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Author Archives: Benton Alexander Smith

Benton Alexander Smith is a reporter for the Idaho Business Review, covering the Idaho Legislature, new business, technology and financial services.

Senator highlights grocery tax bill (access required)

Idaho lawmakers are drawing attention to a newly proposed bill to exempt groceries from Idaho’s sales tax. Sen. Clifford Bayer, R-Meridian and sponsor of the bill, said the bill would also eliminate Idaho’s grocery tax credit, which would offset most of ...

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Task force sets out to improve Idaho’s workforce (access required)

There’s no clear-cut path for students when it comes to technology jobs. But the Governor’s Workforce Development Task Force is hoping to hone in on some of the best options for building a strong workforce. The task force met with trade ...

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Measure regulating short-term rentals passes Idaho House (access required)

A bill that requires online market places for short-term rentals to collect and remit Idaho taxes on behalf of its hosts is one step closer to becoming law after passing through the House of Representatives. The Idaho House of Representatives voted ...

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Idaho Lottery enters into new contract with service provider

After receiving proposals from three gaming equipment vendors, the Idaho Lottery is entering into another 10-year contract with the Georgia company Intralot. Intralot has been contracted with Idaho Lottery since 2007 and provides all of the equipment for multi-state games ...

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State: Data centers are bypassing Idaho in search of tax breaks

A new tax incentive designed to help data centers offset the cost of replacing equipment could help Idaho attract large companies such as Google and Amazon, according to the Idaho Department of Commerce. The department proposed a bill to the House ...

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Idaho Airbnb hosts earned $11.6 million in 2016 (access required)

Guest bookings for Airbnb accommodations in Idaho rose 160 percent in 2016 compared to the year before, earning Idaho hosts $11.6 million. Last year, 1,800 Idaho residents hosted about 95,000 people through Airbnb, according to the company. Those hosts earned an average ...

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Senate seeks to change the way Idaho studies employee compensation (access required)

The Idaho Legislature may change the way it analyzes state pay to better compare private sector and public sector pay. Reports commissioned by the Legislature the past several years have shown that state employee wages are falling behind wages in ...

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Invasive mussels threaten Pacific Northwest

Quagga and zebra mussels are slowly making their way to Idaho and if introduced to the area they will cost the state millions of dollars and threaten Idaho’s tourism, hydroelectric and agricultural industries. House and Senate committees held a joint ...

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House committee accepts bill to raise transportation funding 5 percent (access required)

The House Revenue and Taxation Committee has a new plan to raise money for road repairs. Legislators say Idaho’s budget for maintaining its roads and bridges is about $260 million short this year, but bills to raise Idaho’s gas tax ...

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