Idaho’s economic rebound continues to strengthen, with Idaho leading all 50 states for best financial shape, tax revenues beating the forecast by $37 million for the month of August and Idaho’s employment rate better than 47 other states.
“We’re far better off in Idaho than elsewhere, thanks to our handling of the pandemic and fiscal conservatism in state government – our management of the state budget and watchful eye on regulations. We are well positioned to handle the ongoing impacts of COVID-19,” Governor Brad Little said.
Financial magazine Barron’s ranked Idaho first among states last week for creditworthiness.
The Division of Financial Management released the August tax revenue report showing Idahoans are getting back to work and engaging in the economy, with sales taxes and income taxes coming in well above forecast.
In addition, Idaho ranks third among states for lowest unemployment rate.
Idaho has been able to lead the nation in financial solvency through conservative revenue forecasting, setting aside healthy reserves, limiting government spending, and rolling back state regulations.
Idaho state agencies just submitted the lowest budget request in years – with just 1.68-percent growth for Fiscal Year 2022 starting next year. Under Governor Little’s direction, the “no frills” budget reflects limited growth in state government.
Thankfully, Idaho’s public-school system will be minimally impacted by COVID-19 in current and future years because of Idaho’s efforts to strategically leverage federal funds to offset planned reductions.
Fiscal conservativism elsewhere in the budget combined with the relief funds Idaho directed to K-12 mean teachers, students, and parents won’t feel as much of an impact in schools here like they will in other states.
Idaho remains the least-regulated state in the nation after Governor Little and the Legislature achieved historic regulatory cuts last year. Seventy-five percent of regulations were cut or simplified in a matter of months, and through Governor Little’s Zero-Based Regulation executive order earlier this year, regulatory reductions will continue.
“Our economy has been open for months and we have managed to do so without maxing out our healthcare system statewide – a testament to the people and businesses of Idaho. I appreciate Idahoans for their strength and determination, and for the care they continue to show their neighbors. Let’s keep up our preventive actions so we can continue our economic rebound and so our kids can learn in their classrooms where they deserve to be,” Governor Little said. ■