Albertsons adding 300 jobs in Boise, getting state tax break

Albertsons began in 1939 at 16th and State streets, the site of this successor store.
Albertsons began in 1939 at 16th and State streets, the site of this successor store.

The grocery chain Albertsons is expanding its Boise headquarters, with the expansion bringing 300 new jobs and an estimated $38 million in additional state tax revenue to Idaho.

The Idaho Department of Commerce said Friday that the Idaho Economic Advisory Council has approved Albertsons to receive a tax-reimbursement incentive, or TRI, award from the state. It is one of 30 TRI projects to be approved since the tax break became law in July 2014.

State records indicate the TRI was approved for Albertsons in March 2015, with the jobs paying a projected average annual wage of $71,053. Some of the jobs may have been added since the incentive was approved, according to the Commerce Department. The agreement requires Albertsons to create at least 300 new jobs over the term of the agreement.

The Boise headquarters has expanded from about 120 employees to about 600 in the past four years as Albertsons has grown. The state defers to employers on announcing the new jobs and the incentive award.

Albertsons is moving pharmacy support and other corporate office positions to its Boise campus.

MORE: How Albertsons’ top HR exec led his workforce through 2,700% growth

The incentive program gives employers a tax credit of up to 30 percent on income, payroll, and sales taxes for up to 15 years. Albertsons received the maximum percentage the law allows.

To receive the credit, employers must create at least 20 new jobs in rural areas or 50 in urban ones. They must make those workers full-time (at least 30 hours a week) and pay them at least the county average wage. They must prove the employment is stable and makes a significant economic impact, and prove that the incentive is a critical factor in creating the jobs.

After the 15-year term, the tax break ends, and all tax revenues will remain with the state instead of being partly refunded to Albertsons.

Albertsons Cos. was founded in 1939 by Joe Albertson. The company has expanded in the past four years through mergers and acquisitions. The remaining supermarkets of the old Albertsons Inc., which broke up in 2006, were reunited in 2013. Albertsons swallowed the larger Safeway chain two years later.

“This is the type of expansion that the tax reimbursement incentive was designed for, and I couldn’t be happier that it is being used by an Idaho company with a rich history in our great state — a company that gave me one of my first jobs as a stock boy at the original Albertsons location,” Gov. Butch Otter said in a news release from the Commerce Department.

“Our team here is proud to call Boise home,” said Andrew Scoggin, Albertsons’ executive vice president of human resources, labor relations and public affairs, in the news release. “The roots of our company were strengthened by the Idaho workforce from the first day that Mr. Albertson opened his 16th and State store, and we’re excited for the opportunity that the Tax Reimbursement Incentive has allowed us.”

Audrey Dutton: 208-377-6448, @IDS_Audrey