New Revenue Options Favored by State's 50+ Ignored in Favor of Cuts – Closing Biz Tax Loopholes Tops the List
BOISE, Idaho, April 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – As the Idaho legislative session heads into the home stretch, Idahoans are headed towards a state budget that holds drastic cuts to critical programs and services. While it's the state budget few ever wanted, is it the one Idaho's most powerful voting group supports? An AARP survey holds the answer, finding Idaho's 50+ population would rather opt for new revenue in order to avoid many of the cuts.
"The public heard a lot of talk from some legislators about not having any options to making cuts and changes to critical programs and services, all while new revenue options were consistently ignored," said Jim Wordelman, State Director for AARP. "The state budget moving forward is not the one that was necessary."
Slashing Medicaid funding and making sweeping education reforms while failing to increase the grocery tax credit as Idahoans struggle with soaring costs - all in the name of balancing the state budget. However, the AARP survey finds the state's 50+ population support several measures to bring in new revenue to stave off harsh cuts, including: closing tax loopholes for certain businesses (which cost Idaho roughly $1.8 billion in lost revenue every year); a cigarette tax hike (a $1.25 increase would have brought in more than $50 million to help the state's ailing Medicaid budget); and an increase in the tax on beer, wine and liquor (an increase in the beer and wine tax alone, which haven't been touched in nearly 40 years, would bring in about $20 million).
The AARP survey can be found on-line: http://bit.ly/gBePOb (State budget issues can be found on pg. 11).
Idaho's 50+: Support or Oppose Options to Raise Revenue in Order to Avoid Cuts
- Closing loopholes for certain businesses: 61% support (11% neither support nor oppose, while 20% strongly/somewhat oppose)
- Increasing the tax on liquor, beer and wine: 60% support (7% neither support nor oppose, 29% strongly/somewhat oppose)
- Increasing the income tax for households earning more than $250,000 annually: 58% support (6% neither support nor oppose, 34% strongly/somewhat oppose)
- Increasing the cigarette tax: 58% support (7% neither support nor oppose, 33% strongly/somewhat oppose)
- Taxing good that are not currently taxed such as candy, soda pop, gum: 41% support (46% neither support nor oppose, 46% strongly/somewhat oppose)
- Using the state's Rainy Day Fund: 40% support (13% neither support nor oppose, 38% strongly/somewhat oppose)
- Taxing services not currently taxed: 36% support (12% neither support nor oppose, 48% strongly/somewhat oppose)
- Increasing licensing & user fees, such as car and boat tags, marriage & birth certificates: 34% support (11% neither support nor oppose, 52% strongly/somewhat oppose)
- An incremental increase in the state sales tax: 30% support (6% neither support nor oppose, 61% strongly/somewhat oppose).
AARP is Idaho's largest membership organization with 180,000 members.
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SOURCE AARP Idaho