What a difference a few weeks has made in the conversation about adjusting the state sales tax rate.
House Bill 1265 and Senate Bill 86 each passed their respective chambers as their plans to adjust the Partridge Amendment, however, upon reaching the other sides of the Capitol, the State Affairs committees of each chamber amended the respective bills.
And after all of that, just one proposal remains, albeit one headed towards a lengthy debate in a conference committee made up of members from each chamber.
House Bill 1265, which adjusts the Partridge Amendment and permits review of remote seller tax revenue before lowering sales tax, passed the Senate on a 30-4 vote, after it was amended and passed by the Senate State Affairs committee on a 9-0 vote.
House State Affairs committee members amended Senate Bill 86, which provides a mechanism to lower the sales tax rate if revenue collection provisions are reached, on a 7-4 vote, but the House tabled the bill on a 56-8 vote, leaving House Bill 1265 as the remaining legislative piece for debate.
The Partridge Amendment, which was introduced and adopted as part of 2016’s House Bill 1182, called for the reduction of the sales tax by one-tenth of percent for every $20 million raised by remote sellers tax – the tax collected by the state on Internet sales.
ASBSD supports the HB 1265 in its current form, which is the Senate’s version they had previously passed, with Executive Director Wade Pogany testifying in favor of the version the bill, saying it “helps (schools) deal with” teacher pay accountabilities by providing the revenue needed for the state to provide increases in state aid.
“We’re always trying to maintain (teacher pay),” Pogany testified.
The latest version of the bill requires the Department of Revenue to present actual revenue collected from the remote sellers tax to the Joint Appropriations committee and should the revenue collected from the remote sellers tax exceed the previous calendar year’s revenue collection from the same tax by $20 million, the committee may introduce a bill to reduce the sales tax by one-tenth of a percent.
Sen. Jeff Partridge, namesake of the Partridge Amendment, said the bill “clarifies the ambiguities” in the initial amendment.
“It is a legislative fix,” Sen. Partridge said. “The legislature stays in control.”
House Bill 1265 now moves to the House for review, where it will likely be referred to a legislative conference committee for debate.
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