Idaho tax compliance bill hits objections to same-sex marriage


BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A generally low-key tax compliance bill aimed at bringing Idaho into line with federal law tax policy changes each year became the target of some Republican lawmakers on Wednesday who argued that he circumvented the Idaho Constitution by endorsing same-sex marriage.

The House faced objections as Republican Rep. Ron Nate argued that voting for the bill would violate Idaho’s constitution.

Idaho voters in 2006 voted to ban same-sex marriage. But the United States Supreme Court in 2015 made those marriages legal, overturning the Idaho law.

The House ultimately voted 46 to 22 to approve House Bill 472, which supporters say includes changes that will save Idaho taxpayers money. Passage of the bill allows Idaho taxpayers to use the adjusted federal gross income on their federal return as a starting point for completing their Idaho tax form. The federal government uses its definition of marriage to allow for adjustments.

“The problem with that is that 472 doesn’t protect our constitution in Idaho as amended in 2006,” Nate said while arguing against the bill in the House. “Using the federal definition recognizes marriages that do not fit the one man, one woman marriage category that we have committed to be the only recognized marriage in our state.”

But Republican Representative Greg Chaney, an attorney, disagreed that voting for the bill violated the Idaho Constitution because same-sex marriage was legal under federal law.

“Not only are you not doing a better job of upholding the Idaho Constitution, you are doing an absolutely miserable job of upholding the Constitution of the United States,” he said, noting that the state was sure to lose in court if he went that route. “This is another example of where we would get kicked in the back, summarily, and then pay the attorney fees of whoever sued us.”

House Republican Majority Leader Mike Moyle, the bill’s sponsor, said he recognizes that many Idahoans disagree with the US Supreme Court’s ruling. United regarding same-sex marriage.

“It’s really meant to be a bill that’s not about marriage and all that,” he said. “It’s supposed to be a tax compliance bill. In this bill, we’re giving the people of Idaho a lot of money back for an increased child tax credit, an increased child care credit. ‘kids. We’re helping the people of Idaho. And we’re also allowing our accountants to start doing the taxes.

The bill is now before the Senate for consideration.


Comments are closed.