State Politics

You still have to pay taxes on your groceries, says Idaho Supreme Court

Backers says the credit on the grocery sales tax is almost as much as the tax on groceries brings in. They sent a bill to the governor phasing out both.
Backers says the credit on the grocery sales tax is almost as much as the tax on groceries brings in. They sent a bill to the governor phasing out both. kgreen@idahostatesman.com

In a split — and complicated — ruling, the Idaho Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld Gov. Butch Otter’s veto of legislation eliminating the state’s grocery tax.

What you need to know: You have to keep paying the 6 percent sales tax on groceries.

This year, the Idaho Legislature voted to repeal the state tax on groceries. The governor vetoed the repeal. Then a group of 30 lawmakers challenged the veto in court, saying the governor took too long to act and missed a deadline in the Idaho Constitution.

The high court, in a 4-1 ruling, said all sides misconstrued the state’s constitution. It preserved the veto, but said going forward, the Legislature must present all bills to the governor before lawmakers adjourn for the year.

Read a summary of the court’s decision here, or the full ruling at this link.

The governor is 1-1 on court-challenged vetoes.

In 2015, Otter vetoed legislation repealing instant horse racing. The high court unanimously ruled Otter did not act on the veto in a timely manner and, therefore, the veto was invalid.

Gov. Butch Otter met with the Idaho Statesman Editorial Board and discussed issues ranging from the grocery tax to disaster funding

Cynthia Sewell: 208-377-6428, @CynthiaSewell

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