Hawkins: New revenue forecast proves state income tax and other new revenues not needed

News that state government can expect a very large increase in future revenue simply reinforces arguments by legislative Republicans that the state’s financial condition is solid and that a Democratic proposal to create a state income tax on capital gains is unnecessary, said 12th District Sen. Brad Hawkins.

The state Economic Revenue and Forecast Council today announced that the first state-revenue forecast for 2021 indicates a surprisingly large increase of $3.3 billion for the current two-year budget cycle and $5.2 billion over the next four years.

“This week’s updated revenue forecast provided very positive news about the state’s financial outlook despite ongoing challenges associated with the COVID pandemic and only partial economic reopening across Washington. With this revenue projection, the influx of incoming federal stimulus dollars, and the healthy balance in our state’s rainy-day fund, there is certainly no need for extra revenues, especially a new tax on capital gains income,” said Hawkins.

Earlier this month, the Senate voted 25-24 to pass Senate Bill 5096, which would create a 7% state income tax on capital gains. Hawkins joined Republicans and three Democrats in voting against the proposal, which is now in the House.

Senate Democrat budget writers are expected to unveil their upcoming two-year operating budget proposal March 25. House Democrat budget leaders will offer their operating budget plan soon afterward.

The 2021 legislative session is scheduled to end April 25.