Schmudget Blog
— filed under:

Revenue Boost Doesn’t Paper Over Senate Budget Gimmicks

Posted by Andy Nicholas at May 18, 2015 07:55 PM |
Filed under:

By Kim Justice, Senior Budget Analyst, and Andy Nicholas, Senior Fiscal Analyst
 

The $327 million bump in state tax collections forecasted by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) this afternoon is not a win for lawmakers opposed to implementing the common-sense capital gains tax on the Washington state's richest households. New funding for schools must reach roughly $4.5 billion by 2019 in order to satisfy the state Supreme Court’s mandate. Relying on short-term solutions – including temporary revenue growth and one-time budget gimmicks – to fund this long-term requirement is a recipe for disaster. Yet that’s what the anti-tax members of the State Senate propose to do.

The $327 million in additional state tax resources projected by ERFC would not even offset half of the $723 million in unsustainable budget tricks included in the Senate budget proposal. Those gimmicks include diverting money dedicated to public infrastructure projects and banking on unrealistic savings from efficiencies. And they simply aren’t sustainable.

In addition to providing long-term funding for schools in Washington state, significantly more resources are needed to give workers a raise, reverse cuts in important services such as food assistance, and improve the quality of early learning.

With the revenue forecast now behind them, leaders in the state Senate now have the opportunity to turn their attention toward fixing Washington state’s upside-down tax system and sustainably funding education and other important priorities in the coming years. Taxing capital gains and closing wasteful tax breaks, as proposed by leaders in the State House of Representatives, would be a good step in the right direction.

 

Document Actions
HIGHLIGHTS

Policy Summit You're InvitedSign 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)! The Spokane summit, featuring Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, will focus on the impact of federal and state policy decisions on eastern Washington communities. The Seattle summit, featuring Glenn Harris of Race Forward, will examine what it would take to lift up everyone to advance progress in our state. Find out more.

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:
Misha TVW