SEATTLE – Today the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic and Revenue Forecasts released its revenue forecast, projecting improved revenue since November. However, the City is still facing a budget deficit and increased uncertainty due to global events.
The newest forecast shows a modest increase in projected revenue, roughly a $32.5 million increase for the City’s General Fund resources, and an increase of $57.3 million to Non-General Fund resources. The General Fund is the City’s largest primary fund, about $1.6 billion altogether.
“Our economy is rebounding and there’s good reason to be optimistic about today’s baseline forecast projections,” said Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide) and Chair of the Economic Revenue Forecast Council. “Today’s forecast shows that, largely by raising progressive revenue as opposed to imposing austerity, we can build future budgets which assume that industries, jobs and small businesses will continue to recover. JumpStart Seattle is now projected to bring in more than $277 million in 2022, which is $43.6 million beyond what was expected last November. This means that more investments will be able to flow into economic resilience, building housing, and investing in green/equitable development.”
“Today’s numbers are an encouraging step forward on the path toward economic recovery,” said Senior Deputy Mayor Monisha Harrell, a Vice-Chair of the Economic Revenue Forecast Council. “Seattle is showing progress — benefitting from our positive efforts to reactivate downtown, restore an improved sense of public safety, deliver small business assistance, and support our community. We continue to face a challenging budget deficit next year and ongoing inflation uncertainty. We’ll analyze this forecast and monitor additional economic conditions to further develop a budget that drives progress and innovation, while also being fiscally sound.”
Today’s updated numbers come from the new Economic and Revenue Forecast Office, which was created via Council Bill 120124 in July 2021. The Forecast Office provides an independent source for the economic and revenue forecasts that underlie the City’s annual budget process, while reporting to Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, which includes equal representation from the Legislative and Executive branches of City government. This new Office contributes to a greater level of collaboration and transparency across multiple branches of government and is tasked with preparing three revenue forecasts each year, to be delivered in April, August and November.
The Forecast Office also flagged other national and global factors that are creating increased uncertainty and economic risk, like higher inflation and the war in Ukraine, which will require continued monitoring.
Today’s numbers are noteworthy and will be complemented by a more complete revenue forecast for the General Fund. The City Budget Office forecasts other things like property taxes and all non-tax resources, and it will provide an update for those other revenue sources to the Finance & Housing Committee on April 20th at 9:30 a.m. The committee can be watched live on the Seattle Channel.