Idaho needs common sense economic solutions that create opportunities for hard working Idahoans. We are last in the nation in the percentage of workers earning only the minimum wage. According to the Idaho Department of Labor, we rank 50th in the nation in per-capita income and average annual wages. Only Mississippi has seen fewer wage increases in the last seven years. The same old top-down giveaways to rich corporations do nothing to help the everyday Idahoans that our politicians were elected to represent. Idaho can do better.
Two years ago, in the midst of a recession that saw us fail to properly fund our public schools and other critical services, Idaho politicians gave $35 million in tax cuts to corporations and those in the highest income tax bracket. Last year, our politicians gave another $20 million in tax cuts to corporations by eliminating much of the business equipment personal property tax.
The rising cost of living is making it harder and harder for working families to make ends meet. Tax cuts for rich corporate special interests don’t bring new jobs. An educated workforce and a high quality of life bring new jobs. Cutting taxes for necessities like groceries brings relief to hard working Idaho families. Finding smart solution to the looming student loan debt crisis helps young people launch careers and grow new businesses.
The middle class is already being forced to shoulder too large a share of the tax burden. Idaho should help create opportunities for hard working Idahoans to get ahead and succeed and pass on a strong legacy that makes Idaho a better place to live, work, and raise a family.