I’m inspired today to share with you that the 2018 revenue forecast is in and things look much better than we expected.
The Big Picture
The state’s revenue will exceed our expectations by $1.3 billion over the next two years, which is on top of the $1.05 billion increase we expected after last September’s and November’s forecasts. What’s more, we reduced costs by $200 million!
The Bottom Line
The Legislature has $2.5 billion more in resources than when we adjourned the 2017 session.
What should this mean for Washington?
It should mean tax relief! The Legislature and the governor should hold off on any plans to raise taxes. They don’t need a tax on your gas or home heating fuel. They don’t need a tax on your income on capital gains. They don’t need a higher sales tax. And, they don’t need to tax you for every mile you drive.
Right now, the state has enough money to implement the $1 billion in teacher salary increases in the education funding plan a year early.
It has enough money to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in improved mental health care in communities statewide.
It has enough money to boost services for foster care children and the homeless.
It even has enough to lower your car-tab fees that have spiked due to the Sound Transit’s ST3 light rail project.
And it can do all this without reaching further into your pocketbook or tapping the reserves the state needs for a natural disaster or economic downturn.
Insist on nothing less. The state should have to live within it’s means, just as its citizens do. It should make the best use of the revenue surplus and not ask you for even more.
In these final weeks of session, my caucus and I will be advocating for responsible spending toward better care of the most vulnerable people in society and for protecting Washington’s families from higher taxes.
We should continue to look for ways to save money so that we don’t undermine the economic growth seen in our urban areas and make decisions that push that growth into every corner of the state rather than making everyone more beholden to, and reliant on, the government.
Click here to read the forecast materials.