Idaho’s personal property tax–an annual levy on equipment used in businesses–may end soon if industry lobbyists and Gov. Butch Otter get their way, according to a recent REPORT in the Daily Paper.
At a weekend meeting of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry (IACI) the Guv said his position is evolving on that issue. It is the most unfair and least enforced tax on the books. In short, if you own a computer, camera, hand tools, phones, or chairs that are used in a service or to manufacture a product YOU OWE TAXES every year on the items.
Micron was able to get a cap on what they pay and farmers are exempt, but the mechanic or carpenter who owns his own tools and uses them to make a living is supposed to pay tax at the same rate as owners of real estate. Few “little guys” pony up the tax and most aren’t even aware of it. Strict enforcement would kill the tax as quickly as the draft would end the war in Afghanistan. It could also get some county assessors injured or killed.
However, in some counties the tax amounts to as much as 25% of the revenue. That’s because of mining and forest industry operations which use expensive equipment and are easily seen by the tax collector. The big question is where will the politicos go to replace the lost revenue.
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