One of Idaho's most powerful lobbying forces is huddling in North Idaho with its political focus clearly set on 2014.
This morning's Coeur d'Alene Press reports that that the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry is meeting at The Coeur d'Alene Resort this week. The political confab has already attracted Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter and nearly 60 Idaho legislators, according to the Press.
IACI President Alex LaBeau told the Press that he expects his organization to focus on a number of issues during the 2014 Idaho Legislature, "but the big ones ... will be health-care reform a re-visit of the state's personal property tax."
Otter said, "It could be that a lot of people overpaid their taxes," referring to what he called "a surplus" of Idaho sales tax revenues. "If that's true, they will be looking to get some of that money back."
LaBeau added that Idaho has "gotten away from any serious efforts in economic development," pointing to Oklahoma offering $50 million in incentives to attract high-tech jobs, while Utah and Arizona have offered $35 million in incentives. "Here is the kicker though: Idaho is only offering $5 million."
"Why wouldn't we get into the game?" asked LaBeau. "We are tired of Idaho getting held back."