BOISE -- Idaho replenished its rainy day fund to over $75 million thanks to higher than projected revenue for fiscal year 2012.
In 2008, when the state began to dip into the rainy day funds, those accounts went down around $278 million. Now, for the first time, those accounts are beginning to fill back up, even if it's a little bit.
Numbers released Friday show Idaho brought in over $2.5 billion during the fiscal year 2012 that ended June 30th. That's $35 million more than anticipated.
With the budget balanced, the excess has been deposited into four rainy day funds, including public education reserves that now total about $37 million.
"Now that we're in a position where we can sock a little bit, not a lot, but a little bit of money away, the governor and the Legislature believe it's a prudent move to do so," said Jon Hanian, Governor Otter’s press secretary.
There are four areas where the state gets its revenue: sales tax, corporate tax, a miscellaneous account for unexpected things that come up through the course of the year and personal income tax and withholdings.
All of those areas went up except for personal income tax and withholdings.
An increase in sales and corporate tax means that consumers and businesses are more confident with their money, and therefore are willing to spend more.
A decrease in personal income tax and withholdings is a reminder that unemployment is still a big issue for Idahoans, with roughly 60,000 still looking for work.
Like Hanian said, the $35 million is only a little bit, but it is a step in the right direction for the state. The plan is to build the rainy day account back up for rainy years in the future.
Normally the excess money would be called a surplus, instead the state is essentially acting like it doesn't exist, putting it right into the rainy day accounts. That's happening because of a measure passed by the Legislature earlier this year.