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Girl Scouts in Idaho Denied Sales Tax Exemption on Cookies

Giuliana Nakashima/The Washington Post/Getty Images(BOISE, Idaho) -- Idaho Girl Scouts seeking to get an exemption from sales tax on their famous cookies were thwarted by the Idaho state senate this week.

Idaho puts a 22 cent sales tax on every box of cookies, same as they do with every other food. Sales tax on Girl Scout cookies brings in about $150,000 in tax revenue every year. Earlier this year however, Julie Hart, a Girl Scout mom and lobbyist in Boise, encouraged her daughter’s troop to try to get an exemption from the tax, since the Scouts are a nonprofit.

“I said, ‘you know there's a big freshman class coming in and a lot of things changing why don't we go ahead and try to roll with it this year and see what we can get done,’" Hart said.

The Girl Scouts won an exemption in the state house, but were stopped in the state senate. Republican Representative Jim Patrick says the decision was merely economic.

“The issue is: How man exemptions do we get? And we've been under a lot of pressure to reduce exemptions,” Patrick explained.

Despite the loss, many Girl Scouts say the whole process was a valuable experience.

“I've learned about politics, ethics, about our world and what's in it,” said Girl Scout Ella Marcum.

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