BOISE, Idaho —
In this edition of Viewpoint, Governor Brad Little discusses Idaho's fight against COVID-19, the state's $1.6 billion budget surplus, tax relief and more. He also looks ahead to his priorities and the big issues of 2022.
Tax revenues have been pouring into the state's coffers at a higher rate than projected.
"We are going to address education, the promises that I made the last three, four years," said Idaho Governor Brad Little. "All those promises are going to be fulfilled for the most part—infrastructure and investments all over the state. A lot of these will be one-time because we don't know how much money is going to be ongoing, and then, of course, tax relief like we did last year.
Last year, Little and the Idaho legislature gave $440 million back to Idahoans. He was asked if the same could be expected this year.
"We'll release our new budget projection right about the same time as the State of the State [Address]. Our economists and some outside advisors are looking at what the money is because, as I said, we don't want to get ourselves into a hole, so the tax package will be sized where the economy is at that point in time to make sure that all the other things are sustainable going forward." Little said.
He also commented on whether or not another package of tax relief would be necessary this year.
"A lot of people talk about let growth grow your way out of it, don't increase taxes, don't cut spending. We have the enviable position of really doing all of that, giving tax money back to the people that paid the taxes, which is the right thing to do, continuing to make our tax position competitively in Idaho versus the rest of the country, as competitive as possible. Still upholding our constitutional obligation to educate our kids and provide opportunities for people whether it be in CTE and training for the workforce or higher education, we have the luxury with this budget of being able to do all of that."
Governor Little also wants some of the money to be set aside in the state's rainy-day accounts.
He will deliver his fourth State of the State Address on January 10, the first day of the 2022 legislative session.
You can watch Viewpoint Sunday mornings at 9 o'clock on NewsChannel 7 right after Meet the Press.
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