before we get into the north-south thing, I would really like to know a couple things:Well, per the Fiscal Facts book published by the Legislative Services Office, here are the facts. (More census data here.)
1. What percentage of the state's revenue comes from the Treasure Valley?
2. What percentage of highway funds are spent in the Treasure Valley?
The Treasure Valley (Ada and Canyon County) account for about 35% of the state's population, so I would use this as a rough baseline, although business tax revenue might be different, not to mention differences in income.
At any rate, it always seems dangerous to go down this road. Someone in another thread suggested that "Boise" only get back what it pays. That might be a dangerous wish for the rest of the state.
2006 Population: Ada, 359,035; Canyon, 173,302; Kootenai, 131,507.
FY 2007 Highway Distributions: Ada, $21,095,292; Canyon, $10,923,563; Kootenai, $8,638,094.
FY 2007 Hwy Dist per capita: Ada, $58.75; Canyon, $63.03; KootCo, $65.58
(Contrast with Minidoka County, home of JAFC Chair Dean Cameron, gets $112.46 per capita.)
State population in 2006; 1,466,465. Ada is 24%, Canyon is 12% (together, 36%), KootCo is 9%. Ada and Canyon counties together get $32,018,855 of the $126,589,039 in highway distributions, or about 25%.
36% of the population, 25% of the money. So, yeah, great idea, let’s spend highway funds per capita. Le’see, 36% of the $126 mil is $45,572,054. The Treasure Valley would like a $13 million increase, please.
Or, how 'bout we slice the pie by question No. 1, percentage of state revenue? I don't have that, but the census data gives us sales data, which should help.
The census list four categories of sales data; manufacturer shipments, wholesale trade sales, retail sales, and accommodation and food service sales. Adding these, we get these totals:
Ada Cty $15,084,101,000 - 36% of state income (in the 4 areas)
Canyon $4,738,787,000 - 11%
KootCo $2,774,624,000 - 7%
Treasure valley - 47% of state income. 25% of road money.
Say what you will about the Treasure Valley, but one thing is clear. It is subsidizing the rest of the state, not the other way around.