Thursday, October 11, 2012

Streamlined Sales and Use Tax: State Tax Commissioners visit Orofino Chamber

By Alannah Allbrett 

Idaho State Tax Commissioners paid a visit to the chamber of commerce luncheon Oct. 3. Tom Katsilometes, Ken Roberts, and Richard Jackson answered questions and gave an update on collecting state revenue.

The tax commission serves as the Board of Equalization for the state – monitoring anything that crosses the state, and they are tasked with providing detailed in-formation to assessors.

The focus of their presentation was on what’s called the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax. They pointed out a line on one’s state tax return form where taxpayers are required to report taxes on items they purchase and use that are from out of state. This includes items purchased via the internet and from other countries.

The use tax is supposed to level the playing field so that local "brick-and-mortar" stores and remote sellers operate under the same rules, ensuring all revenue that is due the state is collected.

Purchasers are responsible for paying the tax, interest, and penalties for claiming incorrect exemptions. One example given was that of a business purchasing software by downloading it from the internet. No sales tax is charged on such a transaction, however, the purchase needs to be reported when tax time rolls around.

Bottom line: if something is brought into the state and stored or used here, and one has not already been charged sales tax for it, you owe use tax.

Start saving receipts on all purchases, whether over the internet or while on vacation, and ask your tax preparer’s advice. Speaking to the business owners they said, “It’s good for Orofino, it makes you competitive with the world.”

Executive Director’s Report

Stephanie Deyo re-ported an increase in the number of visitors’ packets being given out. She gave a brief rundown also on the new 70’ flagpole the chamber has taken on as a project.

The flagpole will be erected near the entrance to Orofino City Park and will be lighted during nighttime hours. Stephanie reported that there has been a lot of community support for the project which is scheduled for completion by late October or the beginning of November.

Lumberjack Days

The final numbers were not in for profits from Lumberjack Days celebrations, but the chamber anticipates that fundraising, through the beer garden, should be better than the previous year.

North Idaho Chamber Tour

Neal Johnson reported that buses will be bringing visiting legislators on a tour through Orofino during the North Idaho Chamber Tour scheduled for Nov. 11 – 13. They will be stopping at Canoe Camp then visiting local businesses: A & E Signs, SJX Jet Boats, and Nightforce Optics, and having lunch at the Lodge at Rivers Edge. Five seats will be raffled for a helicopter ride back to Lewiston for the Governor’s Banquet. The Orofino Chamber of Commerce will have a table at that banquet. For details, contact the chamber office at: (208) 476-4335.


Loren Whtten-Kaboth, Director Clearwater County Economic Development, attended a meeting with the project engineers for the woody biomass project.

A Trade Mission Day for jet boats will take place Oct. 11. Boat manufacturers from Russia, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands will be present. SJX Jet Boats will sponsor a river tour of our area with dinner following. SJX has expanded with four new employees and the leasing of a second building – keeping business local.

Next meeting

The next scheduled meeting will take place on Wed., November 7, at 12 noon at the Ponderosa Restaurant.

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