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Published on Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Forecast predicts little new revenue for state, marijuana revenue beginning next biennium

This morning the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council gave their quarterly briefing to legislators on the revenue forecast for the remainder of this biennium (ending June 30, 2015) and the next biennium (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2017).

As expected, revenue collections reflect the state’s slow economic growth and came in only $2 million higher than forecasted in November.

The bigger news from the briefing is the first forecasted revenue from recreational marijuana sales. While the Council did not forecast any marijuana revenue for the remainder of this biennium, they forecast $51.2 million for the state’s general fund in the 2015-17 biennium and $138.5 million in the 2017-19 biennium. Approximately 45% of this estimated revenue comes from excise taxes; cities and counties are asking the Legislature to share this revenue. View AWC’s factsheet on marijuana revenue here.

Legislators commented that if revenue is generated from recreational marijuana sales this year, they are prepared to distribute it according to I-502 language and address any remaining general fund dollars as necessary. This is why it is important for cities to secure a portion of the excise tax revenue this year.

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