State revenues up, but Rep. Ed Orcutt advises caution

The state of Washington is expected to take in more of your tax dollars over the coming months. However, one key lawmaker is advising restraint when it comes to spending that money. John Sattgast reports from the state Capitol.

 Radio Report Transcript

SATTGAST (:89) Every four months, the state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council looks ahead at how much money it expects to receive from taxpayers. A report Wednesday by the state’s economist projects an additional 447-million dollars for the current two-year budget cycle. That’s in comparison with the last revenue forecast back in June.

While the additional money is good news, the council’s chairman, 20th District State Representative Ed Orcutt, is advising caution.

ORCUTT (:19) “It looks like we’ve got a lot more money in this biennium. But some of those increases – one was an accounting issue. One was a one-time payment. So the economy is really only growing the revenue by a couple hundred million dollars, rather than the 400-million we saw in the revenue forecast. So we really need to be a little bit cautious that we don’t get excited and go out and spend too much money.”

SATTGAST: Orcutt says there are no immediate signs of an impending recession. However, economic growth is slowing and several unpredictable factors could affect Washington’s economy.

ORCUTT (:19) “It’s things that happen in other parts of the world and things that are happening at the national level which can push our revenues down. And it can be a sudden drop – something that happens can send shockwaves through the economy that really shuts revenues down. So we have to be really, really careful and keep the downside risks in mind.”

SATTGAST: Total revenues for the coming two years are now projected at 51-point-4 billion dollars. The next revenue forecast will be released November 20th, about seven weeks before the Legislature convenes for the 2020 session in January. John Sattgast, Olympia

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