Marijuana, Real Estate Boost Washington Revenue Forecast
Marijuana sales and a recovering housing market should help boost Washington tax collections by more than $300 million over the next two years.
That’s according to a new revenue forecast released Monday.
Lawmakers asked for the June revenue forecast in May in hopes it would help them find agreement. Senate Republican budget writer Andy Hill sounded bullish.
“I think it should help us get there very quickly,” he said. “I mean hopefully this is something that breaks the logjam.”
Democrat Ross Hunter, the lead budget writer in the Washington House, was more wary.
“Yes, this will make it easier to come to conclusion,” he admitted. “Does it solve all of our problems? No.”
Hunter is especially skeptical of the new marijuana revenue projections -- he thinks they’re overly optimistic.
Budget talks in the state capitol have bogged down over whether higher taxes are needed to balance the budget and fund education and other services. Lawmakers are currently meeting in a special session that ends a week from this Thursday.