Idaho tea party groups are learning that rallying outside the Statehouse is easier than winning votes inside.
Tea partyers helped elect Raul Labrador to the U.S. House and put more conservative state legislators in office. But turning success at the polls into policy is already proving difficult.
Tea Party of Southeast Idaho hopes to use the movement’s new clout to tackle one of the most important undone tasks in Idaho politics — updating the 45-year-old sales tax to reflect the economy’s shift from goods to services.
In 1965, 60 percent of all transactions paid sales tax. Now, services play a far greater role in the economy and past lawmakers have added more and more targeted exemptions to the sales tax. Today, only 36 percent of sales are taxed, generating a projected $977 million in fiscal 2011 but leaving $1.75 billion on the table.
The Southeast branch of the tea party has enlisted Rep. Janice McGeachin, R-Idaho Falls, to sponsor reform. Their revenue-neutral plan would lower the sales tax to 4 cents on the dollar by taxing professional, business and transportation services, repairs and production supplies.
Read the complete story at idahostatesman.com