Otter vetoes grocery tax repeal, saying costs ‘too high’; allows road bill to become law
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter on Tuesday rejected the signature achievement of the 2017 legislative session, the repeal of the state sales tax on grocery food, but allowed the other major effort, a $320 million funding package for repairing Idaho’s roads and bridges, to take effect without his signature.
Otter’s veto of the tax repeal was announced at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, not long after he told a radio host that his decision would be coming Wednesday — his deadline for acting on it.
“The costs of this particular proposal are too high and the potential for imminent financial need too great for the small amount of tax relief it would provide,” the governor wrote in his veto message.
His rejection had been widely expected. The governor strongly hinted at it during the session based on its impact on state revenues. In his veto message, he cited an $80 million drop in revenue once the repeal took full effect next year.