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March 9, 2010 at 11:33 AM

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Gregoire to Idaho: Bring it on!

Posted by Jim Brunner

OLYMPIA -- Gov. Chris Gregoire responded Tuesday morning to Idaho Gov. Butch Otter's "love letter" to Washington businesses, in which he suggested Idaho could lure away firms turned off by tax increases here.

"I'm not an expert on Idaho," Gregoire said, but then rattled off from notes several observations about Idaho's tax and business climate.

"It looks like they have a corporate tax of 7.6 percent, a sales tax of 6 percent, an income tax ranging from 1.6 to 7.8 percent," she said.

"And let's talk about Forbes' ranking," Gregoire said, referring to her favorite magazine's annual rankings of state business climates.

"We're now the second best state in the country and they went from seventh to 11th. They're going down in the rankings. Regulatory environment we're ranked 5th, they're ranked 35th. You get my point?"

Gregoire said she had a call in to Otter's office.

"So I intend to say to the governor, you know, I'll go recruit companies that you have in your state. Everything is fair game," she said. "But to suggest that somehow there is this massive tax going on in my state that puts my business to a detrimental level compared to yours is simply not fair."

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