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Eye On Boise

Analysis concludes Otter’s budget proposal doesn’t balance, says state can’t afford income tax cuts

An analysis of Gov. Butch Otter’s proposed budget for next year by the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy concluded that when ongoing state expenses are taken into account, from firefighting bills already incurred to the out-year impacts of Otter’s proposed phased-in cut in state income tax rates, the budget doesn’t balance.

“The proposed executive budget for fiscal year 2016 does not appear to have room to implement the proposed tax cut of 0.5 percentage points for corporations and highest earning households without making cuts elsewhere,” the analysis concludes. “Adjustments must be made to the current budget if Idaho is going to cover necessary expenses without tapping reserve funds. Additional cuts to revenue could jeopardize widely shared goals for our state, including education investment.” You can read the full analysis online here. It comes as state lawmakers prepare for the next step after Otter’s budget proposal – the legislative crafting of the state budget, in individual budget bills for each agency, that’s scheduled to start next week.

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee will hold a public hearing tomorrow from 8-10:30 a.m. in the Lincoln Auditorium to hear public comments on budget-related issues; people may sign up to testify starting at 7 a.m.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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