BOISE -- The possible repeal of personal property tax was one of the most complicated and talked-about issues in this year's legislative session. Now, a bill addressing the issue is flying through the Statehouse.

Personal property tax is a tax on everything a business owns that's not bolted down. Businesses say it's a pain to go through all their possessions every year, assessing the values. However, the tax revenue is critical to county and city governments.

The bill before a Senate committee on Thursday is a compromise between local governments and businesses, which will help mainly small and medium-sized businesses.

It's a repeal of the first $100,000 of personal property. In addition, items worth less than $3,000 will be exempt. The state will pay the $20 million in lost revenue.

Business leaders, like Caroline Merritt from the Boise Chamber of Commerce, say the bill is a great first step. Nevertheless, they say they still want a full repeal in the coming years.

While we still favor the full repeal, we recognize that taking this step will have a positive impact on about 90 percent of our membership, said Merritt.

The bill passed the committee with a unanimous vote and now heads to the full Senate. If it passes there, as expected, it will head to the governor for approval.

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