A proposed bill in the Idaho House of Representatives would force the state's land board to sell the Affordable Self Storage self-storage facility it purchased with controversy in 2010. If the bill is passed, the state will also need to divest itself of all other businesses funded by the state's endowment trust, selling them to private-sector buyers.
Rep. John Vander Woude of Nampa introduced the bill on Feb. 7. It requires the land board to sell or lease all improvements on endowment-owned ground and sell all business operations. The House Resources Committee will review the bill first.
The state purchased the 400-unit self-storage facility in suburban Boise in August 2010 for $2.7 million.
The state's entrance into the self-storage market has drawn criticism from industry representatives, including the national Self Storage Association (SSA) and the Idaho Self Storage Association (IDSSA). With the support of the associations, numerous self-storage professionals have railed against the state-owned enterprise and encouraged a unified effort to force a sale.
The argument supporting a state-owned facility relies on the Idaho Constitution, which requires the land board to pursue the highest returns from endowment properties to benefit schools. George Beacon, director of the Idaho Department of Lands, has also argued that profitable state-owned enterprises help keep taxes down while still funding education.
According to the source, Affordable Self Storage is one of the state's best-performing businesses.