September 30, 2019
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State's revenue projected to increase by nearly a half billion dollars through 2021

Washington state’s tax collections are continuing to increase faster than expected. A new revenue forecast released last week shows the state collecting nearly $447 million more through mid-2021 than had been expected.

The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council met Wednesday, releasing its projections that the state will collect more than $51.4 billion in the current two-year budget cycle, which started in July. The state is projected to have $3.1 billion in reserves at the end of this current biennium.

While tax collections are up, so is risk, the forecast council notes: “The level of uncertainty in the baseline remains elevated, with downside risks outweighing upside risks.”

The next revenue forecast is expected Nov. 20. In December, Gov. Jay Inslee will release his draft 2020 supplemental budget in advance of the legislative session, which begins Jan. 13 and is set to last for 60 days.

The Washington Research Council takes a look at the forecast here. The full slide deck from the forecast council is here.

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Freeways Aren't Free

The Times recommends: Reject car tabs Initiative 976 and its devastating effects

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

In his latest ballot measure, initiative promoter Tim Eyman is overreaching again. He conjures a fantasy world in which Washington's transportation infrastructure is complete, efficient and everlasting.

The real-life Initiative 976 is a direct threat to Washington's well-being. It would cut repairs to streets and bridges of 62 districts across the state, delay voter-approved mass transit in mid-construction and cost taxpayers more money in the long run. The statewide transportation budget, including highway construction and the State Patrol, would be shorted $4 billion over the next decade.

Little wonder large employers including Amazon, Alaska Airlines and Microsoft, business groups, city and county officials, unions and environmental concerns oppose I-976...

Nothing about I-976 is a good idea, in terms of responsible governance or prudent money management. Eyman asks voters to buy a falsity that there's some miraculous way to fund our state's backlog of bridge, road and transit needs. Because the courts cannot end this toxic nonsense quickly enough, voters must reject I-976 themselves.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times