Bringing the Economy Home

Committee Delays Personal Property Tax Vote; Business Lobby May Introduce Third Bill

Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images / Fred Dufour/AFP

A harvesting combine, which is considered personal property, is tax-exempt in Idaho. A restaurant's wine glasses are taxable personal property.

The House Revenue and Taxation Committee this afternoon scrapped plans to weigh in Thursday on a pair of competing bills to repeal or partially repeal Idaho’s business personal property tax.

Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry (IACI) president Alex LaBeau, who presented the more sweeping of the two bills, confirms that he is at work on a new piece of legislation that he hopes will be introduced on Friday.

“Anything this complex, you listen to the debate and you take into account the things that were said,” LaBeau said in explaining the change of plans. “It’s just part of the process.” 

IACI lobbies on behalf of many of the state’s large businesses and has consistently pushed to eliminate Idaho’s tax on business equipment, which generates $140 million for local governments and taxing districts each year.

Idaho Association of Counties executive director Dan Chadwick said he’s not surprised by the twelfth-hour change of course, but he calls it “bothersome.”

“I thought it was pretty clear that the route we were going to take was to consider those two bills and vote them up or down,” Chadwick said. “Plans change, but we have not been included in those discussions, so we don’t know what that means.”

The Idaho Association of Counties introduced a bill that would partially repeal Idaho’s business personal property tax. Backers of that legislation have termed it the compromise option between the status quo and full repeal.

Reached late this afternoon, Revenue and Taxation Chairman Gary Collins (R-Nampa) said he decided not to hear the two bills tomorrow because his committee was feeling pressed for time, not because IACI wants to present a third option.

“Don’t read anything into it as far as me supporting one or the other,” he said. “I just decided to put it off for a day or two.”


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