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Endowment fund strong at year's end
August 2, 2017
Managers of Idaho's land grant endowment assets closed out Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) with strong performances, yielding more money to support Idaho's public school system, higher education, and other State of Idaho institutions.

The Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) reports that revenue generating activities on endowment lands coupled with proceeds from sales of residential cottage sites and commercial real estate properties during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, amounted to approximately $125.8 million. FY17 gross land revenues were $74,682,023, up slightly compared to FY16.

The Endowment Fund Investment Board (EFIB) manages the investment of land revenues. The Endowment Fund earned a 12.8 percent return in FY17, compared to a loss of 0.2 percent in FY16. Investment earnings are estimated at $234 million, up from a loss of $3 million in FY16. The balance in the Endowment Fund exceeds $2 billion for the first time ever. The fund's average annual gross return has been 9.5 percent over the last five years and 6.4 percent over the last 10 years.

Distributions to endowment beneficiaries totaled $63.2 million in FY17 and will rise 16 percent to $73.5 million in FY18. The Land Board will begin considering the level of distributions for FY19 later this month.

More than 2.4 million acres of endowment lands in Idaho along with the funds they generate are overseen by the State Board of Land Commissioners (Land Board), comprised of Idaho's governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state controller, and superintendent of public instruction.
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