Washington State OFM predicts one initiative may produce millions in state revenue

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August 16, 2011

By Bailey Ludlam

OLYMPIA, Washington: Earlier this month the State of Washington Office of Financial Management (OFM) released fiscal impact statements for three initiatives scheduled to appear on the 2011 statewide ballot.

Of the three initiatives on the ballot, only one is predicted to raise state revenue. Initiative 1183 which would privatize liquor sales in the state is expected to generate an estimated $42 million a year for the state and about $38 million for local government over the span of six years.[1]

According to the state office, Initiative 1125, which would prohibit gas tax and toll revenues to be diverted to non-transportation purposes, will not affect Tacoma Narrows Bridge and State Route 167 toll lanes. However, the impact on future toll roads and bridges remains uncertain. According to the analysis, $123 million in federal funds for the 520 project may be placed in jeopardy because the initiative would remove what is known as "variable pricing" or "congestion pricing." Such pricing methods set different tolls for peak-use hours. Federal dollars are contingent on the use of "congestion pricing." Additional analyses for the changes in pricing methods are estimated to cost up to $8.3 million.[2][3]

Initiative 1163, regarding long-term care, is expected to cost $31.3 million over six fiscal years. Additionally, revenue from the federal government is expected to increase by $18.4 million.[4]

Read all three OFM reports here.

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