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Program offers businesses a refundable tax credit

After its first year, the Idaho Tax Reimbursement Incentive program has approved 16 business expansion programs.

The program offers businesses a refundable tax credit of up to 30 percent on income, payroll and sales taxes for up to 15 years. To qualify, businesses have to create a certain number of jobs and offer higher wages.

The Idaho Economic Advisory Council approves of what businesses get TRIs.

“It’s not an incentive up front,” said Arlen Wittrock, vice chairman of the Idaho Economic Advisory Council. “It’s an incentive in effect after the fact, where you have to first pay (taxes) and then you are reimbursed.”

Of the 16 approved projects, nine are brand new to Idaho. Two of the projects are in Pocatello.

Amy’s Kitchen is the biggest TRI project in the state so far. It’s expected to bring in 1,000 jobs in the next couple of years. They will also be providing opportunities to local growers.

Over at the airport, however, the TRI project has been withdrawn. ‘Project Pipe’ had to undergo an FAA environmental review process to be built on airport property, but the process was going on too long, according to Pocatello Regional Airport’s general manager David Allen.

“It looked like it was going to continue to be a long time. There was a threat it was going to be elevated from a categorical exclusion to an environmental assessment,” said Allen. “All of these factors just looked like there was no end in sight for the environmental review.”

Allen said the airport will always continue to look for more tenants. He also plans to try and have some property removed from the airport property map, so it wouldn’t be under FAA’s restrictions and review.

Even without ‘Project Pipe,’ TRI projects are expected to create nearly 3,200 jobs.

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