TWIN FALLS • It’s that time of year again when you can’t get enough of those boxes of Thin Mints and Samoas.
Local Girl Scout troops will set up shop early next month at neighborhood grocery stores, banks and businesses where you can pick up boxes of your favorite cookies.
And while buying cookies provides a sweet treat for you, the simple interaction of buying from a Girl Scout provides her with experience in running her own cookie business and money management.
Allison Shepherd, 11, of Kimberly has been a member of Girl Scout Troop 6 in Twin Falls for four years.
Shepherd said she decided to join because a lot of her friends were members of the Girl Scouts.
“We have lots of fun, we have activities and go on trips,” Shepherd said. “Every once in awhile we clean up garbage from the canyon.”
And every year, Shepherd looks forward to selling Girl Scout cookies. This year, she has pre-sold 197 boxes. But her total goal is 2,013.
“I met my goal for pre-sale, but I feel like I need more of a challenge. I think those are easier to reach. My teacher said if you stay in one spot you are not learning and I’m pushing myself,” Shepherd said.
Cookie sales have been in the political spotlight this year as the Idaho Legislature considers exempting them from the state’s sales tax. A bill to do so passed the House by a vote of 59-0 earlier this month. But Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, has said the bill isn’t guaranteed a hearing in the Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee before the likely end of the legislative session this week.
The tax of 22 cents per box generates about $140,000 annually.
Girl Scout lobbyist Julie Marcum-Hart and her 9-year-old daughter, Ella Marcum, spoke at a March 11 House Revenue and Taxation Committee hearing, accompanied by 40 Girl Scouts and troop leaders who showed up to plead their case.
“The cookies are only one-fourth of the product in the box; the rest of the box contains scholarships, programs, responsibility and self-confidence,”Marcum-Hart said, according to a copy she provided of her testimony. “When you tax a box of Girl Scout cookies you are taxing these things too.”
The political discussion hasn’t stopped first-year Girl Scout Mackenzee Burnham, 7, of Twin Falls from knocking on every door in her neighborhood.
“She just barely joined it and it’s part of the process of her coming out of her bubble,” said Ashlee Robinson, Burnham’s mother. “She did good, went up to the doors by herself and told them about her cookies.”
So far Burnham has sold 76 boxes, with an end goal of selling 2,013 and becoming a member of the Cookie Club.