March 1, 2012 in Idaho

Bill could force Idaho to sell storage business


BOISE – House lawmakers’ unease with an endowment trust-owned storage business in Boise shone through in a 15-1 committee vote that could force the state Department of Lands to sell it.

The Resources Committee voted overwhelmingly Wednesday for the measure requiring the Land Board to sell or lease all improvements on endowment-owned ground and sell all business operations.

In August 2010, the Land Board’s purchase of Affordable Self Storage in Boise drew free-market advocates’ fiery critique.

They argued the endowment trust that benefits public schools was encroaching on the private sector by buying a business rather than merely grazing land, timber or commercial buildings, like it has owned for a century.

The Department of Lands has been leery of this proposed restriction, because the storage business is among the endowment’s best-performing assets.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email