The following Op-Ed was submitted by Ed Humphreys, a Republican candidate for governor. Note: Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.
Facebook (now known as “Meta”) is building a server farm in Kuna. They are the world’s largest social media network platform with a value of almost $600 billion and about 1.8 billion users. However, many people aren’t thrilled to learn how our state government promised tens of millions of our tax dollars to entice Facebook to setup shop in Idaho. It begs the question, is it appropriate to tax small local businesses and turn their money over to a giant multinational corporation?
Some people celebrated the idea of bringing any business at any cost to Idaho. However, let’s remember that giant corporations know how to play the local politicians. They know they can get politicians to promise our tax dollars to them in exchange for some campaign contributions and ribbon-cutting photos. Just ask yourself when was the last time a politician cut a deal to benefit businesses on Main Street? How many deals have they cut with businesses on Wall Street?
It’s been reported that Facebook will receive about $50,000,000 worth of tax breaks from Idaho’s Department of Commerce. They claim investments will be made in local water infrastructure in Ada County to support their facility. We’re told to ignore the projected 170,000,000 gallons of water a year the server farm will require. Let alone how that will impact the agriculture industry in a time of drought. Of course, we all clap when we hear there will be 100 permanent jobs. Just don’t ask WHO is going to fill those jobs!
Backroom dealing with multinational corporations isn’t right for Idaho. The Idaho Department of Commerce is allowed to engage in these kinds of deals with little oversight. As Governor of Idaho, I would immediately end the practice of rewarding giant businesses at your expense. Sure, we want higher paying jobs and that’s why I’m advocating to eliminate the income tax which would provide real and immediate wage growth in Idaho.
However, it’s unacceptable Idaho’s state government picks winners and losers. It’s unethical to tax small business and turn their money over to big business. It’s a fact Facebook actively suppresses anyone they disagree with, usually conservatives. Perhaps most ironic of all: Republican politicians are gleefully throwing our money at politically active liberal corporations.
Watch as Facebook turns around and uses its profits to promote Idaho’s own version of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. There are no free lunches, and Facebook just ate ours.