Idaho State Tax Commission

Idaho State Tax Commission

Tax Commission News Release

Study shows tax burden for Idahoans is 49th in nation

BOISE, IDAHO — Oct. 23, 2013 — Idaho has the 49th lowest overall per capita tax burden in the country and the lowest tax burden among western states, according to the latest tax burden study published by the Idaho State Tax Commission.

The annual study, conducted by Property Tax Policy Bureau Chief Alan Dornfest, compares Idaho’s tax burden with those of the nation and an 11-state western region. It’s based on each state’s tax revenue, income, and population data from fiscal year (FY) 2011, the latest year for which census figures are available. 

Dornfest said Idaho’s overall relative tax burden climbed slightly between fiscal years 2010 and 2011, probably due to improved economic activity. Contributing to that was an increase of more than 73% in Idaho’s corporate income tax revenues, while nationwide growth in that area was just over 13%.

“It stands to reason that Idaho’s higher corporate tax revenue is due to an increase in economic activity,” Dornfest said, adding that, “It’s not likely that we’ll see another dramatic increase like this in the future. It just brings things back in line with the conditions we were seeing before the recession.”

The tax burden study shows that Idaho’s:

  • Per capita tax burden was $2,975 in FY2011, compared to $4,296 for the national average and $3,648 for the median of 11 western states.
  • Individual income tax burden continued to decrease, reaching 0.9% over the national average in FY2011—the lowest relative burden for this tax in 24 years.
  • Property tax burden continued to increase slightly in FY2011, with the 4.6% increase in property tax collections exceeding the national 0.4% rate of increase.
  • Sales tax burden decreased slightly in FY2011 and is now 3.2% below the U.S. average. This reflects a slightly smaller increase in sales tax collections in Idaho than in the nation as a whole.
  • Motor vehicle tax burden (fuel taxes and licenses and registration fees) decreased slightly in FY2011, but was still 45.2% over the national average. However, state comparisons are difficult in this category, since some states levy a personal property tax on motor vehicles, which moves that revenue to the property tax category. Idaho charges motor vehicle registration fees instead of personal property tax on vehicles.

Dornfest’s tax burden study is available on the Tax Commission’s website at tax.idaho.gov under the “Quick Picks” section. For more information, call (208) 334-7541.

Posted 10-23-2013

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