Eye On Boise

Chambers want transportation improvements, local-option taxes

The Idaho Chamber Alliance, which represents chambers of commerce across the state, hosted a Southwest Idaho legislative summit in Meridian today, one of a series it's doing in regions around the state to settle on its legislative priorities for the 2012 legislative session. In this region, the priorities that emerged were job creation, cutting Idaho's corporate income tax rate, transportation infrastructure improvements, local-option taxes and education, according to ICA lobbyist John Watts. Statewide legislative priorities for the group will be established by mid-October, he said.

Upgrading the Meridian Interchange on I-84 was highlighted as a top priority. Adam Bartelmay, spokesman for the Boise Metro Chamber, said that interchange, at Meridian Road between the 10-Mile interchange and Eagle Road, was left out of the GARVEE bond-funded upgrade program, resulting in a stretch of heavily-traveled I-84 that slims down to three lanes in each direction between two sections that are four-lane, and an overpass with no safe passageway for walkers or bicyclists. On the local-option tax issue, Bartelmay said the chambers didn't express preference for a voter initiative or legislation - they just want something enacted.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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