By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reclaim Idaho now has its sights set on education, as the nonpartisan grassroots group launches the “Invest in Idaho” ballot initiative aimed at increasing investments in K-12 schools and addressing the state’s job crisis.
The group, responsible for spearheading the Idaho Medicaid expansion initiative that passed in 2018, announced its new initiative Sept. 4.
“The politicians in Boise give away our tax dollars to out-of-state interests while Idaho teachers are forced to pay for their own supplies,” said Reclaim Idaho Executive Director Rebecca Schroeder. “Idaho’s children find themselves at a competitive disadvantage, and property tax payers in rural districts shoulder an unfair tax burden. We want to level the playing field for all Idahoans so that every boy and girl, no matter where they live, have a fair shot at success in this state.”
The initiative, filed Aug. 30 with the Idaho secretary of state, “will call for investments from Idaho’s richest individuals and corporations,” according to the Sept. 4 announcement. More specifically, the proposal seeks to increase tax rates 3% for individuals making more than $250,000 or married couples making more than $500,000. The tax rate for both in- and out-of-state corporate entities would increase to 8% — the rate that existed from 1987 to 2000, according to Reclaim Idaho officials, who added that the proposed changes would affect fewer than 5% of Idahoans.
“Idaho’s politicians are putting all of us at risk by driving our teachers and paychecks out-of-state because they refuse to invest in our schools,” said Reclaim Idaho co-founder Luke Mayville. “They also create uncertainty for Idaho taxpayers who find themselves voting on school levies almost every year.”
Now, Reclaim Idaho will wait for the secretary of state and attorney general’s offices to approve the initiative before moving forward to collect signatures.
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