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Break For Business Awaits Signature

The state Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to increase a once-controversial business tax break that former Democratic Gov. Cecil Andrus campaigned unsuccessfully to repeal in the 1980s.

“This is the finest bill to come before us this year in support of business,” Senate tax committee Chairman Jerry Thorne, R-Nampa, declared.

The investment tax credit bill, which drew only two dissenting votes in the House last week, now goes to Republican Gov. Phil Batt, who endorsed it early on.

Idaho is among only a handful of states still providing business with an investment tax credit. It allows businesses to take 3 percent of the value of new equipment investments as a credit against the income taxes they owe the state.

The bill, which will cost the state $700,000 in lost revenue this year and nearly $1 million next year, expands that 3-percent credit to replacement equipment and gives businesses seven years to use up their credits.