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Eye On Boise

Not really that far apart

Though legislators were quick to decry Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s revenue projections for next year as overly optimistic, they really didn’t depart much from them when they set their own estimate, which provides a basis for budget-setting. Plus, the Joint Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee didn’t actually reject the governor’s numbers - they declared them “reasonable,” but advised “caution” in exceeding their own numbers.

The lawmakers’ projection is that the state will take in $2,075.7 million in tax revenue next year, about $28 million less than the governor’s estimate. But Kempthorne only proposed spending $2.083 million - he wants to set some money aside as a cushion for the following year, when the state’s sales tax is scheduled to drop back down to 5 percent. That means the legislators’ figure is only $8 million below the governor’s proposed spending level — just 0.4 percent of the state budget.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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