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February tax revenue tops state forecast

Idaho’s tax revenue through the first eight months of the fiscal year 2012 is $32.7 million ahead of forecasts after strong collections in February were combined with lower-than-expected refunds.

Through February, Idaho has collected $1.64 billion, well above the $1.5 billion the state took in during the same period a year ago.

Though Idaho is ahead of expectations, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s administration cautioned that the income likely isn’t as robust as it appears.

Budget chief Wayne Hammon says the weaker-than-expected refunds — the function of a timing issue, not a substantive change — likely means some $12 million of the collections will be returned to taxpayers.

Hammon says a more realistic interpretation of the data would show year-to-date collections about $20 million ahead of Division of Financial Management forecasts.

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