The September 2007 revenue forecast for Washington State was released today in Olympia and general fund tax collections are projected to be $282 million higher than predicted this past June.
Dr. Chang Mook Sohn, the state’s chief revenue forecaster, said that although economic and revenue growth is slowing, Washington State has yet to feel the full effects of the national housing slowdown (which has already impacted a number of eastern states including Virginia, Florida and Rhode Island). He did caution that the risk of a major national economic downturn is higher now than it has been in several years.
Dr. Sohn also indicated that Washington’s aerospace and other export industries are benefiting from a strong global economy and favorable currency rates. Since the first quarter of 2005, Washington exports have increased by more than $8 billion or 109 percent.
With the additional forecasted revenue, the state’s budget surplus has grown to more than $1.5 billion. This includes $1.1 billion in unobligated reserves and $431 million in a protected Rainy Day Fund if voters approve the measure creating the fund at the November general election.