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Idaho lawmakers receive update on state’s fiscal outlook

In preparation for the start of the 2024 Legislative Session on January 8, members of the Idaho Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee are hearing presentations to help shape the revenue framework for budget discussions. This is the role of the committee:

“(1) make an overall assessment of Idaho’s economy by providing a forum for expert testimony from economists, business leaders, and industry spokesmen regarding the status of Idaho’s current economy and the economic outlook for the next eighteen months; and (2) review the Governor’s fiscal years 2023 and 2024 General Fund revenue projections and provide advice to the Legislature regarding the total estimated revenues expected to be available for appropriation.”

Here are some of the notable details provided during today’s meeting:

  • “Overall, revenues appear to be leveling out.  

  • Withholdings remain strong.

  • Net sales taxes mostly match last year.

  • Still looking for headwinds on economic stability in a unique economy.”

  • “Idaho has been the fastest-growing state since 2010.

  • 90% of population growth since April 2020 has come from migration.

  • We forecast state population will exceed two million in winter 2024.

  • Migration explains 2/3 of predicted revenue growth through FY 2028.”

  • “Idaho’s economic strength continues to lead the nation.

  • The state leads the nation in the percentage increase of jobs above the pre-pandemic peak.  

  • The largest job increases in the next two years are expected to continue to be in health care and construction sectors.  

  • Total covered wages have increased by $4.7 billion from Q2 2022 to Q2 2023 and are expected to increase by $6.3 by Q2 2025.

  • Labor force supply limitations have eased but remain a challenge.”

  • “Headwinds: Labor Pressure, High Prices, International Uncertainty, and Increasing Energy Prices.”

  • “Tailwinds: Labor Market Strength, Consumer Spending, Government Stimulus, and Strong Mountain West Region.”

The Idaho Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee will use the information from these presentations to adopt its formal revenue recommendation on January 11. This revenue projection will then be used to frame the budget debate for the session. The 2024 Legislative Session starts on January 8 and is currently targeted to end on March 22.

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