State tax collections dip $22 million for month

The OlympianNovember 11, 2011 

State revenue forecaster Arun Raha put out his monthly economic and revenue update today. It shows tax collections for the month ending Nov. 10 were down by $22.5 million, or 1.9 percent below what he predicted in September.

On the upside, Raha wrote: “Cumulatively, collections in the two months since the forecast are only $11.8 million (0.5%) lower than forecasted.” Looking ahead and to the downside, he said: “While revenue is coming in close to the forecast, there are considerable downside risks.”

Most of those bad-news scenarios are related to Europe’s ongoing debt problems, which could drag down its banks and spill over into the U.S. Euro-zone uncertainty is the biggest risk of a new economic slowing or recession in the U.S., according to Raha.

Here is the news release he put out with his report.

The new revenue numbers come in advance of next week’s two announcements that could have an impact on state finances. Wednesday is the latest caseload forecast, which details how many kids are in foster care or in K-12 schools, how many adults are in prison, and how many people are getting subsidized health care.

And Thursday morning Raha reveals his formal forecast through June 2013.

The September forecast knocked out some $1.4 billion in revenues, widening a budget hole and forcing Gov. Chris Gregoire to call a special session. That 30-day session begins Nov. 28 and is aimed at closing a budget gap now estimated at $2 billion, if reserves are rebuilt.

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