Idaho unemployment drops to lowest level since May 2009
Idaho’s unemployment rate fell in September to 7.1 percent, from 7.4 percent in August, as 1,200 people found jobs and the labor force shrank for the fourth straight month.
All sectors but construction and information had larger payrolls in September.
Idaho’s number of unemployed fell to 55,300 from 67,400 a year ago. Unemployment in the Boise metro area was 6.8 percent, down from 9 percent a year ago, with 20,763 out of work.
There is slow but sustainable growth that could weather economic setbacks, state labor officials said. MORE: BY THE NUMBERS, PAGE 43
Senate leader predicts Legislature will target unpopular tax
Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill thinks the 2013 session will bring a repeal of the personal property tax that business groups dislike.
Hill wants the state to replace the revenue that local governments get from the tax — $133 million to $143 million — and phase in the repeal over six years. Personal property makes up 9 percent of property tax statewide. Alex LaBeau, who leads the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, thinks the state should not and will not decide to replace all lost local-government revenues.
Gov. Butch Otter said in June he generally supports repeal of the personal property tax.
Owner of Idaho Albertsons stores says it may have buyout prospects
Minnesota-based Supervalu Inc. is in “active dialogue” with several parties as it weighs strategic options that may include selling all or some of its assets.
Supervalu posted a 4.6 percent drop in sales in its second quarter, the 14th straight quarterly decline. Supervalu owns all Albertsons supermarkets in Idaho, after buying most of the Boise-based Albertsons chain in 2006.
Supervalu has attracted interest from billionaire Ronald Burkle and buyout firms KKR & Co. and TPG Capital, unnamed sources say.
Cerberus Capital Management has reportedly looked at some Supervalu assets. Cerberus controls Albertsons LLC, the Boise company that runs Albertsons supermarkets in southern and southwestern states.
A hotel for Boise State?
Boise State University plans to ask developers for proposals for a private hotel. The university says it would provide the developer a “market-based ground lease.” It says existing hotels, including those within walking distance, cannot “provide the convenience and unique experience of staying on campus, nor a formal association with the university.”
The university hopes to make money off the deal. No time frame has yet been set.
Saint Alphonsus parent company plans to sign a merger deal
Trinity Health, the Michigan-based owner of Saint Alphonsus Health System, signed a nonbinding letter of intent to merge with Pennsylvania-based Catholic Health East next year.
The consolidation would create a 21-state health system with 82 hospitals; 89 continuing-care facilities and home health and hospice programs; more than 87,000 employees, including 4,100 employed physicians; and annual operating revenues of about $13.3 billion.
“We are very pleased and excited about the benefits of coming together,” said Sally Jeffcoat, president and CEO of Saint Alphonsus.
Idaho car dealer gets prison for money-laundering scheme
Kurt Bates, a 45-year-old used car dealer ensnared in a money-laundering scheme, has been sentenced to 12 months in federal prison for his role in the case dating to 2008.
Bates, a Nampa resident, was general manager of the West Coast Car Co. in Boise.
Employees of West Coast agreed to sell two cars to undercover federal Internal Revenue Service agents posing as drug dealers. Bates acknowledged in U.S. District Court that he failed to notify law enforcement officers of the crime.
Fellow defendant Joseph Monte Johnson, formerly of Idaho Falls, is already serving 40 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to related money-laundering charges.