Houdini would be proud of the Idaho House today.  They have completed a trick worthy of any magician.  This trick, however, is more lasting than mere hocus-pocus.  Idahoans will feel the effects of their tricks on their wallets for quite some time.

The House voted today to raise your gas tax by seven cents a gallon 53-17.  So desperate were lawmakers to take your gas money,  they needed a slight of hand worthy of Reno's best to distract.  The bill would eliminate the sales tax on groceries and give top earners a much needed tax cut.  If you're not a top earner, surprise, you get a tax increase.

Sadly this was the only way lawmakers could raise the state fuel tax to thirty-two cents a gallon.  If things were that bad, why settle?  (Because the public will not support a tax hike.)  If the grocery sales tax were that oppressive, why do it this year and not last?  (Whoops Russ Fulcher proposed that and we can't have him getting any credit.)

The numbers don't add up, unfortunately.  According to the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy:  People in the middle 20 percent, with incomes ranging from $38,900 to $61,000 a year, would lose the most, and see an overall increase in taxes of, on average, $192. People at the top – the top 1 percent of earners, with annual income of $427,400 or more – would gain the most, seeing a tax cut of, on average, $4,990.

Glad to see our lawmakers are protecting Idaho's Middle Class.  Here's a complete analysis courtesy of the Spokesman-Review.  The bill moves on to the state Senate where hopefully it will be voted down.

The bill's backers say this is good for business.  It is if you're wealthy and in the transportation business.  Idahoans will not be fooled by this political slight of hand.  Call your Senator and tell them to vote no on this parlor trick legislation.