Economy

The first of three hulking pieces of oil equipment, known as “megaloads,” is expected to start its slow, winding journey through eastern Oregon Monday.

calculator, taxes
401(K)2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

With Cyber Monday less than a week away, holiday shoppers are busy buying gifts online. But many shoppers don’t realize if they purchase items on the Internet, they still owe the state some money.

It’s called the use tax and it’s been around since 1965. It applies to anything you buy over the phone, mail-order, or the Internet. It’s the same rate as the regular sales tax, 6 percent.

The Boise Rescue Mission has finalized a deal to buy a facility in Nampa to house 60 women and children.

KTVB-TV reports the deal completed Friday will fill a need throughout Canyon County and will be the only shelter of its kind in Nampa.

The new facility will be called the Valley Women and Children's Shelter.

The building used to house the Valley Crisis Center, but that closed several months ago.

job fair, Meridian, unemployment
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's jobless rate held steady in September, and dropped slightly in October. The Idaho Labor Department reports the unemployment rate was unchanged from August to September at 6.8 percent. It fell in October to 6.7 percent.

Normally, jobless rates come out once a month. Friday’s two-for-one report was released because of the partial government shutdown over the first two weeks of October.

Megaloads
Nicholas.Senn / Flickr Creative Commons

A company hired by a subsidiary of General Electric to ship massive oil refinery equipment to the tar sands project in Canada is now seeking to haul the oversized loads across eastern Oregon and southern Idaho.

The first of three megaloads could begin making its way through Oregon this weekend before crossing into Idaho's southwestern corner next week.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has already issued permits for the first shipment, while Idaho highway officials are still studying the travel plan submitted by shipper Omega Morgan.

personal income map
Bureau of Economic Analysis

Personal income growth slowed between 2011 and 2012 across Idaho's metro areas. That’s according to data released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

On average, incomes grew by 4.2 percent across the nation’s metro areas. None of Idaho’s metro areas met or exceeded that average.

railroad tracks
Shalbs / Flickr Creative Commons

Certain utility companies in Idaho won't see as large of a tax break as many anticipated now that the state has more clearly defined what types of property qualify for the business equipment tax exemption.

The Idaho Tax Commission Tuesday unanimously approved two rules that define the difference between real and personal property.

The Northwest programmers behind the computer game Myst are now trying to write their next chapter.

Across the nation, home values plummeted after the U.S. housing bubble burst in 2008. But that was not the case in some of the less populous counties in the Northwest.

Mat79 / Flickr Creative Commons

H.J. Heinz Co. is closing three plants in North America and cutting 1,350 jobs in an effort to operate more efficiently.

The food maker said Thursday that it will close facilities in South Carolina, Idaho and Canada over the next six to eight months.

KPVI reports 410 people will be laid off from the Pocatello, Idaho facility.

St. Luke's

A judge in Boise is now considering weeks worth of testimony in a case that could have significant effects on healthcare in Idaho and beyond. Attorneys representing several groups last week made their closing arguments against Saint Luke’s acquisition of the Nampa company Saltzer Medical Group. 

Micron, circuit boards
Micron Technology

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is getting ready for a nine-day trade mission in Russia.

The Republican governor, his staff and Idaho business leaders will leave Boise Friday.

The trip caps a busy year of international travel for Otter, who has already made official visits to Vietnam, Taiwan and Korea.

iflyboise.com

City officials will cut the ribbon this week on the new control tower at the Boise airport. The tower is 268 feet tall, right in between the height of Idaho’s two tallest buildings in downtown Boise. The $30 million facility actually started full operations last month, about five years after construction began.

DieselDemon / Flickr Creative Commons

A ballot measure in the Sun Valley area is emblematic of the challenges facing small airports across the West. Residents of Hailey and Ketchum, Idaho decide Tuesday whether to raise city taxes to subsidize commercial airline service.

Voters in the neighboring Idaho resort towns are being asked to raise the lodging and rental car tax, and in the case of Ketchum add a 1 percent retail sales tax, although groceries and gas would be exempt from the higher tax.

Northwest residents who rely on food stamps will have to pinch their pennies even more. Starting Friday, federal food assistance benefits are being cut.

Avimor, housing market
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

When the idea for a planned community north of Eagle first came about in 2002, the housing market was strong. But final approval for the 35 square mile project known as Avimor didn’t come until 2008. By then, home sales in the Treasure Valley had tanked.

Data: Ada County Association of Realtors | Chart: Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Nearly every seat at the Ada County Association of Realtors classroom is taken during a recent training session. The 50 people in attendance are here to become realtors. ACAR director and class teacher Marc Lebowitz  says as the Treasure Valley's housing market picks up, more people are signing up to become realtors. 

“We’re going to go over so much stuff today, it’s going to make your head spin,” Lebowitz tells the class.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Boise Inc., the Boise-based company that makes cardboard products was officially purchased by Packaging Corporation of America late last week

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

The Treasure Valley housing market is coming off its hottest summer in years. In July, Ada County home sales were up nearly 40 percent over July of 2012. The average price was up by about 20 percent.

The stats all points to a market that’s recovering from the housing bust of just a few years ago. But there’s one aspect of the industry that hasn’t been quick to recover: new home construction.

When the housing market was at its worst, a glut of new homes made it a buyer’s dream.

Transportation, megaload
Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A subsidiary of General Electric says it’s looking for alternative options for moving huge water purification equipment from the Northwest to Alberta, Canada.

A route through the middle of Idaho turned into a legal battle with the Nez Perce Tribe, but the alternatives are limited.

Resources Conservation Company International, the GE subsidiary, decided to withdraw a federal appeal that sought to re-open Idaho's Highway 12 to so-called “megaloads.” A judge had ordered the Forest Service to close the wild and scenic corridor to the shipments.

Pages