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Idaho legislators ended their session very early on Saturday morning without enacting a regressive flattening of the state’s income tax.  Instead, lawmakers agreed to simply raise the state’s gas tax by 7 cents (the first increase in 19 years) and boost vehicle registration fees by $21.  Unfortunately, the bill also redirects some general fund dollars away from other core public services to spend on roads and bridges instead—but that feature of the law will lapse after two years.  Assuming Governor Butch Otter signs this legislation, Idaho will become the 7th state to raise or reform its gas tax in 2015.

The Florida House passed a $690 million package of tax cuts last week that now awaits approval by the Senate. The package of cuts closely resembles the proposal floated by Gov. Rick Scott in January and includes a cut in the communications services tax as well as tax cuts targeted at “small businesses, college students, military veterans, farmers, gun clubs, school volunteers, high-tech research, widowed and disabled homeowners.” Dissenting legislators argued that the impact of the revenue losses from the tax cuts would outweigh the benefit for most Floridians.

Following Up:
Alaska: While proposals to institute an income tax face an uphill climb, Alaska’s revenue problems continue to worsen. The state’s oil production tax is set to produce the least amount of revenue in its four decade existence, and state senators voted to repeal the state’s film tax credit program to save money.  

States Starting Session This Week:
Louisiana (Monday)

States Ending Session This Week:
Maryland (Monday)