The annual Idaho tax conformity bill that aligns Idaho with tax policy changes in federal law was a target of Republican lawmakers who argued that the bill bypassed Idaho’s constitution by endorsing same-sex marriages.
Republican Rep. Ron Nate objected to the bill, claiming that voting for it would be a violation of Idaho’s constitution.
Idaho voters rejected gay marriage in 2006. However, the United States Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that such weddings were valid, thereby overturning the Idaho legislation.
House Bill 472, which supporters claim includes measures that will save Idaho taxpayers money, was eventually passed by a vote of 46-22.
With the passing of the bill, Idaho taxpayers will be able to utilize the federal adjusted gross income on their federal return as a starting point for filling out their Idaho tax form.
To allow for modifications, the federal government employs its own definition of marriage.
Nate argued against the bill stating ” “The problem with this is that 472 does not protect our constitution in Idaho as it was amended in 2006. Using the federal definition does recognize marriages that do not fit the one-man, one-woman category marriage that we have committed to being the only recognized marriage in our state.”
However, Republican Rep. Greg Chaney, contended that voting for the bill violated the Idaho Constitution because gay marriage is lawful under federal law.
“Not only are you not doing a better job of upholding the Idaho Constitution, but you are also doing an absolutely miserable job of upholding the United States Constitution. This is another example of where we’d get our rear end kicked, summarily, and then we’d pay the attorney fees for whoever sued us.”Republican Rep. Greg Chaney
The bill’s proponent, Republican House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, stated that many Idahoans disagreed with the US Supreme Court’s judgment on same-sex intermarriage.
“This is really not supposed to be a bill that’s not about marriage and all that. “This is supposed to be a tax compliance bill. In this bill, we’re giving back to the citizens of Idaho a huge amount of money to increase the child tax credit, increase the child care credit. We help Idahoans. And we also make it possible for our accountants to start doing taxes.”Republican House Majority Leader Mike Moyle
The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.