Thanks to higher-than-expected tax collections last month, Idaho lawmakers could have more money in the bank to allocate to things like education, road repair, and health care services.
That’s the hypothesis from the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy director Mike Ferguson who analyzed the monthly revenue report and state budget. Ferguson says lawmakers could have as much as $162 million more to spend during the 2014 legislative session.
As The Idaho Statesman’s Dan Popkey notes, that’s about 6 percent of the state’s annual budget.
Ferguson, the former state economist under six Idaho governors, writes;
The April revenue results have profound implications for fiscal decisions that will be made in the next legislative session. While the numbers will change (for example, we don’t yet know actual May and June revenue numbers, and we don’t know what revised forecast growth rate will be used for FY 2014), it is clear there will be substantially more revenue available than policymakers thought less than two months ago. How this additional revenue is utilized will depend on Idaho’s public policy priorities. – Mike Ferguson, ICFP