Uncertainty remains, but Washington sees revenues increase

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)

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