rod Furniss (35) were those that voted to deny a hearing for this bill.
It is important to note that many of these very representatives signed a statement saying they would support an introductory hearing, as you can see in the pic. They were willing to put their lie to paper for all of their voting constituents to see. Please remember during the upcoming primaries.
The second bill was another version of the same bill, albeit a bit more cumbersome. This bill was also voted down by the committee.
At this point, Rep. Mike Moyle gets up to present his version of the same issue, a grocery tax repeal. However, he admits during his testimony, as you can see in the video, that he does not really want a grocery tax repeal. He only put forth his bill as a way to keep Rep. Giddings from getting hers passed.
Once he was assured that there were no other pending bills on this issue, he withdrew his bill from consideration. As he made clear, he is not in favor of a grocery tax repeal, but prefers a small increase on the grocery tax credit, of which he is a co sponsor.
This is how the BOISE SWAMP works!
Rep. Mike Moyle manipulated the defeat of the grocery tax repeal. He admitted that he was not in favor if it, yet he put forth a not-so-great version just to keep a good bill from passing.
Then, when he was assured that his political maneuvering paid off, he withdrew his bill. Now there is no chance for the people to get relief from a grocery tax repeal for this session.
Let’s look at the grocery tax credit increase that Rep. Moyle and his Swamp Buddy Scott Bedke want you to accept instead.
*Please remember that these two men are in high tax brackets, unlike the majority of the people they represent.
Also remember that the Idaho Republican Party passed a resolution at their Winter Convention asking the Idaho Legislature to repeal the grocery tax. This is important as Bedke and Moyle are both serving as Republicans in the Idaho House.
Currently, Idaho tax law allows for a $100.00 credit to be given to each resident of Idaho. Bedke presented a bill that would increase this credit to $135.00 per year. (These numbers do not include amounts for seniors.) Additionally, the credit is not given to anyone that receives food stamps.
Based on the most recent government estimates of food costs for one week (June 2019, U.S. Average) a moderate cost plan for a man in the 51-70 age range should spend $65.40 per week. This equals $3400.80 for 52 weeks, on which he would spend $204.05 for his grocery tax. (This is based on a single man.) He would still be spending $69.05 of tax money that he could have saved through the tax repeal.
If you prefer another source, which uses government data, try this one: Average Cost of Food per Month for 1 Person This site tells us that the average cost of food per month for one is about $250.
Even with these figures, $250 x 12 = $3000 x 6% = $180.00 per year in grocery tax, which is $45.00 per person more than the credit allows.
Now, the Swamp Master Scott Bedke wants you to believe that his tax credit is going to save you money. Rep. Moyle is harping over the same thing.
Look at it this way, the Credit Counseling Society suggests that you budget between 10-20% of your income for food. The average income in Idaho for 2017 is $52,225. 10% of that equals $5,222.50. 6% tax on this amount equates to $313.35, or $178.35 OVER the suggested tax credit.
But, the reality of living in Idaho is that many of the residents are barely scraping by. There are tens of thousands of people receiving food stamps (SNAP) and even seem to need the help of Food Banks to get through the month.
Bedke’s tax credit would not help these folks at all, as the credit is not given to anyone that receives food stamps.
I am also sure that this credit would not even be noticed by Scott Bedke or Mike Moyle on their personal taxes.
In 2017, Tammy Nichols, a mother of four boys, (who has since been elected to the Idaho House) testified that she had calculated that removal of the sales tax from groceries would save her family $100 to $125 per month.
She is not an anomaly in Idaho. Paying the money up front costs Idaho families an enormous amount that they do not get back through their taxes, regardless of what Mike Moyle and Scott Bedke want you to believe.
The arguments that Mike Moyle cited in the above video include his frustration at illegal immigrants that only pay grocery tax and no other taxes. This argument should be dealt with under “Illegal Immigration” and not under grocery tax.
Idaho is surrounded by 6 states. Montana to the east and northeast, Wyoming to the east, Nevada and Utah to the south, and Washington and Oregon to the west. Many of our Idaho residents do not shop within our borders, as most of these states do not tax groceries, and the one that does is at a lower rate than Idaho. (Utah taxes food at a reduced rate of 3%)
Moyle also suggested that the people in Idaho should cross the borders to get their groceries at the reduced rate and then collect the tax credit he is proposing. This is supposed to be attractive to the residents? Don’t do your shopping in our state? Make money ($135) this way?
This argument ONLY suits the Boise Swamp, as the residents of Idaho want to support their state, not be encouraged to buy their groceries elsewhere.
Spokane residents are traveling to Idaho to purchase their gasoline, as the swamp rats in Olympia have out-taxed this commodity for many of them. Now, Mike Moyle wants to send Idaho residents to Washington to purchase their groceries, for the same reasons.
Moyle needs to do his homework. He needs to talk to the experts in Idaho – namely the people that live here. We don’t want to be told to shop in another state because Idaho is not looking out for us.
It is time to Vote Out The Swamp!
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