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State Budget Crisis
Forecast: State revenue projections take another big hit
Washington’s budget shortfall has now grown to $5.1 billion over the next two years. That’s the estimate from the Governor’s office after Thursday’s state revenue forecast.
The state's chief economist, Arun Raha, predicts the state will collect nearly $800 million dollars less than previously forecast for a variety of reasons.
“First we had the volatility in oil prices, because of the political unrest in the Middle East. Now we have the tragedy in Japan the world’s third largest economy and one of the state’s leading trade partners," says Raha.
Even though the gap between revenues and projected spending is getting worse, Washington tax collections are rebounding. In fact, the state expects to take in $4 billion more over the next two years compared to the current budget cycle.
Governor Chris Gregoire urged lawmakers to balance the budget with cuts and no “one-time fixes.”
Details of the new revenue projections, as well as the state's most recent tax collections report are available to the public on the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council website.