The latest state revenue forecast revealed that lawmakers have an additional $100 million available through the middle of 2015, and an additional $365 million for the 2015-2017 biennium. About half of the increase in revenue is attributed to actions taken by the state Legislature earlier this year to close several tax exemptions and make changes to the state’s legalized marijuana market. The other half is attributed to a growing economy.
Given that yet another revenue forecast reveals an increase of available funds, one has to wonder if Jay Inslee will finally stop calling for a state income tax—particularly a state capital gains income tax. Of course, if the past is any indication, we’re not holding our breath.
During the 2015 legislative session, state economists released a revenue forecast that revealed lawmakers could “count on another $400 million without raising taxes a dime.” That meant lawmakers had $3.2 billion (a whopping 9.2% increase) more in tax revenue than they had the last time they wrote the state budget. Unfortunately, the rosy projections were not enough to convince Inslee to drop his call for new taxes. Rather, our green governor continued to insist our state needed new taxes—specially a state capital gains income tax—to meet funding needs.
In the end, Inslee was proved wrong. But, that still didn’t stop him from calling for new taxes. Indeed, Inslee wrapped up the 2015 legislative session media by calling for future tax increases.
Ladies and gentlemen, our tax obsessed green governor.