Brett Davis | The Center Square
Two things happened last Wednesday that could make Gov. Jay Inslee more amenable to supporting broad-based tax relief for inflation-battered Washingtonians during next year’s legislative session.
That day, the Washington Federation of State Employees announced a tentative agreement with the state – the result of secret negotiations between the two – that the union called “the largest compensation package in our union’s history.”
The tentative agreement includes a $1,000 incentive payment for getting a COVID-19 booster shot and a 4% raise for employees on July 1, 2023, followed by a 3% raise on July 1, 2024.
The Office of Financial Management estimates that cost information for the tentative agreement will be posted to its website on Oct. 3
Later that day, the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released figures showing revenue projections for Washington’s current two-year budget period increased by $43 million more than projected in the last quarterly update. The September revenue forecast essentially showed the state is about $1.5 billion above expectations for the 2021-23 budget since the February revenue forecast.
The Center Square reached out to the Governor’s Office to ask if Inslee would consider supporting broad-based tax relief such as a cut in the sales or property tax when legislators meet next year, given state coffers are full and that in clandestine negotiations he has already agreed to a compensation increase for state government employees.