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BOISE -- The measure everybody has been waiting for -- personal property tax relief -- is finally in play, after Gov. C.L. Butch Otter released a draft proposal for review by counties, cities, schools, business groups and lawmakers.

Otter's plan, released on Thursday, would eliminate the $140 million tax on business equipment over six years.

Under the proposal, Idaho's taxpayer-supported general fund would replace some of the money that cities, counties and other local governments stand to lose under the repeal.

Local governments could replace the rest, by shifting the burden to real property.

The Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry has been working feverishly for repeal, to help members including Idaho Power Co. and Micron Technology Inc. that contend the tax is unfair.

Otter's chief of staff, David Hensley, expects modifications.

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