"It's Going to Be a Bumpy Ride"

On Friday, Washington State Wire ran a story on the volatility of the income tax on high earners that is proposed in Initiative 1098.  No matter what you think of the merits of an income tax per se, this particular proposal is untenable -- especially given Washington's current budget situation.  Erik Smith writes,

Taxing the Rich

A Forbes.com article from yesterday looks at how the federal government and some states are considering increasing taxes on the wealthy.  It includes a discussion of Initiative 1098 in Washington.

Dedicated Fund Transfers to the General Fund

Dick Davis has a piece in the Puget Sound Business Journal today on dedicated funds and the state budget. The first 4 paragraphs are available on the public portion of the PSBJ web site. (A subscription is required to read the whole thing.)

June Revenue Forecast

In its quarterly meeting this morning, the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) approved revised forecasts of general fund revenue for the 2009-11 and 2011-13 biennia. Meeting documents are available here.

June Economic and Revenue Update

Last Friday, the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (EFRC) posted its monthly progress report, the Economic and Revenue Update, for June. The update sets the stage for Thursday, when EFRC will issue its quarterly update to the state revenue forecast.

The U.S. economy has performed largely as anticipated in the February forecast,

Times Editorial From Rasmussen's WRC Dinner Remarks: "Cynical Nation"

The Seattle Times draws on Scott Rasmussen's speech at the Research Council dinner for this excellent editorial.

"People don't trust government projections," Rasmussen said. "Eighty-one percent believe that whatever the government says, it will cost more."

Caseload Forecast Adds $277 Million to 2009-11 Costs

Yesterday (Friday the 13th), the state Caseload Forecast Council updated its forecasts for K-12 enrollments and for various human services caseloads. Here is a table that summarizes the differences between the new forecasts and the caseloads assumed in the adopted 2009¬11 budget. The key changes include:

Another Collections Shortfall

The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (EFRC) issued its monthly update late this afternoon. The document is available here. These three bullets from the update summarize the key takeaways:

Governors Enlist Interest Groups in Effort to Boost Taxes

The Wall Street Journal today carries a story pegging of Delaware Gov. Jack Markell's efforts to get voters to understand the state's budget shortfall. It's a strategy many governors, including Gov. Gregoire, are using as they look ahead to years of structural deficits, exacerbated by steep and prolonged revenue declines. Does this sound familiar?

A Roundup of Recent I-1033 Stories and a Reminder

First, the reminder: If you haven't done so yet, take a look at the Washington Research Council analysis of Initiative 1033. The initiative caps growth in state revenues, returning revenue above the limit to property taxpayers. The WRC report shows how this works in practice.

As the election nears, the campaigns gets a little warmer.