Workers at five Idaho Tax Commission offices will get an early, unpaid start to the 4th of July weekend. The tax commission is scheduling 10 half day or full day field offices closures to meet its furlough requirements for the next budget year.
Offices in Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Twin Falls, Lewiston, and Coeur d’Alene will close on Friday, and all commission offices will be closed on July 5 for the Independence Day holiday. Starting July 23, the five regional offices will close at noon every other Friday until Oct. 29.
Tax commission spokesman Dan John said the closures have been planned for a while, and aren’t connected to the recent ruling that Idaho’s four tax commissioners must be paid for their furlough days in the current budget year.
“This is just a way to structure it in our remote areas because they’re small offices,” John said. “When you’re doing furloughs and people are gone, it makes it difficult to do some of the jobs they have to do.” John said the field office managers backed the scheduled closings. The offices have tax auditors and collectors and provide some customer service for taxpayers.
Customers who need to contact the tax commission during the closures can still call the Boise office, which will remain open.
The field offices will also be closed Nov. 26, the day after Thanksgiving. That would add up to six full furlough days for tax commission employees. John said the agency is expecting to need eight to 12 furlough days for the entire fiscal year, so more closures might go into effect in early 2011.
The tax commission will see an increase in funding in the next state budget, which starts its year July 1. Much of the increased funding is to hire temporary auditors and tax specialists to help the state collect millions in unpaid taxes.