A June boon bolsters Idaho’s revenues

On Friday, the state of Idaho closed its books for 2016-17 — with an unexpected $94 million in hand.

Here’s the rundown on the budget year, which ended June 30:

A June boon. Revenues for the final month of the year came in $29 million ahead of forecasts. What’s more, the $361 million in June tax collections beat June 2016 revenues by 9.9 percent.

The year in review. The robust June numbers only add to the state’s better-than-expected 2016-17. Revenue collections came in at $3.45 billion, or $94 million ahead of projections.

Sales and corporate income tax collections both beat projections. But individual income taxes accounted for much of the windfall, coming in $60.3 million ahead of projections.

What happens next? Don’t expect the state to spend this money any time soon. The revenue numbers trigger a pair of automatic transfers into the Budget Stabilization Fund, the rainy-day account used to backfill agency budgets during a downturn. The account will end 2016-17 with a $318.7 million balance.

Is that all the money in the bank? No. Idaho has two other rainy-day accounts, earmarked for education.

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About $85 million sits in the Public Education Stabilization Account for K-12. Another $8.9 million sits in the Higher Education Stabilization Account — but $5 million of that money is dedicated as state seed money for the College of Eastern Idaho, which Bonneville County voters approved in May.

The June tax revenues did not trigger any new deposits into these education budget reserves.

More reading: Here’s a link to Gov. Butch Otter’s news release on the revenue numbers.


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