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Eye On Boise

Wed., Feb. 4, 2009, 8:56 a.m.

‘It’s not $35 million’

Wayne Hammon, Gov. Butch Otter's budget director, says the state's tax revenue shortfall for January is not $35 million. Preliminary figures show that the month's revenue fell short of the expected $267 million, Hammon said, but he's not ready to release the figure, and wouldn't say if it's higher or lower than the $35 million figure that's been tossed around. "That number that was in today's paper is incorrect," Hammon said. Final numbers usually aren't available until the 15th of the month. "The earliest I've ever seen it finalized is by the 10th," Hammon said. In addition to the January revenue figures, lawmakers and the administration were hoping to know the latest unemployment figures this week, but the state Department of Labor sent out an advisory today saying, "The Idaho unemployment rate for January 2009 will not be released until Feb. 27 due to the benchmarking process for employment data."

That likely means the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee will have to set a budget target without having the latest unemployment data at hand.

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Eye On Boise

Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.