SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers now have a better sense of how much money they'll have to put together a budget. State forecasters Friday announced their latest revenue projections.
The bottom line: Things keep getting better. But not by much. State economist Mark McMullen told a legislative panel that corporate and personal income tax projections continue to rise. But he says the rate of increase isn't as strong as previous economic recoveries.
"What we're seeing here is growth," McMullen said. "It's just better than what we've seen since the lackluster recovery started, but nothing like the good old days."
Lawmakers will use the new numbers to put together a first draft of the next two-year spending plan. The budget won't be finalized until later this spring.
Despite the slight uptick in projected revenues, the legislature still faces tough choices in order to continue funding services at current levels. Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber wants to save money by trimming benefits to retired public employees. But that idea has met with resistance from his fellow Democrats in the legislature.
On the Web:
Oregon Revenue Forecast - Oregon Legislature