Schmudget Blog
New Forecast: Big Boost in Resources for Schools, But Revenue Still Stuck at Recession Levels

New Forecast: Big Boost in Resources for Schools, But Revenue Still Stuck at Recession Levels

Posted by Kelli Smith, 2017-09-21 16:20:00 | (0) Comments
By Andy Nicholas, associate director of fiscal policy, and Kelli Smith, policy analyst

The latest Washington state revenue forecast confirms that the revenue measures enacted during this year’s legislative session, in conjunction with the growing economy, will generate some $6.1 billion in new state resources for schools and other community investments over the next four years. After years of gridlock in Olympia over raising new revenue to fund schools, it is a significant victory for Washingtonians that lawmakers were finally able to come together in 2017 and make needed investments that will benefit all our communities. To ensure the well-being of those communities now and in the future, lawmakers must strengthen and build upon these kinds of gains. If they don’t take steps to clean up Washington’s tax code, these new and much-needed resources for our most important priorities could rapidly evaporate in the coming years.

The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council now projects a boost of $2.4 billion in state revenue over the 2017-19 budget cycle, a nearly 6 percent increase in revenue since the previous forecast in June. Almost $2.1 billion of that revenue growth comes from revenue bills the legislature enacted earlier this year as part of the state’s ongoing effort to fully fund education under the state Supreme Court McCleary case, including: a new state property tax; an extension of the sales tax and business tax to out-of-state online retailers; and the closure of several wasteful tax breaks. 

New Census Numbers: To Build Thriving Communities, Invest in Removing Barriers to Economic Security

New Census Numbers: To Build Thriving Communities, Invest in Removing Barriers to Economic Security

Posted by Julie Watts, 2017-09-18 23:00:00 | (0) Comments

New data released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that there is some good news when it comes to poverty rates and access to health care in our state. At the same time, the data shows that many Washingtonians – in particular, some communities of color, women, and people with disabilities – still face barriers to economic security. The numbers make it clear that to build thriving communities, our policymakers must invest in priorities that remove obstacles to prosperity for Washingtonians.

Why It’s Time to Ditch Washington’s Harmful Property Tax Restriction

Why It’s Time to Ditch Washington’s Harmful Property Tax Restriction

Posted by Andy Nicholas, 2017-09-01 12:55:00 | (0) Comments

All of Washington’s kids deserve great schools, but the hard truth is that too many of them will remain saddled with under-resourced K-12 schools as long as a damaging law that arbitrarily suppresses state property tax collections remains on the books. This law starves Washington’s schools of adequate funding – and children of color have been disproportionately harmed by the chronic lack of investment in schools that it has created.  

Final Budget Makes Progress on Community Investments – for Now

Final Budget Makes Progress on Community Investments – for Now

Posted by Kelli Smith, 2017-07-21 18:20:00 | (0) Comments

Washington state lawmakers have enacted a two-year budget that makes some strong community investments now, with plans for more of the same in the future. There are definitely some things in this budget to like: the historic paid family and medical leave program that will support families; the approval of collective bargaining agreements for the front-line workers who keep the state running smoothly; and investments in K-12 schools that will put much-needed resources into classrooms. And even though lawmakers failed to make significant progress in some areas of the budget, they did avoid making the draconian, harmful cuts that the Senate Republicans proposed earlier this year.

Revenue Package Not Built to Last Over the Long Term

Revenue Package Not Built to Last Over the Long Term

Posted by Kelli Smith, 2017-07-12 15:00:00 | (0) Comments
By Kelli Smith, policy analyst, and Andy Nicholas, associate director of fiscal policy
 
In a legislative session where the central question was how to come up with the billions of additional dollars required to fund schools now and in the future, lawmakers settled for a short-term revenue solution that will not sustain our schools and communities in the long run. While it’s good that there’s at least some new revenue to support our schools, much more needs to be done to fund our schools and strengthen our state economy well into the future. Lawmakers should have included more equitable and sustainable property tax reforms in the revenue package, and they should have removed more unnecessary and wasteful tax breaks.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

Sign Up and Save the Date!

We will host two Budget Matters policy summits this year – one in Spokane on October 31 (register now) and one in Seattle on December 6 (registration coming soon)! 

Our Policy Priorities

Washington state should be a place where all our residents have strong communities, great schools, and the chance for a bright future. Our 2017-2019 Legislative Agenda outlines the priorities we are working to advance to build a better Washington.

Budget Beat!

Check out the Budget Beat webinars we hosted throughout the 2017 legislative session, including our most recent Budget Beat about federal budget proposals, featuring Louisa Warren of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, on our YouTube channel

Testimonies in Olympia

To advance our legislative priorities, the Budget & Policy Center team was in the state capitol throughout session testifying on a wide range of bills. Watch our testimonies on TVW:
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