Idaho’s state tax revenues for April, at least according to preliminary numbers, are up – way up – to the tune of $112 million more than expected. A whopping $92 million of that came from the individual income tax. Corporate income tax was up $12 million over projections, and sales taxes were up $8 million.
In a news release, Gov. Dirk Kempthorne sounded a cautionary note. “These numbers are very positive,” Kempthorne said. “Idaho has enjoyed record high employment numbers and continues to create new jobs. We are at the forefront of a robust national economy that shows few signs of slowing. However, we must remain cautious not to generate unrealistic expectations. The spike in demand for new housing that has produced these preliminary numbers could mean continued job creation and strong wages – especially in the construction industry – if it is sustained. However, we must guard against the possibility of what some see as a developing housing bubble.”
For the current fiscal year to date, general fund revenue stands about $137 million higher than projections.
Here’s the explanation from the governor’s office: “Early indications from the Idaho Tax Commission suggest the key factors behind this strong revenue performance include a significant increase in capital gains related not only to real estate transactions but also equity market gains, large amounts of retirement income with no corresponding withholding, and taxpayers with combined wage and retirement income with insufficient withholding. Much of the boost in retirement-related filing payments appears to be related to new arrivals to Idaho.”