Idaho Gov. Butch Otter slammed tax increase ideas in Oregon and Washington in a news release Monday, and encouraged businesses in those states to relocate to Idaho.
"We now are reaching out to hundreds of Oregon businesses, and will do the same with those in Washington if the Legislature there follows Oregon’s lead," Otter said. Oregon voters approved a $727 million tax increase earlier this year, and Washington state lawmakers are considering raising taxes. Otter touted Idaho as having a better business climate than its western neighbors. "We aren’t offering many bells and whistles, but what we can offer is a business-friendly state government, a highly qualified and motivated work force, and communities where people understand that while government cannot be the solution to their problems it can and must be a champion for their own solutions." There has been little support among Idaho lawmakers for raising taxes this legislative session. Both Washington and Oregon have Democratic-controlled legislatures, while Idaho's is controlled by Republicans. Both of Idaho's western neighbors also have larger economies and are facing larger state deficits.
Otter encouraged any businesses looking to relocate to visit GemStateProspector.com, a website run by the Idaho Department of Commerce.