Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Higher Tax Collections Lowers Pressure On Washington Lawmakers To Raise Revenue




In Olympia, legislative budget writers got a shot of good news Friday regarding tax collections.

Washington's chief economist said about $274 million more than previously projected should flow into the state treasury from now through 2017. A strong economic recovery gets credit. This prompted a reaction from the legislature's lead budget writers.

"With another $250 million, it reduces the pressure on the perennial call for more taxes,” Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond, said.

"The problem space is marginally easier,” Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, said. “Yes, I agree with that."

Lawmakers also agreed the revenue boost is modest when set against the total Washington state budget. The cost of a school class size reduction initiative approved by voters last November alone dwarfs the $250 million in extra spending money.

Lawmakers may still decide to modify or suspend that unfunded school measure.

Correspondent Tom Banse is an Olympia-based reporter with more than three decades of experience covering Washington and Oregon state government, public policy, business and breaking news stories. Most of his career was spent with public radio's Northwest News Network, but now in semi-retirement his work is appearing on other outlets.