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Letters to the Editor

Mon., Jan. 14, 2013

Big business wins again

Gov. Butch Otter is proposing to do away with the personal property tax on business property. The tax raises $141 million annually for local government. It only applies to big businesses. But those big businesses are represented by one of Idaho’s most powerful lobbyists: Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry. The major argument coming from business is that the tax “prevents them from growing their businesses and hiring more workers,” according to a report from Associated Press. What a disingenuous rationale.

What programs does the governor propose to cut? He doesn’t say, but we know that cuts will have to come because, as a substitute for the lost revenue, the governor is proposing to send only $20 million a year to underwrite the loss of local revenue. Local government will still be $121 million short.

Otter has one other idea to help cities and counties, a local option tax. That, of course, is a sales tax, applying primarily to individuals. So, the shift is complete. Big business saves $141 million and the rest of us pay for it.

Bob Wynhausen


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