Nealey statement on state revenue forecast: ‘We’re not out of the woods yet’
'Washington's economy is still extremely fragile, and we cannot expect a robust recovery and improved revenue forecasts if the Legislature increases taxes and creates roadblocks to private sector job creation,' says Nealey
The Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council today released its quarterly revenue forecast for the 2011-13 biennium and the 2013-15 biennium. The General Fund-State net change is an increase of $58.8 million through the remainder of the 2011-13 biennium, which ends in June. However, the council is projecting a $19.1 million decrease in expected revenues for the 2013-15 biennium, primarily due to federal sequestration reductions, reinstatement of the federal payroll tax, and a state economy that remains fragile. The forecast has also been reduced by $48.7 million for the 2015-17 biennium. An improved trend in housing construction and sales is expected to help buffer against further revenue reductions.
Rep. Terry Nealey, R-Dayton, who was recently appointed to the council and serves as ranking member on the House Finance Committee, released the following statement:
“While this forecast is somewhat better than expected, we're not out of the woods yet. It shows the economy in Washington state is still underperforming, even though there are glimpses of some improvement.
“Employers are still hesitant to invest because there is too much fiscal and regulatory uncertainty ahead. When the Legislature considers tax increases, including an enormous gas tax, allowing tax exemptions to sunset, and adding to the burden of existing regulations and paperwork, it exacerbates this uncertainty and acts as a further disincentive for employers to expand and create jobs. Washington's economy is still extremely fragile, and we cannot expect a robust recovery and improved revenue forecasts if the Legislature increases taxes and creates roadblocks to private sector job creation.
“Although we discuss the revenue forecast in terms of numbers, there are real stories of families across the state who are still struggling and sad consequences of the Legislature's failure to address high unemployment. For the past five years since the economy has taken a nose dive, the majority party has spent very little time on job creation. This year, out of thirteen job-creation bills proposed by House Republicans, only one passed the House.
“This revenue forecast sets the stage for two very different approaches in the Legislature. House and Senate Democrats have made it no secret they want to raise taxes, which I believe would further damage the small gains we have made in Washington's economic recovery. House Republicans stand with Governor Jay Inslee and the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus against tax increases. We believe the state budget should be crafted upon the priorities of government – funding education first, taking care of our state's most vulnerable, and ensuring public safety. We should also redirect the remaining five weeks of this legislative session toward improving the private sector job market. If we want to ensure better revenue forecasts in the face of federal sequestration and other economic challenges, we simply must get Washington working!”
###Washington State House Republican Communications