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Idaho governor signs unemployment tax cut into law

February 18, 2022 GMT

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed a $64 million unemployment tax cut into law on Friday, saying it will help businesses hang on to more earnings.

The bill locks a lower unemployment insurance rate into place for the next two years. Little signed the bill while at Henggeler Packing Company in Fruitland.

The legislation is part of a package of tax cuts Little promoted during his State of the State Address last month, dubbed the “Leading Idaho” plan. Other tax cuts include the biggest income tax cut in Idaho history that sailed through the Legislature and was signed by the governor two weeks ago. That $600 million income tax cut included $350 million in one-time rebates and a $250 permanent income tax reduction for individuals and businesses.

The state has a projected $1.9 billion surplus, about 40% of the state’s typical budget. The state’s unemployment insurance trust fund is also strong, thanks in part to a $200 million transfer made in 2020 from federal pandemic relief funds.

“Idaho has the strongest economy in the nation, and we consistently lead other states in our low unemployment rate,” Little said in a prepared statement. “Our success is largely thanks to our businesses, and this bill helps them continue creating good Idaho obs.”