City Government

Idaho Dem Guv Candidate Says State Should Not Own Business

The GUARDIAN had a chance Tuesday to ask Democratic gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff about his thoughts on state ownership of businesses.
The State of Idaho owns and operates “Affordable Storage” at 450 South Maple Grove, competing with local businesses in a tax-exempt facility.

The businessman and Boise school board member was direct with his answer when he declared, “The state should not own and operate businesses.”

He also proposed that businesses operating in state-owned properties should either pay property tax or a fee in lieu of taxes to local governments.

“Businesses should not get a free ride on the state’s tax exemption,” said Balukoff.

The issue is of particular importance since the Governor sits on the Land Board which administers state land and endowment funds. Those funds are dedicated to education and the current board claims it is “a better investment” to sell off timber and grazing land and invest in rental property and own businesses in urban areas.

The GUARDIAN has written often about the burden placed on local governments and business when the Idaho Land Board purchases rental property–such as 10 Barrel Brewing and more than 20 other parcels in downtown Boise. Those buildings are exempt from local property taxes previously destined to the city, county, schools, and highway districts.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. That’s good.
    The extension of that is the state owning land and leasing it to private businesses. That of which is pretty much required by the State Constitution to make maximum dollars with State Endowment Lands… so what’s good for the goose…

    Lots of “businesses” simply buy and lease out land- that’s what the state is doing too.

  2. Wooo HOOO! Exactly what Idaho and the USA DON’T need. Just another Hairy Reed but in a dorky bow tie.

  3. dh and your proud of Butch in his cowboy hat?

  4. Bob, compared to another hairy reed clone, I’ll go with Clem every time.

    Ever here of the lesser (by light years) of two evils?

    Sounds, and looks from all the smarmy, repetitious ads, like AJ has so much money that he is trying to buy the office.

  5. Mr. Balukoff is absolutely correct. I would add that leasing out state owned range land is one thing, but having them in the property businesses in town is another. This opens the door for all sorts of questionable behavior. Government is supposed to work to preserve our freedoms. Keep them in their lane.

  6. I’ve concluded that running for office and losing is still a fairly good way to make a living considering the influx of outside money and lose rules on spending it. Has he taken any Bloomberg money?

    I won’t vote for a democrat because of the (D) fools that run the country right now. Happy to hear he believes in private business ownership. However, I’m concerned that anyone with a (D) by their name will do what they’re told by the USSA central government.

  7. LOL Zippo, you should see how much he’s put up for this campaign.. Also, his house is not furnished as nice as most of the big shots’ homes I’ve been in that are only making 100-200k/yr. The guy is a class act. Actually advised my very republican in-laws for a while as their CPA, encouraged them to pay off their home and it’s been a great blessing to them. You can hate his politics but don’t accuse him of being in it for the money.

    Also, you’re a conspiracy nut if you think Idaho dems are controlled by anyone outside Idaho. Regional and National dems don’t send any money here and don’t do squat for us so we could care less. When national dems do come, we work them for what they got, not vice versa.

  8. Soccr8,

    Glad to hear he’s not taking the national money.

    Idaho used to have respectable Dem leadership which helped repair the LBJ damage and pushed back against Nixon/Ford. Some good work was done in the 70’s by Idaho Dems on the state and national level.

    Idaho could go Dem fairly easily now. Boise city basically is now. Bieter is. Plus the huge welfare rate. Plus the rich liberal idiots of Blaine. However, the Dem party has been hi-jacked by unimportant social issues since Clinton which only impact about 2% of the total population (and 70% of Catholic priests.) No matter how you package it, Four hairy-legs all tangled together is a huge turnoff to nearly everyone… and especially the low-wage low-education socially conservative Hispanics.

    And you are correct, there are not really Dems in Idaho, Thus the national party does not pay attention. What we have are several factions in the Rep party.

    Lastly, I wear my tinfoil hat proudly. And like a broken watch, it’s correct twice a day… a far better average than too much of our leadership.

  9. If he could call himself anything other than a Dem??

    Example: I like Al Franken because he was his own man before politics… He has his own money in his pocket. I don’t like his liberal mindset, but I respect his outsiders points of view.

    But Obama is so bad, that even Al is having to hide… In communist Minnesota no less!


    Hope and change baby!

  10. Mr. Balukoff:

    A tip for you because, although I hate liberals, I hate entrenched leadership even more.

    I had the pleasure of watching this man work his magic in person:

  11. The state also owns a number of buildings downtown around and near the Capital Mall (K9, old Statesman bldg). They compete with private landowners and the properties are removed from the tax rolls.

    It’s naive to say the state shouldn’t compete with private business because Idaho’s organic act and Constitution set the state up to act as a landowning business so certain charitable and educational institutions would always be funded.

    As long as the Land Board (5 constitutionally elected officers) has a Republican majority, it will continue to make sweetheart land exchanges with other R real estate developers (HUGE political contributors) and acquire more buildings and businesses to compete with the private sector.

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