Endowment assets generate income to fund major maintenance and preservation of the Capitol Building and the operations of the Capitol Commission. Endowment land is managed, for the benefit of the Commission, by the Idaho Department of Lands and two perpetual endowment funds are overseen by the Idaho Endowment Fund Investment Board. The permanent endowments provide the cash for two appropriated funds that are overseen by the Commission.
Large tracts of land were gifted in the Idaho Admission Act by the federal government for the benefit of certain functions—public schools, a state university, penitentiary, public buildings, and the Capitol Building. The land gifted by the federal government for the benefit of the Capitol consisted of 32,000 acres of land. Over time, 25,000 acres were sold, in part to pay for the construction of the Capitol and in part to provide revenues for the General Fund.
The Idaho Capitol Act of 1998 created the Capitol Permanent Endowment which placed the remaining 7,000 acres of timber and mineral lands as well as approximately $3 million in funds from previous timber sales from the lands in permanent endowment status. This endowment is the Capitol Permanent Endowment. Income from the remaining endowment land, primarily from the sale of timber, is deposited in the Permanent Fund. Each year, in accordance with the guidelines in Idaho Code 67-1610, the Endowment Fund Investment Board makes a distribution of expected long-term income from the Permanent Fund to the Capitol Maintenance Reserve Fund. The Reserve Fund was created in 2013 to accumulate assets to fund periodic major maintenance projects as well as the annual operating costs of the Capitol Commission and fees for management of the land and the funds.
As needed, subject to legislative appropriation, the Capitol Commission transfers funds from the Reserve Fund to its operating funds.