What is the surplus? What WILL it be?greenspun.com : LUSENET : I-695 Thirty Dollar License Tab Initiative : One Thread
I continually see pro-MVET people say that the surplus either can't offset the effect of I-695, or at least can't due it for more than 6 or 12 or 18 months. This neglects the fact that the surplus is CONTINUING to accrue. I would refer everyone to a report for the legislature done in Jan. 98, where they predicted that even under a recession scenario, this money would continue to accumulate. It also reveals the REAL reason many politicians are fighting this so hard. IF they transfer money from the general budget to cover dedicated transportation expenses, that much less "headspace" becomes available under the 601 limits, forcing them to ask the voters permission to even continue current tax levels. No WONDER the Guv is saying he won't "steal money from education (translation, take money from the general fund) to bail out transportation (translation, give to non-general fund and lose I-601 headspace for the out years). Given this scenario, the Guv MAY WELL LET TRANSIT AND THE FERRIES DIE ON THE VINE, notwithstanding d's assurances that these are not targetted cuts. Stay tuned to this channel.
Expansion Average Slow Recession 1997-99 Beginning Balance $513 $513 $513 $513 Revenue Projection 1997-99 19,432 19,432 19,432 19,432 1999-01 21,233 21,233 21,233 21,233 2001-03 23,943 23,540 23,053 22,467 Six year total 64,608 64,205 63,718 63,132 Spending Limit Projection 1997-99 19,085 19,085 19,085 19,085 1999-01 20,585 20,585 20,585 20,585 2001-03 22,245 22,245 22,245 22,245 Six year total 61,915 61,915 61,915 61,915 2001-03 Ending Balance $3,206 $2,803 $2,316 $1,730 Three Biennia Balance Sheet (Dollars in Millions) Four Revenue Scenarios for 2001-03 26 REVENUE NEEDS OF OTHER STATE PROGRAMS Long Term Revenue Outlook The current balance sheet, based on the November 1997 revenue forecast, shows a $513 million beginning balance for the 1997-99 biennium. A "long term" ending balance can be calculated 1) using the official revenue forecast for the 1997-99 biennium, 2) making long term revenue growth assumptions for the 1999-01 and 2001-03 biennia, and 3) assuming expenditures are equal to the current projected I-601 General Fund expenditure limit for the next six years. The table below shows that under an "average" revenue growth forecast there will be almost $2,803 million in reserve by the end of the 2001-03 biennium. Similarly, the other columns show the same analysis based on different assumptions about the revenue growth over the three biennia. The results shown in the table are clearly driven by long-term assumptions about the economy. By changing the economic assumptions for the 2001-03 biennium, an expansionary economy (6.4% growth) would result in $3,206 million in reserves, slow growth (3.5%) results in $2,316 million in reserves, and a recession (1.6%) results in reserves of $1,730 million.
Transfer of General Fund Revenues to Transportation Moneys can be diverted from the General Fund to the Transportation Fund by lowering the percentage deposit into the General Fund and increasing the percentage deposit into the Transportation Fund. The diversion can take place in one step or be phased in with a series of steps over time. A diversion from the General Fund to the Transportation Fund under this option will result in a decrease in the I-601 General Fund expenditure limit for the succeeding fiscal year in an amount equal to the amount of the transfer. For diversions over time, each step will result in a reduction in the expenditure limit. For example, the transfer of $50 million would result in the expenditure limit being permanently reduced by $50 million. Expenditures in the future would be subject to a lower limit.
-- Craig Carson (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 01, 1999
The current state budget revenue predictions say pretty much the same thing with regard to the surplus: http://www.wa.gov/ofc/pubs/sep99pub.pdf
So we have the ability to largely offset the MVET elimination, but AREN'T going to do it so we can preserve our 601 limit, huh? And potentially PUNISH the voters for approving I-695 too, perhaps. Looks like it's going to be time for a new governor and new representatives too, if they let him get away with this.
-- Mark Stilson (email@example.com), November 01, 1999.