Tom Harris chairman Idaho State Tax Commission, formerly pres, Western States Equipment

Tom Harris, new chairman of the Idaho state Tax Commission

In my Sunday column this week, I talk with Tom Harris, new chairman of the state Tax Commission, who unlike Idaho's other current tax commissioners, who have long years of government experience, comes from the business world; he's the former longtime president of Western States Equipment. “I hope I’m bright enough to say that state government shouldn’t be like business,” Harris said. “A lot of people say we need to make state government more like business, and I don’t believe that’s the case.”

“There are some things that are every bit the same, and it’s the human capital, the people,” he said. “You get results … out of having highly engaged employees that want to be here." Also in my Sunday column, I look at the ups and downs of Idaho's minimum teacher salary over the past decade — and there were downs as well as ups — and report on First Lady Teresa Little's praise for Idaho Public Television, of which she wrote in her latest newsletter, "Our family has long been viewers, fans and supporters." You can read my full column here at (subscription required), or pick up today's Sunday/Monday edition of the Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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