By the Idaho Department of Commerce
As 2022 nears its end and we approach 2023, Idaho continues to break records and experience increased growth.
The state once again had a record budget surplus, closing out the fiscal year with more than $1.4 billion remaining.
This led to tax cuts and key investments in the state, with more than 650,000 Idaho households receiving $227.5 million in immediate tax relief and rebates of nearly $350 per household.
Legislature also approved $350 million in immediate tax rebates as part of the Governor’s “Leading Idaho” plan, meaning thousands more households will receive checks before the end of 2022.
Additionally, with the record surplus, the state will continue to make investments in education, roads, water, and other key areas to ensure the state continues to be a place where businesses and citizens thrive and prosper.
Other key investments achieved this fiscal year that continue to make Idaho a more business-friendly state include investments in cybersecurity and broadband.
An increased and significant risk of cyberattacks affecting citizens, businesses, critical infrastructure operators, and state and local governments, led Governor Brad Little to establish the Governors’ Cybersecurity Task Force at the beginning of last fiscal year.
Created in August 2021, the task force comprised 19 members from key Idaho institutions and was co-chaired by Idaho Commerce Director Tom Kealey and Associate Laboratory Director of Idaho National Laboratory, Zach Tudor.
The task force held five official meetings and more than a dozen subcommittee meetings. To take an in-depth look into cybersecurity in Idaho, additional experts served on four committees focusing on critical infrastructure, workforce development and education, election security, and cyber literacy.
On May 4, 2022, Governor Little formally accepted the 18 recommendations developed by the task force. The recommendations cover key areas including critical infrastructure protection, election security, workforce development, and education and public engagement.
Work is already underway to make these recommendations a reality with more than $12 million appropriated last legislative session by Governor Little and the Idaho Legislature to create a cyber defense fund in case of election-related cyberattacks.
Building upon last year’s success, the Idaho Broadband Advisory Board and the Idaho Office of Broadband have continued to work to make strategic investments to provide Idaho businesses and residents with reliable broadband.
This past fiscal year, the Idaho Broadband Advisory Board awarded $10 million in CARES Act funding to 13 projects across Idaho, connecting more than 4,500 households, businesses, and community institutions in more than 20 Idaho communities.
These investments build upon the Idaho Commerce Office of Broadband’s mission to improve broadband access across the state.
Idaho’s continued growth and investments allow the state to stand out. As businesses across the country and the world assess their location decisions, many are choosing Idaho.
With national semiconductor shortages making headlines last year, it was more important than ever for the State to prevent future shortages, decrease reliance on foreign-made semiconductors, increasing national security, jobs, and opportunities for the state.
During the 2022 legislative session, the Idaho Commerce team, with the support of key Idaho legislators, passed the Idaho Semiconductors for America Act, which was codified in statute.
The Idaho Semiconductors for America Act provides qualifying Idaho semiconductor companies with a sales and use tax exemption on the purchase of qualifying construction and building materials.
Eligible companies must qualify Federal CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. The CHIPS and Science Act is federal legislation that provides funding for the development of facilities to research, manufacture and produce semiconductors and semiconductor-related materials and equipment.
These programs paid off immediately. In what is the largest single private investment in state history, semiconductor manufacturer, Micron announced that Boise would be the new home of the first new memory fab in the U.S. for over 20 years.
The company plans to invest approximately $15 billion through the end of the decade to construct a new fab for leading-edge memory manufacturing. This investment will create over 17,000 jobs, with approximately 2,000 direct jobs by the end of the decade.
In February of this year, tech giant, Meta, announced Kuna, Idaho would be the location of a new data center. The data center represents an investment of $800 million, supporting the growing community of Kuna and the broader Treasure Valley.
The project will boost the local economy by bringing approximately 100 operational jobs to the City of Kuna, with more than 1,200 jobs at peak construction. Meta will break ground on the over 960,000-square-foot data center in September 2022, with construction anticipated to continue through 2025.
As part of the company’s commitment to Kuna, Meta is investing approximately $50 million in a new water and sewer system for the city. Infrastructure will be constructed by Meta and dedicated to the City of Kuna to own and operate. The system will provide increased capacity for new users and new businesses in the area.
Other major investments include that from Jervois, the leading cobalt company in the United States, which announced a $180 million investment in Salmon, Idaho to create the only domestic cobalt supply in the United States. The company will create over 160 new jobs.
Idaho staple, Lamb Weston, a producer of frozen french fries also recently announced an over $400 million investment to expand its existing American Falls, Idaho plant, creating over 180 new jobs.
These landmark investments are just a few that Idaho received this year and continue upon the state’s year of growth.
Idaho looks forward to continuing to break records and make key investments that improve the quality of life of the businesses and citizens that call Idaho home, into 2023 and beyond.
Learn more about doing business in Idaho at commerce.idaho.gov.