Tax Dollars At Work


By Jarred Aslett

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Millions of Idahoans pay taxes every day, but do you know where exactly the money is going?

How does the government decide how to spend that money?

There are many different taxes making up the state government's budget.

But, the bulk, 88 percent, comes from individual income tax and sales tax.

In the fiscal year 2014, the Idaho government is expecting just under 2.8 billion dollars in the general revenue fund.

For every tax dollar in the state's general fund, 61 cents goes towards funding education, 24 cents pays for health and human services, 10 cents for public safety, four cents for general government, and one cent a piece for natural resources and economic development.

So why is such a large portion going towards education?

"We have more children. They’re expected to know more. The world is more complicated for them, more math, more science, newer methods. And besides that we need to pay our teachers better," explains Representative Maxine Bell.

Most people I spoke to had no idea where their tax dollars went, but were not surprised to hear education was a big spender.

"You know there is a lot of different things and education is important, but whether it should be over 50 percent of all taxes, I don't know the answer to that one, but it seems rather high," says tax payer Paul Graff.

"I think they always cut out education. That's the first thing they cut out, and it's affecting our children," adds fellow tax payer Rick Johnson.

This year's legislative session brought about a 5.1 percent increase in education spending.

Stretching every tax dollar to maximize benefits for the Gem State.

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