Last week, the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released a quarterly state revenue forecast. According to the Washington State Wire, this particular forecast shows an increase of $304 million for the 2017-2019 budget cycle and an $186 million increase for the 2019-2021 cycle. This growth in the revenue forecast shows the Washington State economy is improving. However, with the growing strength of the economy in our state, we should still be wary of changes that could alter the course of this trend. Thankfully, Republicans look to be ready to stand up against unnecessary and unwanted taxes and regulation that could force a negative shift in the state’s economy, such as an income tax or a higher minimum wage.
Representative Terry Nealey, a Republican from Dayton, seemed to be cautiously optimistic in a statement he released last week when he said “During this Thanksgiving week, I think we are all thankful the revenue forecast continues to increase, reflecting an improved state economy and consumer confidence. Still, I think we need to be cautious moving forward because of uncertainties in our economy.”
In the same statement, Representative Nealey goes on to say “It’s my hope legislators don’t view this as additional money they can book for spending in 2018…. Instead, let’s do the wise thing and sock it away for unanticipated expenditures or future downturns in the economy.”
This common-sense thinking from Representative Nealey is exactly what’s needed in Olympia. The growth in the revenue forecast signifies a stronger economy, but lawmakers should be wary about how they use the money.
To read Representative Nealey’s statement and the full article from the Washington State Wire, click here.