Balanced budget represents good government

Print Article

Four simple budgeting concepts guide governing in Idaho:

• Donít spend more money than you bring in.

• Save some money as preparation for a potential downturn.

• Make investments where they matter.

• Take steps to put budget surpluses back into taxpayersí pockets.

We just closed the books on the state of Idaho budget for fiscal year 2019. We not only stuck to the budget and paid for all our planned expenses, but we ended with a cash balance exceeding $100 million.

In addition, the balance in Idahoís major rainy-day funds ó the emergency funds that help us weather economic downturns without having to raise taxes to maintain essential government services ó is more than $530 million.

Looking ahead, the Idaho Legislature closely followed the fiscal year 2020 budget I proposed, and we are projecting an estimated cash balance of $174 million at fiscal year-end next year.

As other states and the federal government struggle to wrangle spending, I can assure Idahoans that our finances here are sound. Data from the National Association of State Budget Officers ranks Idaho sixth in the nation for the size of our total balances, including the fiscal year-end balance and rainy-day funds.

The executive and legislative branches work together in Idaho to limit government growth and invest your tax dollars where they can make the greatest positive impact on citizens, especially our children, such as increasing starting teacher salaries to recruit young people into the profession and incentivize them to stay in their careers. We achieved that earlier this year, and the changes began to take effect this month.

In 2018, the Idaho Legislature passed the biggest income tax cut in state history. Since then, corporate taxes spiked $59 million above forecast, a sign of increased business activity. Sales taxes swelled $22 million above forecast, largely a result of increased personal spending. Tax cuts spur economic activity.

I am committed to continuing to work with legislators to put budget surpluses ó your hard-earned tax dollars ó back into your pockets by eventually eliminating the grocery tax once and for all.

This is fiscal conservatism in action, folks, and I believe it is a main driver why Idaho consistently ranks as one of the top states for job growth, economic momentum, low unemployment, and personal income growth. I believe people and businesses are choosing to relocate or expand to Idaho because we responsibly manage public dollars.

Citizen confidence in state government is a high priority of mine. Idahoans expect accountable, functional government that respects their hard-earned money. To meet that expectation, I will continue to lead with a focus on administering the stateís laws and providing services as efficiently as possible.

Gov. Brad Little can be reached by mail at Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720; by phone at 208-334-2100, by fax at 208-854-3036, or by email at .

Print Article

Read More Editorial

Work continues on county road projects

September 29, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee Overseeing a county road operation has some remarkable resemblance to surviving as a small farm operator. You take stock of the conditions in the spring, as mud squishes under your boots, then begi...


Read More

Starting a dialogue on education, schools

September 26, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee I want to thank the community for your trust in me as the new Lake Pend Oreille School District superintendent. As a long-standing Bonner County resident, and graduate of Sandpoint High School, I can...


Read More

Farewell delta extraordinaire Kathy Cousins

September 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee We just learned that our local delta restoration expert, Kathy Cousins, will be leaving Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) for a new and exciting career opportunity. This is sad news for us and the fish and...


Read More

An honor and privilege to serve Sandpoint

September 19, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee It has been an incredible honor and privilege to serve as mayor of Sandpoint. As we near the end of my first term, itís a good time to review some highlights weíve accomplished so far to make Sandpoi...


Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2019 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy