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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Storms still on economic horizon

Legislature must deal with $340 million shortfall.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 11:30 PM

In case there was any doubt, officials released an economic forecast today predicting more storms on the horizon.

Even as economic indicators show Oregon’s economy is slowly growing, the state said today that job creation still remains “glacial,” according to the forecast from the state’s Office of Economic Analysis.

That means a number of things for state officials and for you.

For starters, lawmakers currently in session in Salem, will have $35 million less to work with than they thought they would. Most of Oregon’s revenues are generated by income taxes and when unemployment is high, revenues are low.

In the weeks leading up to the session, which began Feb. 1, elected officials estimated they would have to deal with a $100 to $300 budget shortfall because of low tax revenue.

The news out today showed that state revenues will be even less than expected, bringing the current budget hole legislators must patch to $340 million, according to the report.

Legislators are likely to have to cut state programs further to deal with that gap, said officials from Central Oregon prior to the session.

For average Oregonians, this could mean reduced access to state services. It also means that housing prices are likely to remain low and that jobs will continue to be scarce at least for the near term, according to the report.

Photo: theblackberryalarmclock.com

 

 


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