What's new in Idaho and why should you want to move here?
What's new in Idaho and why should you want to move here?
Selling real estate in Idaho, I often have the opportunity to meet people from all over the country that are looking to relocate here. They have typically already formed their own opinions about Idaho yet they still ask the question, “Why should we move here?”.
Being an Idaho native and having lived here for the last 27 years, I already know what makes Idaho special and why I will likely be living here for the rest of my life. But the average person moving here wont be able to experience Idaho in it’s fullest during their quick visit so they typically want to see the numbers and find out what the future holds for Idaho. Please read this recent press release from Idaho’s Governor, C.L. “Butch” Otter.
FORECASTS ARE NICE, BUT ACTUAL SUCCESS AND MORE CAREER OPPORTUNITIES ARE WHAT REALLY MATTER
By Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter
Earlier this summer I traveled to Twin Falls to meet with executives of C3, a company expanding into Idaho and creating 800 to 1,200 new career-path jobs in a community that lost 500 jobs last fall when another national employer realigned its operations.
Florida-based C3 is a customer service provider that contracts with a number of large, nationally known health insurance companies. At our meeting, CEO David Epstein told me how C3 picked Idaho as a place to grow.
“The first thing we did was eliminate any state that didn’t have a balanced budget or a plan for achieving one. That only left a handful of states, and when we looked closer at Idaho, the quality of the work force, the attitude and responsiveness of local and State government, and the community reception we received all were second to none,” Mr. Epstein said.
Our focus on making the tough decisions now in order to live within our means, avoiding government growth at taxpayer expense, and maintaining a stable and predictable tax structure and a business-friendly regulatory climate is working. And people who track information like that are noticing:
o Time magazine recently placed Idaho among the top five most solvent states.
o Global Insight’s latest forecast ranks Idaho first in the nation in projected employment growth through 2012.
o The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank forecasts that Idaho will rank seventh in the nation over the next six months for growth in economic output.
o The American Legislative Exchange Council’s Economic Competitive Outlook also ranks Idaho seventh in the nation.
o And Moody’s Economy ranks Idaho very high in its latest forecast of economic performance.
All that’s fine, and I welcome the confidence in our people and communities and optimism about our emergence from this prolonged recession that it inspires. But far more important to me is the success of our homegrown Idaho businesses like Scentsy, LCF Enterprises, Blue Water Technologies, Biketronics and so many others in every corner of our state.
It also helps when we get testimonials from people like Mr. Epstein. What his research told him about Idaho and our approach to governing was that he could know what to expect in his tax bill and what his costs of doing business will be.
C3 found an extremely well-qualified workforce here in Idaho, and community leaders and service-oriented, committed public servants in local government and the State agencies who understand the needs of employers and the value of collaboration and personal attention. That’s why C3 and other companies are looking for additional opportunities to grow here in Idaho. And it’s why the Idaho Department of Commerce created an easy-to-use Web page for businesses looking to relocate or expand: http://www.justmaketheshift.com/#/home
What our successful businesses know, and what more people throughout the nation are finding out, is that locating in Idaho is about more than lifestyle. It’s about a commitment to doing the right thing in the right way – keeping taxes low and stable, regulations reasonable and State government responsive.
In a nutshell, that’s Project 60: An everyday emphasis on working together to raise the tide for all of us – from private businesses large and small to local chambers of commerce, from urban renewal authorities and city councils to county commissions, from economic development districts to State agencies, and then right up to the Governor’s Office.
Project 60 is a transformative, collaborative, forward-looking, partnership approach to economic development. It’s aimed at getting past the traditional turf battles, internal conflicts and lack of communication that too often have stifled or stunted our growth efforts in the past.
Balancing our State budget while protecting both taxpayers’ immediate interests and long-term investments in our State government isn’t easy in the best of times, and amid this recession it’s a painful process. But it’s not just a requirement of the Idaho Constitution; more importantly, it’s the right thing to do.
You start where any Idaho family would start: Whether it’s your family income or our State government revenue stream that’s getting squeezed, your first move is to find ways to cut costs. You set priorities. You distinguish between the necessary and the nice. You focus on your core competencies, and you pare away some of the expenses you took on when times were better. After all, it’s the people’s money, and State government shouldn’t resort to raising taxes any more than the head of a household’s first move should be simply demanding a raise at work.
But that’s only half the battle. The other half is ensuring that the private sector has the certainty and stability it needs to work its marketplace and create real career opportunities. As we keep growing Idaho’s economy without growing State government, the tax revenue that additional economic activity generates should even enable us to cut taxes while maintaining or responsibly enhancing services.
Then we’ll be able to invest more aggressively in ensuring that our future is as bright as our potential. But that’s only possible if we keep providing the kind of business climate that brought C3 here, and which is continuing to bring more career opportunities to Idaho every day.
I appreciate the Governor’s direction and outlook for Idaho and look forward to many prosperous years to come!
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