The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council met yesterday and adopted revised forecasts of general fund revenues for the current (2009–11) and upcoming (2011–13) biennia. For 2009–11, the new forecast is $28,127 million, a decrease of $385 million from the September forecast. Of this decrease, $64 million is due to the passage of Initiative 1107, which rolled back legislatively imposed tax hikes on bottled water, soda pop, candy and certain food products. For 2011–13, the new forecast is $32,605 million, a decrease of $809 million from the September forecast.
Earlier this week, Google released a white paper on trade and the Internet: "Enabling Trade in the Era of Information Technologies: Breaking Down Barriers to the Free Flow of Information."
Yesterday the second paper in the Thrive Washington series was released. Nine Steps to Budget Sustainability in Washington State recommends changes to the state budget process and highlights areas requiring special attention.
The steps are:
The state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (EFRC) yesterday issued its monthly Economic and Revenue Update (available here). The November Update is the second since EFRC's September revenue forecast, and, as was the case in October, collections have come in above forecast.
The TaxProf blog has a roundup of local and national articles on the rejection of I-1098.
After an election, I think it is interesting to see which issues or candidates actually persuaded voters to care enough to vote one way or another.
This year, with all ballots not yet counted, the Secretary of State's office is predicting very high turn out for a midterm election, and record amounts of money were spent on multiple initiatives. Which state-wide races proved (so far) to be of most interest to voters?
Here's why it's important:
It's clear from yesterday's defeat of I-1098 and approval of I-1107 and I-1053 that Washington voters do not want to be taxed more.
Just in time for the election, yesterday 60 Minutes ran a segment on taxing the rich and Initiative 1098. The Seattle Times' Politics Northwest blog called it "a general overview of the campaign here, in the context of the national debate over increasing taxes on the rich." (And they provide a link to the video.)
The chart below compares job growth since 1990 in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Employment is seasonally adjusted and indexed so that in each case the January 1990 value is equal to 100.