Legislature leaves session divided on Partridge Amendment plan

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Legislature leaves session divided on Partridge Amendment plan

The two legislative chambers left the 2019 session still divided on how to adjust the state sales tax rate.


House and Senate members agreed to wait until next year to deal with the Partridge Amendment after a legislative conference committee could not come to an agreement on House Bill 1265, which adjusts the Partridge Amendment and permits review of remote seller tax revenue before lowering sales tax.


“We just realized we were never going to come to a conclusion,” Rep. Spencer Gosch told fellow Representatives on the House floor, adding that the two sides “need to get together through the summer and see how we’re going to come together.”


The two sides sparred over House Bill 1265 and Senate Bill 86, which provides a mechanism to lower the sales tax rate if revenue collection provisions are reached, in the last weeks of session, with the latter ultimately being shelved by the House prior to the debate on HB 1265 reaching its conclusion.


ASBSD supported the final version of House Bill 1265 as the best plan for clarification of 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 Executive Director Wade Pogany testified 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.


House Bill 1265 would have required 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.


With the legislature having officially concluded session on Friday (3/29) attention turns to the legislative interim where discussion will have to be had on the matter, as collection of remote sales tax began in November of last year.


For updates during the legislative interim, check the ASBSD BlogTwitter feedFacebook page and Bill Tracker.

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