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New Plant, No Jobs

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Apparently losing more than $500 million over the last year and laying off more than 1,100 Boise workers isn't stopping Micron from expanding. Or, at least, planning to.

Micron officials announced on March 3 that the company will build a new fabrication plant in Boise—eventually. There is no timeline for the expansion, and even when in place, it won't bring any new jobs, just shore up existing ones.

The company has talked about the plant for three years, and it's largely the reason the State Legislature passed several major tax incentives to keep the technology giant in the valley.

Back in 2005, the Legislature voted to cap the appraised value of Micron's Boise facility at $800 million and exempt sales tax on research and development equipment. The current value of the plant is estimated at more than $1 billion, according to the Ada County Assessor's Office, meaning the state has lost out on $282 million in just property taxes just last year.

While Micron has been enjoying the benefits of its tax breaks, it's dumped billions of dollars into plants overseas, as well as beefed up facilities in Utah and Virginia.

The company's expansions in the Treasure Valley have been modest by comparison and have had many state leaders wondering if their monetary concessions were going to come back to bite them.

Micron president Mark Durcan said the plant construction will depend on economic factors, so it might be a while. But, hey, at least the announcement came during an election year.

The company made the announcement during a press conference to which only a select few of the valley's media outlets were invited. BW was not one of them.