by Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports
During brief remarks at the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho annual conference on Wednesday, Gov. Brad Little hinted at his priorities for the upcoming 2022 legislative session.
“This upcoming session, I will reveal my plans on how to give back to the people of Idaho yet another record budget surplus — I always have to look at this twice — as we’re closing in on 1.6 billion dollars, about 40 percent of our total budget, that will be available, plus your federal funds that …. will make one-time investments to secure our future.”
Little said his Leading Idaho Plan will make investments in schools, roads, and clean water, while giving “additional tax relief” to Idahoans. Little gave few details, except on one proposal to freeze the base for Idaho employers for calculating their unemployment insurance taxes.
“This will result in a tax savings of $64 million to Idaho businesses over the next two years,” Little said.
Little didn’t take questions from the audience, and spent much of the speech touting Idaho’s recent economic successes, including Idaho’s recent AAA credit rating through Fitch Ratings. That designation will save state and local governments money when financing public works projects. “Forgive me, bankers in the room,” Little quipped.
Traditionally, Idaho governors don’t tip their hands about their legislative priorities until the State of the State, held on the first day of the regular session in January. Lawmakers and lobbyists regard the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho conference, held each year at the beginning of December, as the unofficial start of the legislative season.
The State of the State is scheduled for Jan. 10. Idaho Reports will have live coverage, as well as analysis immediately after the speech.