Statement from Rep. Timm Ormsby on today’s state revenue forecast

OLYMPIA – Rep. Timm Ormsby (D-Spokane), chair of the House Appropriations Committee, released the following statement regarding today’s revenue forecast:

“While I am guardedly optimistic that this forecast will provide better outcomes for the people of the state of Washington, I urge everyone to exercise caution. During this period of uncertainty and economic risk, we cannot rush to make choices that may hurt our ability to deliver services to the residents of Washington state.

“Let’s not forget that last year, the economic forecasts had the state anywhere from $2 billion to more than $8 billion in the hole and many talked about cutting state services that people were relying on during the pandemic. We were able to pass the Washington Recovery Budget last year with help from one-time federal funds and a reversal of the 2020 revenue forecasts. I will advise my colleagues to take a cautious approach to this forecast with a focus on what matters: the families in Washington state who count on lawmakers to fund the basic services that they rely upon to survive.

“The revenue forecast is a good time to remind us all that these are not just numbers in a spreadsheet. Every dollar collected comes from an inequitable and unfair tax structure that burdens working families far more than the wealthiest in our state. The 2021-23 budget was passed with a focus on meeting the needs of these working families and ensuring that every person in Washington gets a fair shot. Although the passage of the Capital Gains Excise Tax is a big step in creating a progressive, modern tax structure, many families continue to rely on us to ensure that basic services continue to receive stable funding through our regressive taxation structure regardless of the economic outlook. The economic recovery has not been felt evenly. Small businesses and local communities, especially those that have been historically underserved, continue to struggle and we need to invest in sustainable improvements that will help our communities thrive and grow.”