Bill Would Limit State Role In Commercial Business

A Bill to limit the Idaho Land Board’s role in private sector-type commercial enterprises has been introduced in the legislature.

The GUARDIAN made public the state’s ownership of Affordable Self Storage in 2010, touching off a controversy which has the Dept. of Lands claiming they “do it for the children.” Meanwhile business interests and some taxpayers cry foul over the tax-free advantage enjoyed by the state.

AP has details.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Self storage, a brew pup or two and what’s next a hotel or two? The state land board has no business competing with the guy who put his time, savings and virtually everything he has on the line to run a successful business. The last thing these folks need is competition from from the state land board. They are tax exempt on many levels and the playing field will never be equal.

  2. The Land Board will not be running a brewpub. They are doing improvements for the tenant, which is fairly standard practice in the commercial leasing industry.

  3. Too bad it takes an act of the legislature to get the State out of competing with private business.

  4. Clancy, although it is standard practice for the commercial leasing industry it should not be standard practice for the State of Idaho to entice an out of state brewpub to do business in a state owned building. The commercial market will always be skewed if the state chooses to compete in the market. What would a private building owner have done if the building had sat vacant? Perhaps lower the rent? Sell the property? Who knows, but I guarantee you the private owner would have been paying ada county taxes! The state doesn’t even manage the property Thornton Oliver Keller does. So if they don’t “manage” the property what the hell do they do? They shift tax revenue from local to state level, employ unnecessary state employees (with pension), limit inventory in the privately owned commercial market, skew the market, and they have a booming storage unit business! Just wait till they decide to enter your business and see how you feel. We should be demanding the State sell all these properties. Taxpayers deserve to do business on a level playing field.

  5. I must admit that I have real discomfort over Land Board investments that cross over into the area of active business ventures. However, I must also admit that I do not know the real details of what they are actually doing with these investments (the brewpub thing and the storage thing). At the same time, I understand they have a constitutional mandate to secure maximum return, and any half-baked investment guide would encourage diversity in the portfolio. So, I am open to hearing more on the issue, but I am skeptical of these investments. With respect to the Legislature restricting the Land Board, this could very easily tread into constitutional areas. They have been struck down before by our Supreme Court. Tough issue, either way.

    EDITOR NOTE–While the storage lockers are “profitable” the entire commercial real estate part of the portfolio is a losing deal. The brew pub building was purchased and has been 80% empty of late. Paying for tenant upgrades will do little for their bottom line.

  6. We will see. Just wait until the Land Board gets more cash to play with from the sale of land up in Valley County…..we will see what they “invest in” then.

  7. chicago sam
    Feb 15, 2012, 3:17 am

    2 years ago we passed a constitutional amendment which gave the poor downtrodden hospitols the right to float bonds without voter approval. Now they are before the legislature asking for the right to invest their vaults of cash in the stock market. Maybe they should start paying property taxes if they have so much money

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