Idaho politics: Geddes to take wait-and-see approach to Tax Commission reform

It's official: Gov. Butch Otter named longtime state Sen. Robert Geddes to chair the State Tax Commission.

And after 16 years in the state Senate, including 10 as Senate president pro tem, Geddes conceded he has a "lot to learn" about his new post. And the Soda Springs Republican says he will go in with "no preconceived notions" about whether the embattled commission needs an overhaul.

Geddes is joining the commission after its former chairman resigned amidst controversy. Royce Chigbrow, a former campaign treasurer to Otter, resigned Jan. 7, after Associated Press stories said Chigbrow had intervened on behalf of a friend and on behalf of clients of his son's accounting firm.

Several current and former tax commission employees have criticized the commission's use of confidential settlements to resolve tax disputes, suggesting the deals favor well-connected taxpayers, at the public's expense.

Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, a Rexburg Republican and CPA, said the recent controversy has "tarnished" the commission's integrity. But other speakers at a news conference this afternoon echoed Geddes' wait-and-see approach to reform.

"We are really taking a go-slow approach," said House Revenue and Taxation Committee Chairman Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot.

Otter said he will continue discussing reforms with legislative leaders — but he said he is prepared to consider changes to the commission's structure, or simply keep the status quo in place.

The commission is governed by four commissioners, who are appointed by the governor. No more than two members can belong to one party.

Geddes will step down from the Senate and from his job at Monsanto. While he will begin work immediately, his former Senate colleagues will have the chance to vote on his confirmation. Deadpanned Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls: "I actually think there's a good chance that the Senate might confirm him."

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Geddes takes "wait and see" approach.

Idaho takes "wait and see" approach to Geddes.



Any slower and we'd be going

Any slower and we'd be going backwards. Oh, wait, we are!

I am thinking...

same old, same old, at this point. Geddes might not want to wait and see to long...Idaho taxpayers are fed up. The issues are not going to go away about what commission members are doing.

What does that mean?

Wait to see if the feds have a grand jury investigation under way? See how much stuff can be covered up?

This approach could work

All that Mr. Geddes needs to do is put the Council on State Taxation, and other taxpayer groups on notice that there will be no more deals on protested audits, and Commission Decisions will be issued in accordance with state law.

The legislature, however needs to provide a sufficient litigation budget to allow the Commission to defend any appealed decisions in court.

The current system worked for many years, and can work again.


Gonna wait and see if he can still conduct tax business at Chigbrow's table at the Arid Club.
Cronyism is alive and well at the Steak Capitol.

One step forward, ten steps back

Another Otter crony who is not even a CPA. This position should not be a political appointment. Surely there are plenty of excellent tax accountants with no political baggage who would be better suited for this job. All decisions made by the Commission should be public record.Any reductions for individuals and corporations are made up for by the rest of us.

you pay more than your share?

Since you pay more than your share, would you mind paying mine too?
Any so-called reductions are not made up by you. The reduction is an attempt by the state to collect something rather than nothing. The reductions have/were/will continue to be given by commissioners in an attempt to keep business and families alive and well in Idaho.
When do the whistleblowers in the commission plan on coming out? Now that Chigbrow is gone, there shouldn't be any real reason to "fear" for their job. Unless that is that their claims are unjustified and there really is no truth to any of this.
I sure hope we find out soon.


at best.


I am reserving all snarky comments in the hopes that things will change. Until now, Idaho taxpayers and voters seem to have nil, 0, nada say about these matters. Would be refreshing if all settlements were public.

Geddes waits: Nothing will happen


Happy Jesus Thing and a Chinese New Year

We need

a WikiLeak concerning the backroom dealings of the tax commission.

Corporations contest their tax bills so frequently that they dub the settlements the "Idaho tax break."

While the state faces a budget crisis and Idahoans are struggling, large corporations are not paying their share. However, unless people stop voting for people just because they have an "R" next to their name, nothing will change.

Hurry and wait

In four years it won't matter.

Some who procrastinates like me! NOOO, that's not so good.


Happy Jesus Thing and a Chinese New Year