Representative Tammy Nichols (R-Middleton) changed her vote when a tax conformity bill reached the House floor on Monday. In the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, Nichols voted in favor, but then voted against the same bill on the House floor.
House Bill 13 is relatively routine. A conformity bill is commonly proposed when a substantial disparity exists between parts of the Idaho income tax code and references to the Internal Revenue Code.
Believe it or not, the most substantive change to the statute is a change of the date, from “January 1, 2018” to “January 1, 2019.”
The bill passed in the House Revenue and Taxation Committee with only one committee member voting against the bill (Rep. Giddings, R-White Bird).
Today, the bill passed in the House on a vote of 59-9-2, with Nichols’ vote recorded as “nay.”
We invited Rep. Nichols to explain why she changed her vote, but she did not reply (as of the time of this post).
In short, if the conformity bill does not become law, it would likely cause Idaho businesses to have to keep two sets of books: one which conforms to the Idaho income tax code and another which conforms to the Internal Revenue Code. This would be incredibly burdensome for businesses.
While none of those who voted “nay” have explained their vote to Idaho Conservatives, in past years, some conservative legislators have voted against similar tax code conformity bills citing its definition of marriage.
Part of the statute, Section 63-3004(2), Idaho Code, reads:
“For all purposes of the Idaho income tax act, a marriage must be one that is considered valid or recognized under Section 28, Article III, of the Constitution of the State of Idaho and defined in section 32-201, Idaho Code or as recognized under section 32-209, Idaho Code.”
This is important because section 32-201 of the Idaho Code defines marriage as “between a man and a woman.” In addition, section 32-209 expressly invalidates marriages which violate the public policy of this state, such as “same-sex marriages.”
However, the following section, 63-3004(3) of Idaho Code, acknowledges that “marriages recognized and permitted by the United States Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals shall also be recognized for purposes of the Idaho income tax act.”
(Note: These portions of the statute, 63-3004(2) and 63-3004(3) remain unchanged, aside from changing format numbering.)
The other 8 nay votes on House Bill 13 included: Barbieri, Boyle, Christensen, Giddings, Green(2), Moon, Scott, Young. The bill will move on to the Senate.
Holly Cook is the Director of Communications for Idaho Conservatives. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Economy from the College of Idaho, has been active in Idaho politics for several years, and enjoys writing political commentary and news.