Idaho - Public finance



Idaho's annual budget, prepared by the Division of Financial Management, is submitted by the governor to the legislature for amendment and approval. The fiscal year runs from 1 July to 30 June. The state constitution requires that the legislature pass a balanced budget, and the governor, as the chief budget officer, has regularly assured that expenditures do not exceed revenues. This became more difficult as revenues, which grew 5.2% and 4.2% in 2000 and 2001, respectively, fell in 2002 to $1.7 billion from $1.99 billion in 2001, and then remained weak, at $1.77 billion, in 2003. The beginning balance for the general fund in 2000/01 was $285 million. By 2003/04, the beginning balance had dropped to 0, and according to the projected budget for the General Fund, will only be $1 million in 2004/05 including $36 million in Idaho's Budget Stabilization Fund. Also included is additional revenue from a hike in the state sales tax rate from 5% to 6.5% effective 1 May 2003 (generating increased revenues estimated at $18.2 million in 2002/03, and $240.3 million in 2003/04) and an increase in the cigarette tax from 28¢ to 62¢ a pack for 2003/04 (generating an estimated additional $28.7 million in revenues) In 2002, cuts in planned expenditures made after the budget had been passed by the legislature totaled $64.1 million, with no budget sectors exempt from cuts. Budget cuts made after the 2002/03 budget had been passed totaled $19.5 million, including a 1.1% reduction in state Medicaid funding (which, counting just state spending, grew 11.1% in 2001/02 and 11.4% in 2002/03, and is projected to grow 3.2% in 2003/04), plus 3.5% cuts across most other state agencies, exempting only most education budgets (although Idaho State University is reported to have set aside 4.5% of its 2002/03 budget which was already 10% lower than the year before).

General fund revenues are projected to grow 4.1% in 2003/04, to $1.85 billion, still below 2000/01 levels. In 2002/03, estimated general fund expenditures were $1.95 billion. Of total expenditures, 64.7% was allocated to education, 19% to health and human services; 9.2% to corrections and public safety, 3.8% for general government operations, 2% for natural resources, and 1% for economic development.

The following table from the US Census Bureau contains information on revenues, expenditures, indebtedness, and cash/securities for 2001.

Idaho

  ($000) PERCENT PER CAPITA
Population (thousands, 2001) 1,321 (X) (X)
Total Revenue 5,286,097 100.00 4,001.59
General revenue 4,558,746 86.24 3,450.98
Utility revenue
Liquor store revenue 61,344 1.16 46.44
Insurance trust revenue 666,007 12.60 504.17
Exhibit: Salaries and wages 800,901 16.17 606.28
Total expenditure 4,951,659 100.00 3,748.42
General expenditure 4,426,471 89.39 3,350.85
Education 1,768,837 35.72 1,339.01
Public welfare 922,920 18.64 698.65
Hospitals 43,079 0.87 32.61
Health 103,705 2.09 78.50
Highways 501,659 10.13 379.76
Police protection 42,569 0.86 32.22
Correction 159,142 3.21 120.47
Natural resources 148,907 3.01 112.72
Parks and recreation 31,885 0.64 24.14
Government administration 205,387 4.15 155.48
Interest on general debt 140,233 2.83 106.16
Other and unallocable 358,148 7.23 271.12
Utility expenditure
Liquor store expenditure 47,953 0.97 36.30
Insurance trust expenditure 477,235 9.64 361.27
Debt at end of fiscal year 2,341,978 100.00 1,772.88
Cash and security holdings 11,467,894 100.00 8,681.22


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