Research Council urges spending cuts to address state funding shortfall

Aug 13, 2020
Written by wpengine

Washington State’s projected budget revenue shortfall revealed during the coronavirus pandemic is partly due to unsustainable state spending, according to a new analysis by the Washington Research Council.

In a recent post, the council urges state spending reductions rather than suggesting new taxes to address a revenue deficit projected as high a $9 billion through 2023.

State appropriations for 2019-21 are 20% higher than 2017-19, the council reports. Meanwhile, the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council has reduced state revenues between 2019-21 by 8.7% since a February revenue forecast.

The council is on record that the current pace of state spending is unsustainable. The Legislature is expected to convene next year to address the budget problem. Observers expect several new tax ideas to be proposed including a capital gains tax and increases in the business & occupation tax.

Tax opponents will instead, like the council, be urging that spending cuts be a part of solving the current budget shortfall.