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Washington Quarterly Revenue Projection Up $126.5 million

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—March 15, 2007

OLYMPIA – The March revenue forecast for Washington state government shows projected General Fund revenue over the next three fiscal years up by $126.5 million.

Dr. Chang Mook Sohn, the state’s chief revenue forecaster, said that revenue is up due to the overall strength of Washington’s economy, but that there has been a gradual and expected slowdown in real estate activity.  Dr. Sohn noted that Washington’s real estate market is holding up well and not slowing down as much as the rest of the nation, but further corrections are still expected.

“This is a good sign that our economy is working well,” said Governor Chris Gregoire. “Strong exports continue to drive job growth and support our economy. We will continue conversations with the Legislature about being responsible with our tax dollars, making smart investments based on what works and setting aside money for a rainy day.”

Job growth in Washington is up 2.6 percent from a year ago, a full percentage point above the nation’s overall job growth.

For the last year of the current 2005-2007 budget cycle, the forecast shows revenue rising by $144.3 million from the prior quarterly forecast in November, bringing total revenue for the biennium to $27.5 billion.  For the coming 2007-2009 biennium that begins July 1, 2007, the new forecast shows revenue down by $17.9 million, resulting in total revenue for the biennium of $29.5 billion.

“This forecast provides fresh numbers for the Legislature to use as they work on their budget proposals,” added Victor Moore, director of the state budget office.  “Today’s revenue increase, along with cost savings due to reductions in the use of state services, offers some room for discussion about the budget, but our priorities remain focused on what our citizens need the most.”

Contact: Glenn Kuper, Office of Financial Management, 360-902-7607