As the Legislature’s Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment opened its annual meeting this afternoon, Co-Chair Rep. Rick Youngblood, R-Nampa, noted that the panel’s mission is to make an overall assessment of Idaho’s economy for the next 18 months and the impact it’s likely to have on the state’s general fund revenues, then come back and review the governor’s fiscal year 2018 and 2019 general fund revenue projections, and then “provide advice for the Legislature regarding the total revenues expected to be available for appropriation.”
“So in light of our coming federal tax changes that we know about or will learn about, I would like to re-emphasize, if I may, that this committee is not a policy-setting committee,” Youngblood said. Instead, the lawmakers will “hear from our industry spokesmen to make an overall assessment” of Idaho’s economy going forward. That doesn’t mean they can’t “ask some very good questions concerning tax changes,” he said. “But please, let’s not get into the policy weeds.”
Sen. Fred Martin, R-Boise, the Senate co-chair of the panel, said, “I’m very much looking forward to this legislative session. I think the budget policies that will need to be set and that we’ll be going over will be very important, as they always are, but even more so this year.”
In mid-December, Lewiston Tribune reporter Bill Spence examined the likely impacts of the federal tax changes on Idaho’s state budget; his report is online here.