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Thursday, February 16, 2012

State Revenue Forecast, 2012

The Washington State Revenue Forecast Council met this morning, Thursday, February 16 at 10:00 a.m. and shows the projected General Fund revenue for the 2011–13 biennium up by $96 million, compared to the previous quarterly forecast in November. This is a revenue increase of .3 percent in the current biennium and the first increase since June 2010. The new forecast increases total projected General Fund revenue for the biennium to about $30.3 billion.

A portion of the $1.4 billion dollar revenue shortfall was addressed in the December special session. With the $478 million in spending cuts, fund transfers and new revenue, from the special session, and the current forecast, the state currently has a projected budget shortfall of $855 million.

Many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree that there are some “tax incentives” that need to be eliminated; for example, big banks do not pay a B&O tax on income from first mortgages. Other tax breaks to be considered include those for wind turbines and other alternative energy sources – but that is not the comprehensive list. I think it’s fair to say that at this point both parties are looking at all tax alternatives to ensure that those not needed/not working be phased out.

It’s anticipated that the House Republicans will announce their budget on Friday, House Democrats will announce their budget early next week and the Senate budget should be announce the week after.

Mark Gjurasic
Public Affairs of Washington

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