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Idaho legislator introduces new bill to allow counties to review tax exemption status for hospitals

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Idaho legislator introduces new bill to allow counties to review tax exemption status for hospitals

Feb 26, 2024 | 7:13 pm ET
By Clark Corbin
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Idaho legislator introduces new bill to allow counties to review tax exemption status for hospitals
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Idaho State Capitol building on Jan. 11, 2023. (Otto Kitsinger for the Idaho Capital Sun)

A new bill introduced in the Idaho Legislature is designed to allow county commissioners to undertake an annual review of nonprofit hospitals’ property tax exemptions.

Idaho Rep. John Vander Woude, R-Nampa,
Idaho Rep. John Vander Woude, R-Nampa, listens to debate on the House floor at the State Capitol building on Jan. 23, 2024. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)

Rep. John Vander Woude, R- Nampa, is sponsoring House Bill 658, which the Idaho Legislature’s House Revenue and Taxation Committee voted to introduce Monday.

If passed into law, the bill would allow counties to evaluate the community and charitable benefits of nonprofit hospitals and grant property tax exemptions in full, in part, or not at all. 

“This basically sets up parameters for hospitals to require a report and allow the county commissioners to decide whether there is an actual property tax exemption for the hospitals on the individual locations and on their charitable work,” Vander Woude told the committee. 

Under current Idaho law, property owned by a hospital and personal property, such as medical equipment, is exempt from taxation. Vander Woude’s bill would change current law and allow counties to review those decisions every year. 

Ada County commissioners have been pushing for the bill with the support of the Idaho Association of Counties, which made the issue one of its top five priorities of the year.

Monday’s hearing was only an introductory hearing, which does not include public testimony. Introducing the bill clears the way for it to return to the House Revenue and Taxation Committee for a full public hearing.