FIFO or LIFO

I have been optimistic that this would be a LIFO recession. Washington was one of the last states to go into recession. It has been my belief that Washington would be one of the first states out and that over the next several years Washington would out perform the rest the nation as a whole by a comfortable margin. A U.S. map I saw today, however, has me wondering whether I’m right.

The state's November Economic and Revenue Forecast summarizes the case for optimism:

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:

Washington Life Sciences Economic Impact Study

We have just completed an economic impact study of Washington's life sciences industry. The report is available here.

Comparative State and Local Taxes

On Thursday the Department of Revenue released this year’s edition of its annual report Comparative State and Local Taxes link. The primary data in the new report come from the Census Bureau’s 2007 Census of Government Finance.

Arun Raha

On Wednesday I saw Arun Raha, Executive Director and chief economist for the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, speak to the University of Washington Economics Department’s Visiting Committee.

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.

Initiative 1033

TVW has video coverage of proponents and opponents debating debating Initiative 1033 before the Seattle Times editorial board. WRC groupies will particularly enjoy the segment running from 30:15 to 33:15.

Seattle Times Editorial

Our Brief Seattle's Lost Decade was mentioned in an editorial in today's Seattle Times that urged repeal of the city's "head tax" on employers.

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