Revenue Forecast Looking Up

Oregon's tax revenue hasn't changed, state economist Tom Potowsky told the legislature when he presented the first quarter revenue forecast this morning.

For the rest of the 2009-11 biennium, which ends June 30, tax revenue is basically flat.  Personal and corporate tax revenues are up just a bit – $3.3 million – but lottery revenue is down by $4.7 million, which means the overall revenue for the rest of the biennium is down about $1.5 million, essentially a rounding factor.

For fiscal years 2011-13, projected general and lottery revenue is down about $109 million, including almost $20 million in personal tax revenue, about $68 million in corporate tax revenue and about $28 million in lottery revenue.

Potowsky said the economy still is in recovery, but at a slow pace. He said corporate optimism is on the rise as orders are up. Potowsky believes the jobs market should follow. He also said consumer confidence is rising slowly but steadily.

The next quarterly revenue forecast, presented in April, could bring surprises, Potowsky said. The legislature will begin building the 2011-13 budget on this revenue forecast and finalize the budget based on that May forecast. Therefore, any surprises may lead to some scrambling to make big adjustments to the budget before the legislature adjourns in June or July.

Beyond the 2011-13 biennium, Potowsky predicted larger economic growth rates during the next decade. "The worst is clearly behind us," he said of income tax revenue.

After looking at the numbers Rep. Jules Bailey, D-Portland, whose first session was 2009, asked, "Could this be my very first positive revenue forecast?"

You can view revenue forecast documents here: Office of Economic Analysis