March 5, 2010 in Idaho

Idaho tax revenue is $41M behind estimates

Associated Press

BOISE — Idaho has missed its tax revenue forecasts by a combined $41 million since December.

House leaders confirmed that revenue fell more than $15 million short of February’s targets.

If revenue through June 30 falls more than $69 million, it would put Idaho’s already-austere spending plan for 2010 into a deficit.

The Idaho Constitution requires the state to balance its budget every year, but it still could tap reserve funds like the one created with the massive 1998 settlement with tobacco companies.

House Majority Leader Scott Bedke and Majority Leader Mike Moyle said discussions are under way to address how Idaho should tackle the possibility of revenue collapsing in April.

The state missed December and January forecasts by a combined $25 million.

Wayne Hammon, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s budget chief, didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

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