Idaho turned in its best revenue month of the year in April, exceeding expectations by $56.4 million or 13.2 percent.
That was the fourth consecutive month revenue collections have come in higher than projected and was by far the largest monthly surplus of the fiscal year, which began July 1.
Through the first 10 months of fiscal 2013, the state has collected almost $2.32 billion. Thats 3.5 percent, or $79 million, ahead of the forecast of $2.24 billion.
"Were obviously pleased by the numbers, (but) we want to make sure we look at this as one-time money," said Jon Hanian, press secretary for Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter. "The governor has said we arent going to grow government at the same rate as the economy. We need to treat this money very carefully, because thats what got us through some very difficult straits" the past several years.
Beginning in fiscal 2009, Idaho relied heavily on its rainy day savings accounts to cushion the effect of the recession. A portion of this years revenue surplus will go toward replenishing those accounts.
A surge in individual income tax collections helped boost the April numbers. That was driven largely by accelerated dividend payments at the end of 2012, as investors tried to take advantage of lower federal tax rates before they increase this year.
Corporate income taxes and sales tax collections also exceeded expectations in April, and year-to-date, every revenue category is running ahead of projections.