Bringing the Economy Home

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter Works Toward Third-Straight Year Of Tax Cuts

Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman

Gov. Otter talks with lawmakers at his annual State of the State address, Jan. 10, 2013.

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is spending part of his week in Coeur d’Alene at Idaho’s largest business lobby’s annual convention. Gov. Otter’s spokesman says one of the administration’s main goals for the next legislative session is to pass a third-consecutive year of tax cuts.

In 2012, the Legislature lowered corporate and individual income tax rates for the wealthiest Idahoans. In 2013, the Legislature overhauled the state’s business personal property tax, exempting the tax for 90 percent of Idaho businesses. As for 2014, Gov. Otter’s spokesman Mark Warbis says a tax cut could go several ways.

In April, Otter wrote to lawmakers that their newly-minted personal property tax exemption for most Idaho businesses was just a start. As StateImpact reported yesterday, Rep. George Eskridge (R-Dover) isn’t convinced lawmakers should fully repeal the business equipment tax, though he’s sure the discussion will happen.

Warbis says the administration is also considering a further reduction to corporate and individual income tax rates. With the 2012 law change, the top individual income tax and corporate income tax rates are now 7.4 percent.

The Otter administration is also looking at further economic development incentives through tax rebates for businesses.

Warbis says Idaho was a finalist among four other states last winter to lure a company to relocate to the Gem State, bringing with it high-paying tech jobs. As the Coeur d’Alene Press reports, Idaho wasn’t able to offer the multimillion dollar incentive packages the other states could. Warbis says the company — which will remain unnamed due to a confidentiality agreement — chose not to relocate for “internal reasons.”

Warbis describes the business as a “significant global company” that would fit well with industries that are on the rise in Idaho. It could still relocate in the future. At which point, Warbis says, “we hope to hear from them when they’re ready to grow.”


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