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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: Alex LaBeau

Personal property tax repeal would mean big bucks to some of the state’s largest companies

No bill has even been introduced yet to repeal Idaho’s $141 million-a-year personal property tax on business equipment, the AP reports, but one potential beneficiary aims to kick-start debate by putting its tax savings where its mouth is. CenturyLink Inc., one of the state’s top 10 personal property taxpayers, would invest up to $2 million in tax savings in Idaho’s broadband infrastructure above the company’s existing plans if repeal succeeds, Ed Lodge, the Monroe, La.-based company’s lobbyist in Boise, told the Associated Press.

The biggest potential beneficiaries of the repeal of the tax would start with Idaho Power Co., Idaho’s biggest utility, at No. 1 with roughly $10 million to $15 million annually, according to state estimates. Union Pacific Railroad is No. 2 at $5.4 million, while agricultural giant Simplot Industries and semiconductor maker Micron Technology Inc. pay some $3.3 million each. The bill for PacifiCorp’s Rocky Mountain unit equals about $3.1 million annually, followed by Century Link at $2.9 million; three gas-related companies, including Intermountain Gas Co. in Boise, pay about $1 million each. You can read AP reporter John Miller's full report here at Miller reports that Otter's initial draft proposal has received little support in the Legislature due to concerns from local governments and schools, but the administration is working on a revamped plan said to include $130 million in state replacement money over seven years.

Meanwhile, Twin Falls Times-News reporter Melissa Davlin connects the dots and reports that those companies that stand to benefit most from a personal property tax repeal have contributed thousands of dollars to the political action committee of the organization pushing hardest for repeal legislation, IACI. Those include Micron, Potlatch, Idahoan Foods LLC, Hecla Mining, Idaho Forest Group, Basic American Foods, Clearwater Paper, and Simplot. Click below for her full report.

IACI pitches personal property tax break for state’s largest businesses

Alex LaBeau, president of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, is pitching his plan to eliminate the personal property tax, speaking to the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho. He decried calls to focus on small businesses, like the current law, passed in 2008, that would eliminate the tax on the first $100,000 of business property, removing it entirely for most Idaho businesses; that will take effect when state tax revenues rise by 5 percent above the previous year, which hasn't yet happened. LaBeau said, “It forces a relatively small group of larger taxpayers to pay the brunt of the personal property tax in the state of Idaho.” Said LaBeau, “The top 4 percent of employers in the state employ half your population - half. … The small vs. large argument does not hold water in this state.”

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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