October 13, 2020
Fact-checking the fact-checker: James Ruchti is a tax-and-spend liberal
State Rep. James Ruchti is a taxpayer’s nightmare, and a single vote cannot change that.
That’s why my organization, Idaho Freedom PAC, recently released an ad detailing all the ways Ruchti, now seeking the District 29 Senate seat opposite conservative David Worley, has sought to derail tax relief for hardworking Idaho families.
Ruchti’s record is very clear: Every single time he’s given the opportunity to cast an up-or-down vote on tax relief, he supports higher taxes.
During the 2021 legislative session, Idaho Republicans crafted and passed House Bill 380, then hailed as the largest tax cut in Idaho history. The bill cut income tax rates from 6.925% to 6.5% for most individuals and families, while also reducing the corporate tax rate to 6.5% It also provided one-time tax rebates to the tune of $220 million.
The total package gave Idaho taxpayers more than $383 million in one-time and ongoing tax relief. Ruchti, along with every other Democrat in the Idaho House of Representatives, voted to kill that tax relief.
Fast forward to the 2022 legislative session when Idaho Republicans crafted and passed House Bill 436. The proposal gave $350 million in one-time tax rebates to Idaho families, along with another $250 million in income tax rate reductions, for a total of more than $600 million tax relief. You might have even received a tax rebate check from the state earlier this year.
Ruchti, along with every other House Democrat, opposed that tax relief for hardworking Idaho families.
During that same 2022 session, House conservatives tried to bring other tax relief bills that were stuck in committee directly to the floor. Ruchti did not support bringing bills to the floor from committee that would have repealed the grocery tax and paused the gas tax
Rep. James Ruchti regularly voted against bringing more tax relief to the floor of the Idaho House.
There’s a pattern here.
It’s not difficult to understand Ruchti’s motivations for opposing more tax relief for families and small businesses. He is simply a Big Government guy. He regularly votes to expand the size and scope of government. And Big Government costs big money.
A quick look at Ruchti’s spending record tells the whole story. This year, Ruchti received a 6% on the Idaho Spending Index, a scorecard that reveals if lawmakers regularly vote for bigger government budgets. Ruchti rarely votes against new spending, no matter how high the increases.
Now, former Idaho Supreme Court Justice and political gadfly Jim Jones is telling you that because Ruchti supported one tax cut during this year’s special session, he’s good on taxes. That’s 100% false.
The truth: Ruchti did, in fact, vote for House Bill 1, which cut income taxes and provided another one-time rebate. His vote for that bill was strategic. Gov. Brad Little bought Ruchti’s support by dumping another $410 million into public education.
But even this speaks to Ruchti’s adoration of high taxes. Little’s bill only came about because Reclaim Idaho put a $570 million tax increase bill on the November ballot. That measure would have hiked taxes for every Idahoan earning more than $1,000 annually. Unbelievably, that initiative would have hiked income taxes for some individuals and small businesses to nearly 11%. Reclaim Idaho withdrew the proposition after the special session because the far-left group got what it wanted during the special session: new funding for public education.
Rep. James Ruchti was a very vocal proponent of that tax hike.
The record is clear: One vote cannot disguise Ruchti’s tax-and-spend record. When given the chance to vote on tax relief with no other policies attached, Ruchti has shown he is unwilling to give hardworking families and small businesses a much-needed break.
David Worley is the taxpayer’s choice in that race. Worley will ensure that tax relief continues and will fight for relief for property taxpayers. Vote David Worley for the Idaho Senate in District 29.
Dustin Hurst, Treasurer, Idaho Freedom PAC