Arrow-right Camera

Eye On Boise

Senate backs repeal of unused tax exemption

The Senate has voted 25-10 for HB 661, a measure to repeal a never-used tax incentive bill enacted in 2005 to try to entice Albertson’s grocery store chain to keep its headquarters in Idaho. It didn’t. “Idaho’s a great place to do business,” said Sen. Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home. “We don’t have to give away the farm to get businesses to come to Idaho.” The bill, Corder said, is a “token effort from across the rotunda” to make a move toward repealing unneeded exemptions as the Legislature is in the midst of enacting massive new ones this year, including two designed to attract a French uranium enrichment firm and a huge tax break for businesses through repeal of the tax on business equipment. A more far-reaching review of exemptions, which was recommended by a joint interim committee, never happened.

Sen. Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, said, “If it’s not costing us anything, I don’t know why we would want to repeal (it),” when the headquarters incentive might attract another corporate headquarters in the future. Sen. David Langhorst, D-Boise, said, “This is silly. … Is this the best we can do on attacking this system of exemptions, $1.6 billion that stay on the books year after year without review?” He called the bill a “cynical piece of theater.” Sen. Brad Little, R-Emmett, noted that he voted against the exemption in the first place, and opposes moves to “booger up the tax code” to accommodate a single company. Since the exemption’s never been used, the repeal bill has no effect on the state budget. HB 661 now goes to the governor.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Eye On Boise
Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.