Blog

August 08 , 2022 - Emily Makings

It’s not clear that decoupling timber revenues from the school construction assistance program would be transformative for K–12 construction funding

On July 19, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) proposed decoupling state timber revenues from the school construction assistance program (SCAP). According to OSPI, this would be a more equitable way to fund school construction. Details are scant at this point, but it would involve a shift of roughly $30 million a year […]


July 17 , 2022 - Kriss Sjoblom

July report on state tax collections

The monthly report on general fund revenue collections from the state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) was issued on Friday. This report covers payments received between June 11 and July 10 for the sales tax, the use tax, the business and occupation tax, the public utility tax, the tobacco products tax, and penalties and […]


July 14 , 2022 - Emily Makings

Capital gains tax revenues in the June forecast

The Seattle Times reports that the capital gains tax case will go directly to the state Supreme Court, rather than being heard first by the Court of Appeals. Oral arguments could take place in November. In March, a Superior Court judge ruled that the tax is unconstitutional. Under the statute, the capital gains tax was […]


July 07 , 2022 - Emily Makings

Two opposing views on Washington’s long-term care program

The Forefront blog of Health Affairs has published two counter-takes on WA Cares, Washington’s delayed long-term care program. One considers WA Cares a failure, and the other (while acknowledging some problems) considers WA Cares a model. I wanted to add some context for both. (Technically, WA Cares is the long-term services and supports trust [LTSST] […]


July 06 , 2022 - Emily Makings

Medicaid savings and Washington’s long-term care program

Since our report last year on Washington’s now-delayed long-term care program, the Office of the State Actuary has published new information on Medicaid savings and private opt-outs. (I’ll write about the opt-outs in another post). The long-term care program is technically called the long-term services and supports trust (LTSST) program, but it is commonly known […]


July 01 , 2022 - Emily Makings

Happy Fiscal New Year!

Today is the first day of state fiscal year 2023, which is the second year of the 2021–23 biennium. Earlier this calendar year, the Legislature enacted a historically large 2022 supplemental operating budget. With the supplemental, appropriations from funds subject to the outlook (NGFO) are 24.3% higher in 2021–23 than in 2019–21. Legislators had a […]


June 29 , 2022 - Kriss Sjoblom

New analysis projects much higher prices for carbon allowances under the Climate Commitment Act

In 2021 the legislature passed and the governor signed E2SSB 5126 (the Climate Commitment Act [CCA]) establishing a cap and invest system to regulate and reduce the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gasses in Washington state. Under the CCA the state will annually sell at auction tradable emissions allowances. Each allowance would […]


June 23 , 2022 - Kriss Sjoblom

Inflation clouds the outlook for state revenues

At its quarterly meeting yesterday (June 22), the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) updated its forecasts of state revenues. These new forecasts add nearly $2.3 billion to the amounts available over the remainder of the current biennium and the next two biennia. These gains, however, are totally erased by increases in the forecast […]


June 20 , 2022 - Emily Makings

Seattle’s operating deficit is the result of unsustainable budgeting, not a “revenue shortfall”

A story in the Seattle Times about Seattle’s projected operating deficits states, “the city must find a sustained new revenue source.” (The headline: ‘“No obvious way out’: Seattle facing $117 million revenue shortfall in 2023.”) Although it’s true that the city is projecting general fund operating deficits over the next several years, it is not […]


June 17 , 2022 - Kriss Sjoblom

June report on state tax collections

The monthly report on general fund revenue collections from the state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) was issued on Tuesday. This report covers payments received between May 11 and June 10 for the sales tax, the use tax, the business and occupation tax, the public utility tax, the tobacco products tax, and penalties and […]