6 Mar 2012

Idaho storage facility prompts new legislation

Controversy over the purchase of a self storage facility in Idaho has led the state's legislature to draft a new bill that would restrict the government from buying up businesses in the future.

In 2010, the Idaho Land Board bought a self storage facility in order to generate revenue for the public endowment, reports The Associated Press. However, the act raised questions of fairness, as a state-run company could have an unfair advantage on the open market compared to privately run facilities.

The state bought the self storage company because it was a sound investment that would continue to make money during the recession. Self storage businesses have been performing well even during the economic downturn due to the fact that almost everyone could use a little extra room, and renting at a self storage facility is much more affordable than renovating a house or adding an expansion.

The new bill, however, would prevent the state from buying businesses and force the sale of the storage facility in question. The Idaho Land Board will be permitted to own property, but not generate revenue through a company.

The legislation passed Idaho's House by a vote of 66-3 and will now move on to the Senate.

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