COEUR d' ALENE, Idaho - In Monday's state of the state address Idaho Governor Butch Otter proposed eliminating the personal property tax on businesses. This comes as Idaho's large corporations push for legislation to ease what some businesses call a strain on hiring new employees because of high taxes. The governor announced that his proposal would short change the state of 141 million dollars in tax revenue. To make up for the shortfall the Governor earmarked 20 million to support local governments if his proposal passes. Otter also advocated for more power at a local level to raise or shift taxes to help support local school districts, fire districts and cities affected by his plan. A recent memo by the Idaho State Tax Commission shows that Kootenai County could lose more than 2.2 million dollars in tax revenue if the Governor's plan moves forward. Lakeland school district which receives more than 943 thousand dollars in funding from personal property tax revenue would take the hardest hit. Kootenai County Treasurer Tom Malzahn says "Each individual taxing district would have a concern, yes." Kootenai county is made up of 45 tax districts. Malzahn says if the Governors plan is approved each district would have to figure out how it can make up the tax revenue shortfall. "It hits home, that's right. 141 million dollars statewide is kind of a nebulous number. But when you're talking Kootenai County 2.2 million, a half million dollars to the city of Rathdrum, those are real numbers."
It remains to be seen if Governor Otter's plan will move forward. For now Malzahn says the county will not jump to conclusions until it knows what the state will offer local governments.