Slow and steady. That’s how Washington’s chief economic forecaster sums up the recovery in state revenues.
The new forecast released Wednesday projects Washington will collect an additional $345 million over the next two years. About a third of that is because of changes in state tax law.
The rest, Chief Economist Steve Lerch attributes to factors like: a 17-percent year-over-year increase in auto sales.
“If you drive around you see a lot of temporary license plates in windows, there are a lot of people out buying cars," Lerch explains. "That is good news. That has a big, positive impact on general fund revenues.”
But Lerch cautions there are significant downside risks to his new forecast. At the top of that list: what happens in Washington, DC in terms of the potential for a government shutdown if Congress can’t agree on a budget.
On the Web:
Washington Revenue Forecast - Economic and Revenue Forecast Council