Surplus general funds would continue to be funneled to transportation projects in Idaho for another five years under a newly introduced plan.
Rep. Joe Palmer, chairman of the House Transportation and Defense Committee, pitched his so-called surplus eliminator proposal to the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday. Idaho has been funneling a portion of the state's excess funds to state roads and bridges since 2015, but that system is set to expire this year.
Idaho uses fuels taxes, registration fees and other sources to pay for its state and local roads and bridges. However, that system has not been enough to help cover the costs of maintenance and construction, leaving state with an annual $262 million transportation deficit.
A surplus eliminator does not create a permanent or significant source of transportation funds because there is no guarantee that the state will have a budget surplus at the end of the fiscal year.