ashland.news
July 18, 2024

Oregon economists revise revenue forecast — downward

Construction at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem in February, 2023. Oregon Capital Chronicle photo by Amanda Loman
November 26, 2023

State will have extra $217 million to spend, not $335 million

By Julia Shumway, Oregon Capital Chronicle

Oregon lawmakers will have less money to spend next year than they anticipated after a promising revenue forecast released last week. 

The Office of Economic Analysis on Tuesday revised its December revenue forecast, saying it overstated an expected increase in tax collections. In fact, insurance tax collections are trending down, not up.

That means lawmakers will have an extra $217 million to spend next year, rather than the $335 million forecasted last week. And they’ll still have plenty of demands for the money.

Gov. Tina Kotek plans to ask for at least $14 million for homeless shelters around the state. She also indicated she’ll seek some funding related to the recommendations from her task force to revitalize Portland, which will present its plan at a summit in December.

Lawmakers will likely also face pressure from school districts — including Portland Public Schools, which is weeks into a teachers’ strike — to send more money to districts undergoing budget crises. 

And after a failed citywide vote to enact a payroll tax, Salem city leaders have signaled they’ll press the state for more aid. The state, which doesn’t pay property taxes, owns about 8% of the land within city limits and employs roughly a quarter of the total Salem workforce. In other capital cities, including Olympia, Washington, the state government provides payments in lieu of taxes to account for costs to cities. 

The 2024 legislative session will begin Feb. 5 and can last up to 35 days. 

Julia Shumway has reported on government and politics in Iowa and Nebraska, spent time at the Bend Bulletin and most recently was a legislative reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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