Right now, with the world economy in chaos, it’s critical we pay attention to Idaho’s economy. We start by making sure we reduce regulation and support Idaho’s industries.
Madison and Bonneville Counties continue to generate extensive revenue from agriculture. In 2012, that number was $131,062,000 (Madison) and $204,176,000 (Bonneville). We need to pursue new trade opportunities and open new markets for our ag products. During the 2020 session we:
- Fixed ag land assessments to use actual value and not its potential development value (H560)
- Protected the privacy of producers’ “Nutrient Management Plans” (H356)
- Removed redundant reporting requirements for soil and plant amendments (S1225)
- Adopted a resolution affirming our support of Taiwan, our second-largest export partner (SJM107)
Without water, our communities, our industries, and the source of Idaho’s wealth disappear. Wise stewardship over the last few decades has helped Idaho remain competitive among our neighbors. But we can’t stop. During the 2020 session we:
- Protected stockwater rights from federal overreach (H592)
- Codified forfeiture of a water right to meet a high standard and provided a path for to resumption of a water right (H615)
- Modified “reasonably anticipated future needs” water rights to help municipalities better manage their infrastructure development (S1316)
- Reaffirmed our support for the hydropower on the Columbia-Snake Rivers (SJM110)
In 2017, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Idaho Cs and Ds on our infrastructure (but our rail system managed to pull a solid B). We need to continue investing in efforts to repair our bridges, secure our drinking water, and upgrade our electrical grid. Beyond these obvious needs, Idaho will also benefit from adding a reliable broadband infrastructure to help our businesses stay competitive in domestic and global markets.
It’s tempting to pick any one part of Idaho’s tax policy and say, “Let’s lower that rate,” or “Let’s just end that tax.” But Idaho’s overall tax policy needs to be revisited. By identifying just one piece to change and ignoring the rest, we may create problems elsewhere. We need to review all the ways Idaho generates revenue and make smart choices about where we should cut.