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Emilie Ritter Saunders reports: Idaho’s largest business lobby is hosting its annual policy meeting in Coeur d’Alene this week. According to theCoeur d’Alene Press, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is attending the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry retreat, along with about 60 legislators and 130 IACI members.

Sure to be on IACI’s 2014 legislative agenda is a complete repeal of Idaho’s business equipment tax. It was partially repealed this year, exempting the tax for about 90 percent of small businesses while keeping the bulk of the revenue stream in-tact.

When Gov. Otter signed the tax exemption bill into law back in April, he wrote to legislators that it was just a start. “I would strongly encourage the Legislature to continue the work of relieving all Idaho businesses of this burdensome and onerous tax,” Otter wrote to lawmakers.

The Coeur d’Alene Press reports Rep. George Eskridge (R-Dover) also wants the personal property tax exemption expanded. However, Rep. Eskridge says that isn’t accurate.

He tells StateImpact Idaho the revamped personal property tax law solved the problem it set out to. “It gets them [small businesses] out of the onerous reporting,” says Eskridge. “In my mind, I’m not sure I want to go any farther.”

Eskridge says a full repeal of the personal property tax, or exempting the tax for larger businesses will undoubtedly be discussed in 2014. He’s just not convinced it’s the right thing to do.

The Coeur d’Alene Press also notes healthcare will be an agenda item for IACI. The paper notes lawmakers will likely talk about expanding Medicaid for more low-income Idahoans.

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