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Category: politics

Balukoff Calls on Lawmakers to Repeal Idaho’s Sales Tax on Groceries.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff called on Idaho state lawmakers today to introduce legislation to repeal Idaho’s sales tax on groceries. “The state is balancing its budget on the backs of working Idahoans every time they go to the grocery store and it’s time that stopped.  We should not be taxing people for putting food on the table.”

Balukoff has been supporting the grocery tax repeal since kicking off his campaign last week.  His stance is also consistent with the view of the vast majority of Idahoans who favor repealing the grocery sales tax over lowering income taxes, according to the latest Boise State University Public Policy Survey. “I would urge all lawmakers in the state legislature to vote in favor of legislation that repeals the grocery sales tax and put more money in the pockets of our state’s working men and women.” In 2017, the state legislature passed a grocery sales tax repeal that was ultimately vetoed by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.  

Ahlquist Comments on Defeat of Financial Disclosure Proposal. The Ahlquist gubernatorial campaign issued the following statement on the news that the House State Affairs Committee rejected a proposal to add a financial disclosure requirement to elected officials:

“Today's failure by the House State Affairs committee highlights yet again politics as usual and the need to elect a political outsider like Tommy Ahlquist as Governor. Tommy has been championing the need for financial disclosure in Idaho and was the first in Idaho to voluntarily disclose his financial assets. If the House State Affairs committee didn't like the particulars of the proposal, they should have worked to put forward an amendment. Idaho is one of only two states without this most basic of transparency measures. Idaho needs this reform to avoid conflicts of interest and impropriety among elected officials.”

Labrador: Shutdown a Political Stunt. Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) released the following statement after the federal government officially shut down:

“The Democrats are shutting down the government in order to give amnesty to illegal aliens. They are denying vital government services that American citizens paid for in order to benefit those who have no legal right to live here. This is a shameful political stunt, and the Democrats are delusional if they think it will politically benefit them. We need Democrats to work with us in good faith to reopen the government.”

Last Thursday, Labrador voted for a spending bill that would keep the government open. Senate Democrats blocked a vote on the bill, shutting down the government. Labrador’s offices are remaining open during the shutdown with reduced staff.

Balukoff Applauds Medicaid Expansion Bill. Idaho gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff heralded the move by Sen. Maryanne Jordan who introduced a bill to expand Medicaid in the state. “We must stop playing games with the health of thousands of Idaho mothers and fathers, children and veterans,” Balukoff said.  “These are our trusted friends and neighbors who wake up every day not knowing what they’re going to do if they get sick or injured.  It’s high time Idaho expanded Medicaid.”

As it stands now, 32 states and Washington, D.C. have expanded Medicaid coverage.  Balukoff noted that Idaho taxpayers are helping fund expansion in those states - but not here at home. “It makes no sense for us to pay our federal tax dollars to expand Medicaid in two-thirds of the country, while Idaho remains uncovered.  We should bring those dollars home to Idaho and provide much-needed health coverage to the thousands of people who don’t have it.”

Ahlquist Issues Statement on Unemployment Tax Relief Bill. Republican gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist issued the following statement following news that the Idaho House of Representatives passed a bill to lower Idaho’s unemployment tax:

“I commend the House of Representatives for taking leadership and expediting the passage of this bill to provide long over due tax relief to Idaho small business owners and families. I've been advocating for the reduction of this rate for a long time and while it could easily have been done last year, I'm glad to see that in an election year they are getting it done. ”