BOISE – Idaho’s tax revenues fell $12.8 million below forecasts in January, but the state’s chief economist says the dip is due to a timing issue, and “it’s not necessarily a cause for alarm.”
“You have to look behind the numbers,” said Mike Ferguson, Gov. Butch Otter’s chief economist. “Things appear to have stabilized.”
The distinction could be significant because lawmakers, who are trying to determine how much to cut state spending, have been bracing for worsening revenue projections.
Idaho’s tax revenues fell $12.6 million short in December, in addition to the $12.8 million shortfall in January. But Ferguson said nearly all of that came from lower early individual income tax payments – something that previously was encouraged by federal tax laws, but now has become less advantageous to taxpayers. If so, that money can be expected to come in by April.
Idaho’s sales tax revenues in January were $6.5 million above projections.