Today’s forecast adds more than $600 million to state budget revenues. A healthy private sector economy benefits everyone.

As expected (see here and here), today’s state revenue forecast lifted estimates of revenue collections. Here are the bottom line bullet points from the report. 

  • Summing the changes to the GF-S, ELTA and OPA forecasts, Near GF-S revenue is forecasted to increase by $606 million in the 2019-21 biennium and $536 million in the 2021-23 biennium.

  • Forecasted Near GF-S revenue for the 2019-21 biennium is now $52.339 billion, 13.6% higher than 2017-19 biennial revenue, and forecasted Near GF- S revenue for the 2021-23 biennium is $55.690 billion, an increase of 6.4% over expected 2019-21 biennial revenue. Forecasted Near GF-S revenue for the 2023-25 biennium is $59.176 billion, an increase of 6.3% over expected 2021-23 biennial revenue.

Regrettably, these estimates have become more complicated as a result of the creation of new dedicated accounts, hence the “summing the changes” bit. Here are the changes the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council reports for the summed accounts for the current biennium..

Emily Makings with the Washington Research Council writes,

According to the ERFC, two major contributors to the increases are unexpectedly high estate tax collections and increased property tax collections (due to new estimates of market value). 2019–21 revenues are now expected to increase by 13.6 percent over 2017–19, and 2021–23 revenues are expected to increase by 6.4 percent over 2019–21. But, the ERFC notes, “The level of uncertainty in the baseline remains elevated, with downside risks outweighing upside risks.”

The 2019–21 biennial budget enacted last year was based on the March 2019 NGFO revenue forecast and about $1 billion in new taxes (including the workforce education investment surcharges). Given economic changes since the budget’s adoption, the Legislature now has $2.158 billion more to work with (from funds subject to the outlook) over the four-year period (through 2021–23). Most of that ($1.454 billion) comes from economic changes to the forecast for 2019–21.

Good gains that should make it easy to adopt a supplemental budget and preserve reserves for the anticipated downturn (those nasty downside risks).