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Reclaim Idaho launches education funding initiative

Reclaim Idaho has launched a new statewide initiative petition focused on keeping teachers in Idaho.

The initiative, called “Invest in Idaho,” calls for investments in K-12 education of between $170 and $200 million per year. The investments would come from increasing Idaho’s corporate tax rate and the tax on earnings of $250,000 or more.

The group claims the initiative would affect fewer than 5% of all Idahoans. It says the legislature has ignored addressing a crisis in funding education at a level high enough to attract and retain quality teachers.

“The politicians in Boise give away our tax dollars to out-of-state interests while Idaho teachers are forced to pay for their own supplies. Idaho’s children find themselves at a competitive disadvantage, and property tax payers in rural districts shoulder an unfair tax burden,” said Reclaim Idaho Executive Director Rebecca Schroeder. “We want to level the playing field for all Idahoans so that every boy and girl, no matter where they live, have a fair shot at success in this state.”

According to Reclaim Idaho, Idaho left more than 6,300 STEM-related jobs unfilled for failure to invest in education. It says that has resulted in the loss of $412 million in unpaid wages.

As proposed, the initiative would level the playing field for middle-class Idahoans. Under the proposed initiative, tax rates over a quarter-million dollars for individuals and a half-million for married couples would increase by three percentage points. The corporate rate (for in-state and out-of-state entities) would be restored to 8-percent. That is the rate that existed from 1987 to 2000. These reforms would impact fewer than 5-percent of all Idahoans.

You can see a copy of the initiative here.

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