Statesman Editorial: When investing in talent trumps tax cuts

As Idaho Department of Commerce Director Jeff Sayer prepares to depart for a new career destination, he leaves behind a quote that we hope resonates all over Idaho and especially in the Legislature.

“We do need lower taxes some day, and not today,” Sayer said two weeks ago, as reported by the Statesman’s Bill Dentzer. “The return for the state is not in lowering taxes. It’s investing in talent.”

Sayer made the comment to a group of legislators who were considering tax reform measures. The guy who directed the state’s economic development and who has seen almost every tax cut incentive idea under the sun, concluded that creating jobs, and attracting and retaining talent, should trump cutting taxes to drive the state’s economy.

As the Idaho Legislature’s joint Tax Working Group gets back together again today Wednesday, we hope the membership takes Sayer’s words to heart.

Yes, the state has had success with the Idaho Tax Reimbursement Incentive program, which can result in a tax credit of up to 30 percent on income, payroll and sales taxes (for up to 15 years) for qualifying companies that create jobs.

Yes, we know another election year is right around the corner and tax cuts get people re-elected — but there is simply more at stake than that.


Posted in Business