by David Ammons | June 13th, 2011
A new state report says tax collections were down $70 million below forecast levels in May, due to a “sharp slowdown” in the economy. Still, even accounting for that, total collections since the March forecast are up $93 million, thanks to one-time collections under the tax “amnesty” program.
Arun Raha, the state’ s chief economist and director of the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, said in an update that the national economy has “entered another soft patch in a recovery that is proving to be far more bumpy and fragile than usual.” High gas prices and Japan’s woes have “taken the wind out of the sails of the recovery,” but the second half of 2011 looks better, he said.
Washington’s payrolls are growing, but not as fast as projected, he said. Meanwhile, the Department of Revenue’s program of allowing payment of past-due taxes without fines or penalties has been a boon, he said.