Business groups give legislative priorities for east Idaho

POSTED: 10:12 PM MST Feb 05, 2013 
POCATELLO, Idaho -

Local business leaders spent last week with legislators in Boise, sharing their ideas on what lawmakers should do this year to keep Idaho's economy growing.

As part of Chamber Days, members of the Pocatello Chamber of Commerce, along with groups from all over the state, met with lawmakers in Boise.

Chamber representatives said if legislators want to pass laws that will help businesses grow and hire more workers, they've got to keep in contact.

"It's really important that the business community has a dialog with our legislators so they understand the on the street issues that impact businesses. Because a lot of times things that sound good legislatively have a seriously negative impact on local businesses,” Pocatello Chamber Legislative Council Chair Mari Tusch said.

One of the major issues on the agenda this year is personel property tax.

Some want to do away with it, and local business owners are certainly all for paying less in taxes. But Pocatello Chamber of Commerce members said they aren't supporting anything that could leave county governments high and dry.

"So how to remove that tax without transferring that burden to homeowners, for example, is a big concern. I think there are some solutions to that,” Tusch said.

The Pocatello Chamber of Commerce suggested having personal property tax, incrementally stepped down over years with increases in state revenue going straight to counties to cover the costs.

Along with things the chamber hopes are achieved, there are other issues where these business leaders just want lawmakers to keep their hands off. Like plans to change the Urban Renewal District program.

"It's really been used as a significant economic development tool in our area. And the local businesses are concerned that the state legislature not mess with that,” Tusch said.