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Tag: Arun Raha

Nov.
21st

To tax or not to tax is not the question

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

State lawmakers who thought they’d never live to see a session as ugly as this year’s may well be proved wrong.

Washingtonians aren’t in a spending mood, and that has led to what Arun Raha, the state’s chief economist, calls a “revenue-less recovery” from the recession. An additional $760 million has evaporated from projected revenue collections, and the state now expects to be $2.6 billion in the red.

That might seem like next to nothing compared to the $9 billion gap the Legislature stared down earlier this year, but this is one of those cases when appearances are deceiving.

Lawmakers have less time, fewer options and a much smaller shot at getting federal bailout dollars to plug this hole. The last infusion of federal aid is actually part of the current problem: It helped balance the budget, but it also prevents budget writers from cutting some key programs.

What to do, except buy Raha a new crystal ball and pray Washingtonians suddenly become shopaholics?

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