On this year’s general election ballot, Idaho voters will be asked whether they approve or disapprove of action Gov. Brad Little and the Idaho Legislature took on taxes and education funding during the Sept. 1 special session.
The nonbinding question will appear on the ballot as the Idaho Advisory Question. Voters will be asked whether they “approve” or “disapprove” of Little and the Idaho Legislature using the state’s $2 billion budget surplus to pay for $500 million in tax rebates, while approving ongoing income tax cuts and directing more than $410 million annually to public education and career training.
Little and the Idaho Legislature’s plan has already been enacted into law as House Bill 1. Whichever way Idahoans vote on the Idaho Advisory Question, that won’t change. A vote against the Idaho Advisory Question won’t repeal that law.
Instead, Little’s press secretary Madison Hardy said the Idaho Advisory Question is meant to give guidance to the Idaho Legislature. Hardy said Little and the law’s legislative co-sponsors agreed on the language of the Idaho Advisory Question, and House Bill 1 directed that language to appear on the ballots this year.
The law says “the results (of the advisory vote) will guide the Legislature as to whether the ongoing elements of this act shall continue.”
The $500 million tax rebates are already approved and should reach most Idahoans who filed their taxes on time by Thanksgiving, Little previously told the Sun. But the education funding increases and the action to reduce the income tax rate from 6% to 5.8% and create a flat tax rate are ongoing.
“All of the language in House Bill 1, including the advisory question, reflects the detailed discussion and careful collaboration that occurred between the governor and legislators in the days and weeks ahead of the Sept. 1 extraordinary session to ensure an efficient and expedient outcome for the people of Idaho,” Hardy said.