Bringing the Economy Home


Meet Economist Mike Ferguson


In 2011 Mike Ferguson launched the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy.  It’s a non-partisan non-profit aimed at providing analysis of state government spending, budgeting, and fiscal policy.

Before becoming director of the center, Ferguson was Idaho’s chief economist for 25 years.  He worked in the governor’s budget office under six different administrations.  Ferguson retired from his post during the beginning of C.L. “Butch” Otter’s second term as governor.

Ferguson has also worked as an economist at the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.  He’s a graduate of Boise State University and the University of Oregon.

Latest Posts

Idaho Lawmakers Could Have More Money To Spend Than Expected

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 […]

Is Idaho Winning A Race To The Economic Bottom? That Depends On Who You Ask

Many of Idaho’s monthly and quarterly economic indicators are good. The state’s unemployment rate has dropped steadily, tax collections are on-par with forecasts, gross state product is growing, and so are incomes. But economist Mike Ferguson says it’s not that simple. To get a true sense of where Idaho stands economically, Ferguson says, it’s important […]

Mike Ferguson: The Math Doesn’t Work On Gov. Otter’s Plan To Repeal Business Property Tax

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter’s State of the State speech yesterday shed light on his agenda for the 2013 legislative session. Otter doesn’t want to commit to expanding Medicaid eligibility for low-income Idahoans, he didn’t set a clear path on education reform.  And he strongly advocated for getting rid of Idaho’s business personal property tax. Idaho […]

Idaho Education Department Disputes Funding Cuts Are Near The Top In The Nation

A recent report by the non-partisan research organization Center on Budget Policy and Priorities says education cuts in Idaho have been among the deepest in the nation over the last five years. As StateImpact reported last week, CBPP’s study shows per-student spending in Idaho has dropped 19 percent since 2008. Just three states have cut […]

Idaho Economist Mike Ferguson Featured In ‘The Nation’

Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy director Mike Ferguson picked up national press this week.  He’s featured in a Q&A with The Nation. The Nation writer Sasha Abramsky asked Ferguson about his recent report on the decline in state funding for education, the shrinking role of government, and the shift in Idaho politics Ferguson noted during […]

Idaho’s Education Funding Glossary

The non-partisan Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy released a report questioning the constitutionality of Idaho’s school funding plan late last week. Education funding is complicated.  It gets even more complex when you throw in jargon.  The center’s report uses Idaho-specific funding terms, and we found ourselves often looking for the definitions of those.  So, we […]

Economist Mike Ferguson Questions Whether Idaho Is Adequately Funding Education

The Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy released a report last week questioning the constitutionality of Idaho’s education funding system.  Director of the center and former longtime chief state economist Mike Ferguson authored the report.  Two of the largest stakeholders involved, the Idaho Department of Education and the Idaho Education Association have yet to weigh in […]

The Road to Idaho’s Revenue Estimate

This evening at the Statehouse, the Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee (EORAC) meets to discuss an important number: its revenue forecast.  Just as the governor bases his budget on a revenue estimate, so does the Idaho Legislature.  Both numbers are critical, because they dictate the spending levels that lawmakers will settle on over the […]

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »