Washington’s revenues continued to improve over the past few months, but officials warned there is significant uncertainty moving forward as the state continues to struggle with a surge in coronavirus cases that has led to a new round of business closures.
Updated numbers by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released Wednesday show that projected revenue collections through mid-2023 are more than $900 million above what had been originally forecasted. But the state’s revenue projection for that same timeframe remains nearly $2.4 billion below what it was before the pandemic hit. Revenues for the current budget cycle that ends mid-2021 are now projected to be $51 billion, with an ending balance of nearly $1.8 billion in reserves. And projected revenues for the next year budget cycle are projected to total more than $57 billion. But the ongoing pandemic, which has led to record daily cases in Washington and other states, creates a lot of uncertainty, according to Chief Economist Steven Lerch, who is executive director of the council.
Gov. Jay Inslee will release a budget proposal next month ahead of the start of the 105-day legislative session in January. Budget leaders in the House and Senate will release their own proposals after the start of session. (AP)