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State revenue projection for 2021–23 increased by $1.8 billion

June 23, 2021

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Hayden Mackley, OFM Communications

Washington’s projected Near General Fund revenue collections for the 2021–23 state budget have increased by nearly $1.8 billion, according to estimates released today by the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.

“Trends in collections and the steady re-opening of the economy suggest some positive improvements in the revenue forecast this quarter,” said Dr. Steve Lerch, executive director of the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.

Total Near General Fund revenues are now projected at $58.4 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 $838 million. The council projects Near General Fund revenues will total nearly $53.2 billion for the biennium, which began July 1, 2019.

The increase in projected revenues would leave the state with a net surplus of more than $3.8 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. The Legislature passed and Gov. Jay Inslee signed new 2021–23 state operating, capital and transportation budgets earlier this year.

“The budget passed in the spring is clearly sustainable for the coming years,” said OFM Director David Schumacher. “Thanks to the resilience of our economy, we can continue to invest in the people of Washington as we emerge from this pandemic.”

The next state revenue forecast is in September.