The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis issued its quarterly revenue forecast this week, informing lawmakers that projected 2017-2019 net general fund resources are holding stable, although down $14.3 million from the September forecast.
Lottery revenues are up $1.8 million since the September forecast, and jobs are being added as the state’s economy grows. However, the overall growth rate of 5,000 new jobs per month over the past two years has slowed to about 3,000 jobs per month. The state’s reserve fund has also decreased slightly to $948.9 million. This week’s projections will be used by Governor Brown as she prepares a proposed 2017-19 biennial budget. By law, the governor must prepare a balanced budget, and the scheduled release date for the 2017-19 budget is December 1. The estimated budget shortfall to maintain current services, is $1.7 billion.
The forecast was presented to a joint meeting of the House Revenue and Senate Finance and Revenue committees, chaired by Representative Phil Barnhart (D-Eugene) and Senator Mark Hass (D-Portland). Additional highlights of the presentation included: an unexpected bump in estate tax revenues; a comparison of the cigarette taxes in Oregon and Washington; a report on sizable state population increases; and recent job gains attributed mainly to small businesses.
Legislators receive revised revenue forecasts every three months to permit adjustments to the state’s budget to reflect changing economic conditions. The next forecast will be released February 22, 2017, during the first month of the legislative session.
Contact: Wendy Johnson, Intergovernmental Relations Associate – firstname.lastname@example.org