(AP) - Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's proposed budget got a little boost from the latest tax revenue collections that were $6.3 million above projections. Tuesday's release of figures for January point toward continued economic strengthening.


Otter aides have been roaming the Capitol with preliminary numbers recently - to make the case that Idaho revenue will be sufficient to support the Republican's 2013 budget proposal. That includes a proposed $41 million raise for teachers and state employees, as well as a $45 million tax cut. The sales tax beat its forecast for the second straight month, exceeding expectations by $7.6 million. State economist Derek Santos says January's sales-tax performance is an important milestone because it's the month with the year's highest expected collections, on sales that took place during December's holiday shopping season.


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