Klippert says no new taxes needed as revenue and caseload forecasts are up

CONTACT: Kurt Hammond, Public Information Officer– (360) 786-7794

Klippert says no new taxes needed as revenue and caseload forecasts are up

The Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released the quarterly report on state tax collections today. The report revealed a $231 million increase in tax collections as state lawmakers work to finalize a 2013-15 operating budget. The caseload forecast later revealed $90 million in savings as a result of reduced enrollment in schools, correctional facilities and social services.

Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, issued the following statement:

“I am encouraged by both forecasts. This just strengthens the argument that no new or increased taxes are needed to pass a balanced and sustainable operating budget. The state already has $2 billion dollars more in tax revenue for the upcoming budget. We have almost a seven percent increase in revenue. That is enough revenue to fully fund education, protect our most vulnerable citizens and keep our communities safe.

“Just because we see an increase in tax collections doesn't mean legislators should look to spend it. The forecast council still anticipates slow growth for the national and state economies, and there is still a lot of uncertainty out there. We have about 57-thousand people unemployed in Washington. If this money goes to any specific part of the budget it should be invested toward education and the McCleary decision or put it in our budget reserves.

“Taxpayers have contributed enough to our state coffers and the forecasts reiterate what we have been saying all along – a no-new-taxes budget is possible if we prioritize correctly.”

Forecasted revenue for the 2011-13 biennium which ends June 30 is $30.646 billion. It is $32.662 billion for the 2013-15 biennium and $35.357 billion for the 2015-17 biennium.

Today is the 7th day of the second 30-day special session.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov