State revenue projection for 2021–23 increased by $1.9 billion
Communications - Ralph Thomas
OLYMPIA – Washington’s projected Near General Fund revenue collections for the 2021–23 state budget have increased by more than $1.9 billion, according to estimates released today by the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.
“Improvements in current receipts, infusions of federal stimulus payments, and better news about the economic recovery all indicate the need to improve the forecast for state revenue growth going forward,” said Steve Lerch, executive director of the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.
Total Near General Fund revenues are now projected at $56.6 billion for the next two-year state budget cycle, which begins July 1.
The council also increased the Near General Fund forecast for the remainder of the current biennium (2019–21) by more than $1.3 billion. The council projects Near General Fund revenues will total $52.3 billion for the biennium, which began July 1, 2019.
The increase in projected revenues would leave the state with a net surplus of nearly $3 billion — including reserves — at the end of current biennium.
The state’s revenue projections fell sharply during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, but have since recovered and are now back to pre-pandemic levels.
OFM Director David Schumacher noted that the state’s fiscal situation has improved dramatically since Gov. Jay Inslee unveiled his 2021–23 operating, capital and transportation budgets in December.
“While today’s forecast is certainly great news, many families, workers and businesses across the state are still feeling the effects of the pandemic,” Schumacher said. “We look forward to working with the Legislature in the coming weeks to build a new budget that provides relief where it’s most needed and positions our state for a sustained recovery.”