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House Bill 217

House Bill 217

Phil Haunschild
March 3, 2017

Bill description: This bill would give businesses who bring in data centers a rebate on the taxes they pay.

Rating: -2

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase any taxes, fees, or other assessments? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce any taxes, fees, or other assessments?  

This bill would grant a tax rebate that would save data center businesses in the state of Idaho an estimated $600,000. This rebate would provide an incentive for other data center companies to relocate here because of a more competitive business environment. (+1)

Does it increase government redistribution of wealth? Examples include the use of tax policy or other incentives to reward specific interest groups, businesses, politicians, or government employees with special favors or perks; transfer payments; and hiring additional government employees. Conversely, does it decrease government redistribution of wealth?

The exemption applies to an estimated 10 businesses, according to the bill’s Fiscal Note. The state would provide an exemption to a select group of businesses while Idahoans deserving a tax-break would not get one. This rebate comes at the expense of other businesses in the state. (-1)

Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market?

This bill would put the state the position to interfere with the free market by giving arbitrary benefits to specific types of businesses based on factors deemed important to the government. These factors include the size of the capital investment made, the number of jobs created and the compensation for each of those jobs. (-1)

Does it increase barriers to entry into the market?
In establishing minimum investment and wage thresholds to receive the tax benefits, it could cause some businesses of the same type to fail to receive the tax break, thus leaving that smaller company at a disadvantage, making it difficult for such a business to break into the market. (-1)

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