This document states the legislative intent of the Chamber. However, each piece of legislation will be evaluated as to whether or not it addresses the issue sufficiently to warrant endorsement. In some cases opposition to a given piece of legislation may be the result.
Commerce, Industry, Transportation, Energy, & Economic Development
Legislation and regulation that promote a healthy business climate to protect existing business and to promote economic development are critical to the success, retention, growth of businesses and jobs, and to generating the tax revenues necessary to provide quality education and needed government services.
- Transportation: Our Chamber supports a further increase in stable transportation funding using a progressive, graduated and broad-based approach to provide the needed dollars to build, repair and maintain our highways and infrastructure.
- Energy: We support the aggressive development of hydropower, nuclear energy, fossil fuels, clean coal, wind, solar, geothermal, and other sources in an environmentally responsible manner, while minimizing legislative and regulatory obstacles, to meet the growing energy needs of Idaho.
- Economic Development: The Chamber supports the continuation of TIF/Urban Renewal Districts, the elimination of business personal property taxes, the research, storage and clean-up activities of the Idaho National Laboratory, and the research and medical mission of Idaho State University, as well as other research conducted by Idaho universities in Southeastern Idaho that benefit economic development.
- Regulation: We advocate the minimization of current and future legislative and regulatory rules that become (1) obstacles to responsible growth, (2) platforms for near-endless legal challenges, and/or (3) impediments to current and future business development.
The Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce recognizes the need to have a fair and equitable tax code that enhances the business climate in Idaho while maintaining critical services for its citizens.
- We support the gradual phase-out of the business personal property tax with provision for ongoing incremental replacement of lost revenue to local units of government and school districts tied to growth in state general revenue funds.
- We support reducing Idaho’s corporate and business income tax rates in order to be more competitive and successful in recruiting businesses.
- We support scheduled periodic reviews of existing sales tax exemptions. These exemptions should be analyzed to determine if they are achieving their purpose and determining whether they should continue.
- We believe that Idaho should continue to consider sales tax exemptions for equipment to ensure competitiveness. This would include our support for the elimination of sales tax on data center equipment.
- We support a legislative mandate to the Idaho Tax Commission to require sales tax to be reported in the county in which the sale occurred.
- We oppose any tax adjustment that would shift the burden to business.
- We support an appropriate rate for Idaho’s unemployment insurance tax that meets the needs of the state’s unemployment insurance fund without maintaining an excessive tax rate and excessive trust fund.
Investment in a well-educated and trainable workforce is critical to the success and growth of business in Idaho. Funding education, both to meet the needs for qualified teachers and to assure quality education for our children, must be a high priority.
- Restore funding to local school districts including inflation to current dollars.
- Reduce the burden of unfunded mandates; i.e. publication costs for legal notices which could be posted on the District Website, excessive testing requirements, expansion of parental rights in education; and excessive human resource performance requirements.
- Continue to fund the K-12 career ladder.
- Support flexible K-12 education funding for staff to provide face to face and online learning, and ensure safety in public schools and academic success of students.
- Support equitable funding of Idaho State University; which is critical to ensure access and opportunity for our citizens and business.
- Support Idaho State University’s Health Professions mission and training, including Family Medicine Residency Program and Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine.
- We support the expansion of ISU’s Health Sciences and Workforce needs request at $3.375 milllion.
- We support ISU’s request to develop a new Health & Wellness Facility and their initial request for
$3.0 million for planning money.
- Support initiatives to increase the “Go On Rate” in Idaho.
- Support increased funding for Career & Technical Education and Advanced Opportunities.
A healthy, productive workforce is essential for business success. Robust health care education, an adequate array of health care providers, and access to essential care are all necessary. This contributes significantly to the economic vitality and sustainability of the community.
- Support the appropriation of funding for a Behavioral Health Crisis Center in Southeast Idaho.
- Support efforts to expand comprehensive health coverage to 78,000 uninsured.
- Continue seeking long term solutions to critical health care issues; such as, provider shortages, coordination of the health care system, and improving healthy lifestyle strategies.