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BOISE -- One of Idaho's biggest companies, Monsanto, isn't pushing to eliminate the personal property tax, on grounds such a move could undermine services in its home county.

Monsanto government affairs director Trent Clark said Tuesday the St. Louis-based maker of Round-up herbicide believes there are problems with the tax, whose repeal Gov. C.L. Butch Otter named as a 2013 session priority.

However, local governments and schools in Caribou County, where Monsanto has phosphate mining and refining operations, depend on the business-equipment tax for more than 40 percent of their revenue, to fix roads, educate kids and provide law enforcement protection.

Clark said the potential that repeal could send local officials scrambling to preserve those services -- or shift costs to others -- convinced Monsanto to refrain from joining the legislative fight.

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