Revenue forecast slightly up; Rep. Terry Nealey calls for restraint against tax increases
Revenue forecast slightly up;
Rep. Terry Nealey calls for restraint against tax increases
The Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council today released its quarterly revenue forecast for the state. According to Chief Economist Steve Lerch, the General Fund-State change is an increase of $107 million for the current 2013-15 two-year budget cycle compared to the previous forecast in November. The council also increased its forecast for the 2015-17 biennium by $129 million.
Rep. Terry Nealey, R-Dayton, serves as the House Republican representative on the council and ranking member of the House Finance Committee. He released the following statement:
“Any time the state's revenue forecast is up, that's good news. However, the increase is not very large, considering the size of our state budget. And while we've yet to see any effects in this forecast from the ports slowdown, I am very concerned that if the West Coast ports labor dispute is not resolved soon, it could begin to impact our revenue outlook in the next forecast cycle.
“It's important to remember that the state is taking in more than three-billion dollars above our last budget cycle, about an nine-percent increase. However, the Legislature also has some important financial obligations it must meet — chief among them is funding education.
“Our state's economy, while looking up, is still fragile. Working families have not enjoyed the kind of increase in their paychecks that the state is taking in. Given those circumstances, I think the Legislature needs to continue to exercise restraint as it prepares the budget. We've got to worry about working families and the middle class. They're the ones who end up getting hit the hardest, even by a small tax increase.”
###Washington State House Republican Communications