OLYMPIA… The first state-revenue forecast for 2021 indicates a surprisingly large increase of $3.3 billion for the current two-year budget cycle and $5.2 billion over the next four years. Sen. Lynda Wilson, Republican leader on the Senate Ways and Means Committee and a member of the state Economic Revenue and Forecast Council, offered this statement after the council adopted today’s forecast:
“There were strong signs that today’s forecast would continue the upward trend seen in the second half of 2020. The real question was how high the new numbers would go – and it turns out, the increase since the November forecast is unprecedented. Republicans have predicted there would be no budget deficit facing the Legislature, practically speaking – and this new forecast does even more to put that to rest.
“If you look across the past year, the rate of revenue growth has remained positive despite the economic damage caused by ongoing government restrictions on employers. We should be thanking our lucky stars for that – and yet the Democrat majorities in the Legislature seem determined to push new taxes through. It’s wrong to put an even larger tax burden on families and employers when there’s no telling how long it will take to recover from the economic harm they’ve suffered.
“Between the positive state revenue picture and the enormous amount of federal money that has either come in or is expected, there is absolutely no need for more taxes. Our Senate Republican budget proposal proved that even before this latest federal stimulus was approved. I’m especially disappointed that my Democrat colleagues think the right time to approve a state income tax is during a pandemic. The revenue situation didn’t justify that before today, and even less so now with this new forecast. It’s never good for the taxpayers when tax policy is driven by pure politics.”