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Idaho Commerce Director Unveils Plans to Attract Companies to State

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Department of Commerce Director Jeff Sayer says the state’s lackluster tax incentives make it flyover country for many companies looking to relocate or expand. But he pitched a plan Friday he believes would help change that. His proposition is this: What if Idaho allows companies that hire new, well-paid employees to recoup up to 30 percent of their income, sales and payroll taxes after they’ve proven to have met expansion promises? That way, Sayer says, the state would protect itself from companies that don’t follow through by declining to distribute the money. According to the proposal, companies would have to create jobs and pay income, sales and payroll taxes before ever getting a penny back from Idaho’s government. Beforehand, they’d work with the Department of Commerce, as well as the seven-member Idaho Economic Advisory Council, to negotiate the level of tax credit — ranging from 1 percent to 30 percent. They’d also hash out the duration of the deal — up to 15 years — along with the terms to be met in order to get their tax credit. Companies in rural areas would have to create at least 20 new jobs, while companies in urban areas would have to create 50 jobs, all of which pay more than the average in the county where those jobs are located.

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