economic development lewis-clark valley
313 D. Street, Suite 201, Lewiston, ID

Starting a Business

Valley Vision provides information and resources to support local businesses. Our services are confidential, without charge and include:

  • Debt and equity financing searches for working capital and fixed assets
  • Marketing and sales strategy development and implementation for products and services exported from the region
  • Continuous improvement and process reengineering support
  • Workforce Training
  • Financial record keeping and business plan development
  • Export market development
  • Permitting and regulatory compliance
  • Energy and environmental audits
  • Business climate issues

Our website has been designed to provide you with direct links to a multitude of resources and programs available to help you develop and expand your business. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

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It is a public policy of the State of Idaho to encourage business development by providing a good climate for economic growth. With its sound tax structure, reasonable rates and the third lowest overall per capita tax burden among the 11 western states, Idaho makes good business sense.

State tax revenues come from a balanced mix of personal income, sales and corporate income taxes, providing a stable base with which to fund public services without unfairly burdening any sector.

In fact, Idaho’s overall tax burden per capita is among the ten lowest of the 50 states. In every category, taxes per capita are below the national average. The lower cost of doing business here can mean high profits for your company.

Idaho also has tax incentives that can increase profitability, including an investment credit and certain tax exemptions. As authorized by federal legislation, the Idaho Code provides for issuance of Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB’s). Idaho cities and counties are able to form public corporations for the purpose of issuing these bonds. Idaho businesses are authorized to borrow up to $10 million at tax-exempt interest rates, which are significantly lower than conventional rates. These funds are available to help cities and counties provide sewers, water and roads to plant sites. Up to $500,000 for any one project is available.

Idaho's Tax Structure:

  • Very Low Per Capita Tax Burden
  • Investment Tax Credits
  • Job Creation Tax Credits
  • Net Operating Loss Carry Back & Carry Forward
  • No Sales and Use Tax On Machinery and Equipment used in Manufacturing or Pollution Control
  • No Property Tax on Pollution Control Equipment
  • No Tax on Inventories and Goods in Transit


Washington wants to do business with you. True, we may not have the deep pockets some other states have, but we’ll gladly stack our world-class workforce, inspirational lifestyle, culture of creativity and low-cost energy up against anyone else in the U.S. and show you why Washington State is a smart choice.

We do offer businesses a range of incentives that are geared toward specific industries that are high growth and which fit into our sector-based strategy for economic prosperity.

Some of these incentives come in the form of tax credits, exemptions or deferrals for specific activities, such as adding new equipment, investing in new technologies or energy sources, or building new manufacturing facilities or hiring workers in rural communities.

Washington's Tax Structure:

  • No corporate income tax
  • No unitary tax
  • No inventory tax
  • No personal income tax
  • No tax on interest, dividends or capital gains
  • No sales or use tax on machinery and equipment used in manufacturing operations
  • A state and local property tax with annual increases subject to statutory limitations
  • The business and occupation (B&O) tax, which is based on gross receipts
Washington Tax Exemptions


Manufacturers and processors for hire are not required to pay the sales or use tax on machinery and equipment used directly in manufacturing operations. In addition, the machinery and equipment are not subject to the sales taxes.

A “manufacturing operation” means the manufacturing of articles, substances, or commodities for sale as tangible personal property. The manufacturing operation begins at the point where the raw materials enter the manufacturing site and ends at the point where the finished product leaves the manufacturing site.


Businesses in the following research and development technology categories may be eligible for a sales / use tax deferral / exemption, if they start new research and development or pilot scale manufacturing operations, or expand or diversify a current operation by expanding, renovating or equipping an existing facility anywhere in Washington:

  • Advanced computing
  • Advanced Materials
  • Biotechnology
  • Electronic device technology
  • Environmental technology


An annual credit of up to $2 million is allowed for businesses that perform research and development in Washington in specified high technology categories AND meet the minimum expense requirements. The credit cannot exceed the amount of the business and occupation tax due for that calendar year. The rate for the credit is:

Nonprofit corporation or association: .484 percent (.004845) of the expenses. For profit businesses: 1.5 percent (.015) of the expenses.

The technology categories are:

  • Advanced computing
  • Advanced Materials
  • Biotechnology
  • Electronic device technology
  • Environmental technology




The Lewis-Clark Valley is home to a number of commercial lenders, from local home-grown banks to branches of large banks. Part of what sets them apart from other, more urban markets is their individual commitment to business customer service. Many Lewis-Clark Valley lenders are very active in the community, and they appreciate the value of a healthy economy to the quality of life for local residents. Business managers can expect to develop long-lasting relationships.


Under statutorily specified circumstances, municipalities in Idaho and Washington are authorized to establish urban renewal districts and issue general obligation bonds to finance a variety of improvements within the designated area which can support and enhance new business investment. As investments are made and property taxes rise as a result of increased property values, a portion of the increase in tax revenues (tax increment) is diverted from the taxing districts to repay the bond indebtedness.

There are many eligible uses for the bond proceeds, including street, water and sewer construction; historic preservation; parking, terminal and dock development; and many other activities. The enabling statutes differ in the two states.


Small issue industrial revenue bond (IRB) financing can be arranged for Lewis-Clark projects at Washington or Idaho locations. Manufacturing and processing operations are eligible to utilize IRBs to finance up to $10 million in capital investments, including property acquisition, construction or building improvements, machinery and equipment purchases, and related design, accounting, legal, and financing costs. A key feature of this credit source is that interest income to bond buyers is not subject to federal income tax, resulting in a market willing to accept lower rates of interest. Floating rate IRBs are typically about 75% of prime; fixed rate IRBs may be 2% below prevailing conventional interest rates. In Washington, it also is possible for credit-worthy companies to finance equipment-only purchases as low as $250,000.



Three Port districts and other private property owners in the Valley can finance building and infrastructure development to meet company requirements. This can be a particularly beneficial resource for expanding companies to preserve their own capital for operating needs.


There are a variety of local, regional, state and federal loan and loan-guarantee programs available for business expansions into the Lewis-Clark Valley. Loan minimums are as low as $500 and maximums over $1 million. In most cases, these funds participate with local banks to meet the credit need of Valley companies. Companies establishing operations in the Lewis-Clark Valley have access to personalized assistance with identifying the most desirable fund sources, and with packaging the loan applications.


In addition to many of the financing sources outlined above, local governmental entities and Ports have access to capital for infrastructure developments and improvements. These projects may include water and sewer lines, waste treatment facilities, pollution-control, street and road improvements, and other infrastructure needs. By coordinating developments, hiring plans and other start-up activities with local public entities, qualifying companies can receive significant financial offsets to support their operations. Public funding sources include revenue bonds, Community Development Block Grants, Tax Increment Financing (Idaho locations), Community Economic Revitalization Board financing (Washington locations), and a variety of other state and federal programs.



economic development lewis-clark valley
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