COEUR d' ALENE, Idaho - In Monday's
state of the state address Idaho Governor Butch Otter proposed eliminating the
personal property tax on businesses. This comes as Idaho's large corporations
push for legislation to ease what some businesses call a strain on hiring new
employees because of high taxes.
The governor announced that his proposal would
short change the state of 141 million dollars in tax revenue. To make up for the
shortfall the Governor earmarked 20 million to support local governments if his
Otter also advocated for more power at a local level to raise
or shift taxes to help support local school districts, fire districts and cities
affected by his plan.
A recent memo by
the Idaho State Tax Commission shows that Kootenai County could lose more than
2.2 million dollars in tax revenue if the Governor's plan moves forward.
Lakeland school district which receives more than 943 thousand dollars in
funding from personal property tax revenue would take the hardest hit. Kootenai
County Treasurer Tom Malzahn says "Each individual taxing district would have a
concern, yes." Kootenai county is made up of 45 tax districts.
Malzahn says if
the Governors plan is approved each district would have to figure out how it can
make up the tax revenue shortfall. "It hits home, that's right. 141 million
dollars statewide is kind of a nebulous number. But when you're talking Kootenai
County 2.2 million, a half million dollars to the city of Rathdrum, those are
It remains to be
seen if Governor Otter's plan will move forward. For now Malzahn says the county
will not jump to conclusions until it knows what the state will offer local