State Purchase and Operation of a Boise Self-Storage Facility Creates Controversy

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The state of Idaho recently purchased Affordable Self Storage in Boise, and some residents question whether it’s a conflict of interest for the state to run a commercial business and compete with the private sector.

The state paid $2.7 million in August for the 400-plus-unit facility on Maple Grove, in a Boise suburb. In an effort to increase its return on investments, the agency that oversees the state’s endowment lands added the storage site to a portfolio of properties that includes offices, parking garages and grazing land. The endowment benefits public schools and has generated $2 million to date.

Affordable self-storage is run as a tax-exempt facility. Though state ownership and operation of the property is legal, some people are concerned about the removal of this and other commercial properties from the tax rolls while competing with private businesses.

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