STATE BOARD OF EXAMINERS
MINUTES – Special Meeting
June 8, 2010 – 2:00 p.m.
Joe R. Williams Building, 5th Floor Conference Room A
The special meeting of the State Board of Examiners was called to order pursuant to Idaho Code §67-2002 and by the order of the chair.
The following board members were present: Secretary of State, Ben Ysursa, acting chairman of the board, President Pro Tem Robert L. Geddes, and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden by telephone. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter was absent. Controller Donna M. Jones, Secretary to the State Board of Examiners recorded the proceedings of the meeting.
1. Tax Commission
Request pursuant to Idaho Code 63-3067(2) for an immediate transfer of funds from the general fund to the state refund fund in the amount of $11 million.
This replaces item #4 on the Board of Examiners subcommittee meeting agenda on June 8, 2010.
Discussion: Acting Chairman Geddes introduced the agenda item.
Mr. Mark Poppler of the Tax Commission described that the item is a short-term loan of $11 million that the Tax Commission intends to pay back before the end of June. He handed out two worksheets that explained the month-to-month six year history of the refund fund. Right now they have virtually all of the timely returns in their system and the Commission has a good estimate of the total refund number. They ended the month of May with $689,000 in the refund fund. They anticipate paying around $17 million in refunds throughout the month of June. Around $15 million of those were timely filed and will need to be paid back by the statutory due date to avoid incurring an interest. Most of the revenue comes in around the 20th of June or after, when the withholding due date is in place. They only receive $4 - 5 million revenue during the first 20 days of the month. It is the plan that the Commission will pay back the $11 million plus a slight balance from what they have already borrowed. The estimated returned money at the end of the month should be around $15.7 million. The percentage of the gross revenue that has gone out in refunds is 22.66%. The statutory rate is 20%. In most years when the economy is normal or better than it is now, the refund percentage can go down dramatically. The second worksheet he provided for the Board was a history of the three times the Commission has come before the Board of Examiners this year. The first time they asked for money was in late February, asking $45 million and receiving $30 million. In April they came back and asked for the extra $15 million they did not get before. If April had come in at the projected revenue, there would be $12 million more in the refund fund. The revenue impact to the state on the $11 million would reach $113,000 at a 5% interest. If the Treasurer loaned the $11 million for fifteen days, it would cost the state approximately $4,500. There is a net benefit of over $100,000 to have the refunds paid on time.
Attorney General Wasden asked Mr. Poppler if the $11 million is a sufficient amount of money to cover the refunds. Statutory interest would run back to April 15 if the transfer is not done.
Mr. Poppler answered that they have tried to be as conservative as possible. The Commission would not object to receiving $12 million, but the $11 million is a good estimate.
Mr. Wasden noted that this was their third time to address this issue before the Board and it appears some of the statutory mechanisms are antiquated and do not really fit with budget theory and practice. Mr. Wasden made an invitation to the Governor’s Office, the Controller’s Office, Treasurer’s Office, Secretary of State’s Office, his office, and to the Legislature that they get together collectively and view the statutory mechanisms and provide recommendations to the legislature about how the statutes might be changed to better fit how they are actually budgeting and expending the funds.
Chairman of the Tax Commission Royce Chigbrow explained that the current system’s check and balance feature is a good internal control. In the last 15 years they have had shortages in the refund account three times. He thanked Mr. Poppler for his work and projections and commended the Board of Examiners for their job.
Secretary of State Ysursa noted that as a board, they may want to consider in June in future years, to have a meeting the first week of the month, rather than the 3rd week so that there would not have to be last minute special meetings. He stated that this is all part of the scenario on how to balance the fiscal year. The legislature’s Senate Bill 1445 has laid out a scenario on how we are going to balance the general fund this year and then take whatever steps are necessary for next year. They have provided a good road map of how to balance the 2010 general fund and it will effect how much is left for the 2011 year. He thanked Mr. Wasden for his comments.
Mr. Wasden explained that his comments were not a criticism of the Tax Commission or their efforts. He said that his comments were aimed toward a variety of other budget issues and the time has come to collectively sit down and examine the statutes. He asked Mr. Chigbrow if it is preferable to have $11 million in transfer or $12 million.
Mr. Chigbrow responded that $11 million should be sufficient to meet their goals.
Resolution: Mr. Wasden moved to approve item 1. Mr. Ysursa seconded the motion.
Discussion: Mr. Ysursa noted that this money is coming out of the general fund. The intent is to get the money out to the taxpayers in a timely manner. There is legislative direction on where that money will be coming from in Senate Bill 1445.
Mr. Geddes commented that this is not the state’s money, but in fact it is the citizen’s money and needs to be refunded.
Mr. Geddes requested a roll call vote on the motion.
Roll Call: State Controller Jones took the roll call.
Acting Chairman Geddes: Aye.
Secretary of State Ysursa: Aye.
Attorney General Wasden: Aye.
The motion was passed unanimously.
There being no further business before the board and on motion duly made and seconded, THE MEETING OF THE STATE BOARD OF EXAMINERS WAS ADJOURNED at 2:23 p.m.
__________/s/ Donna M. Jones ____________
__________/s/ Robert L. Geddes ________
Robert L. Geddes, acting Chairman of the Board and
Acting Governor of the State of Idaho
Donna M. Jones, Secretary of the Board and
Idaho State Controller
A meeting agenda will be available at the Idaho State Controller’s Office, 700 West State Street, Boise, Idaho, two (2) working days before the meeting.
If you have questions or would like to arrange auxiliary aides or services for persons with disabilities, please contact the Idaho State Controller’s Office at (208) 334-3100. Accommodations for auxiliary aides or services must be made no less than five (5) working days in advance of the meeting.
The CONSENT AGENDA addresses routine items the board may approve without discussion.
The REGULAR AGENDA addresses policy and program items the board may wish to discuss prior to making a decision.
The INFORMATION AGENDA provides information only.
The agendas are subject to change and the Board may move an item from one agenda to another.