Idaho Girl Scouts seek end to sales tax on cookies

Betsi Fores | The Daily Caller News Foundation

Everyone knows how hard it is to say no to Girl Scout cookies. Idaho lawmakers found it difficult to say no to the Girl Scouts’ request for a tax break.

Idaho’s House tax committee voted unanimously on Monday to remove the sales tax collected on cookie sales in their state, which amounted to 22 cents for every $3.75 box of cookies.

While the bill will still need to pass the full House and Senate and then be signed into law, it aims to end Idaho’s status as one of the last two states to tax the beloved treats. Hawaii still collects sales tax on Girl Scout cookie sales.

Girl Scouts shared their stories with the panel Monday. High school senior Samantha Ward spoke about how the program allowed her to go backpacking in Yosemite and on a trip to Switzerland. “I like to use my experiences to help girls go out and chase their dreams, no matter how big,” she told the committee.

“Girl Scouts has taught me several useful skills through the cookie program,” said 8th grader Allison Jones. “One out of many of them is reliable goals. … Every year in Girl Scouts, I have set my cookie goal higher, because I felt more confident with going out and talking to people. This year, my cookie goal is 400 boxes.”

Girl Scout cookies are a treasured American icon. Every spring, households await their favorite box of Samoas and Thin Mints with great anticipation.

The Girl Scouts’ lobbyist told the panel only 97 cents of each box goes toward the cookies themselves. The rest of the funding is dedicated to programs “to promote everything from scholarship, citizenship and business skills to staying off drugs,” The Spokesman-Review reported. “The cookie sale also provides scholarships to allow girls who otherwise couldn’t afford it to join Girl Scouts, participate and go to camp.”

Republican Rep. Robert Anderst said, “This is not a good organization — you guys are a great organization. I’m personally a results-oriented type person and you guys obviously get results — that is so critical today. I’m fully in support of everything you guys do.”

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