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Thursday, December 13, 2018  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Idaho SupCourt rules that Boise company has standing to sue state over tax incentive

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Supreme Court restored a lawsuit against the state of Idaho over a tax incentive program for new or expanding companies. The Idaho Statesman reports Employers Resource Management Co. of Boise sued the state in 2016 after officials gave a tax incentive to Paylocity, an Illinois company and competitor establishing a new office in Idaho. Idaho agreed to refund Paylocity $6.5 million in income, payroll and sales tax over 15 years. Employers Resource Management Co. Founder and CEO George Gersema thought it was unfair that state officials gave such an advantage to a competitor. Two months later, he sued Idaho Department of Commerce Director Megan Ronk. District court dismissed the lawsuit, saying Gersema's company didn't have standing to pursue it. The Supreme Court, whose rulings on standing issues have been evolving and becoming less restrictive in recent years, unanimously ruled that's not the case. "In our view, increased competition — so long as it is on a level playing field — does not provide a basis for judicial intervention," the court's opinion states. "That is not the case, however, when there is governmental action that alters the competitive landscape by providing an advantage to an economic competitor."

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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