State Economic Forecast Chief Steve Lerch painted a rosy but cautious picture for the near future for our tax coffers. Tax revenues for the State of Washington continue to grow in double digits. Revenues are expected to grow by 11.7% for the current biennium – an increase of nearly a billion dollars from previous projections.
What is fueling this increase? Real estate transactions are still on the rise. Washington State imposes a real estate excise tax that has continued to generate higher than expected monies.
Unemployment continues to drop. Since June, Washington has added 60,700 jobs. We continue to see encouraging increases for retail, especially as we approach the ever-important holiday shopping season.
Here are the cautions – consumer confidence is falling as the pandemic drags on, and small business optimism is also dropping.
Concerns over supply chain disruptions and shortages along with unmet labor demands have folks taking a more cautious approach for future years where the forecast council has conservative single-digit revenue growth projections.
My hope is for inflation to remain low and for consumers to keep shopping—especially over the ever-important holiday season.