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State Budget Shortfall, Bonding, and Revenue Challenges: Incompatible with a Gold-Plated 520?

November 23rd, 2010 · 1 Comment · 520 Bridge

Wondering how we’re doing financially compared to other states? According to the Wall Street Journal, not very well. The image below speaks volumes. Not only about Washington, but the country as a whole. Those “Blue” coastal progressive states look to me (and many others) like they’re progressing — into bankruptcy.


Full data here. We’re 2.1 Billion in the hole which puts us 17th from the bottom in amount, 14th from bottom in terms of percentage of total budget.

Which takes me to my favorite fiscal topic, the 520 bridge “rebuild.” (It’s not a rebuild, it’s an entirely new shiny gold-plated bridge — in a different location) When you consider that project we’re even more behind. The DOT acknowledges that the project is 1.9 billion in the red — before it’s even begun.

It’s being funded by bonds, which — thanks to defaults — just got a lot more difficult for states to sell now. (it’s not a “crisis” say experts). A bond that a few weeks ago garnered $1,000,000 is now only taking in $960,000 in revenue Hmmm. I wonder if the WSDOT has updated their funding plan given this new hurdle/expense?

No worries, the current plan is to build the new bridge as far as they can with the money they have, and then stop where it hits Seattle (I’m not kidding…) Then finish it off someday, when things get better.

Oh, and gas tax revenues are also far less than originally forecast.


Given the latest news, and factoring in the inevitable (84% chance) cost overruns, the big new shiny part may stop in the middle of the lake…


1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Steve Roth // Nov 23, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    I really, really can’t believe you posted this map. You know why.

    Wow: California has a larger budget gap (in $s) than Arkansas. So does Texas. Eye-opening. Whodathunkit.

    How to explain it? The coastal states (which along with Texas and Illinois pretty much own US GDP) have bigger budget gaps than the center (which … decidedly doesn’t).

    More news: Germany has a larger budget gap than Mozambique. It’s amazing, isn’t it?

    Oh wait (you already did this): click on the percentage button.

    But of course I agree with you 100% on the bridge. Just float in a new span.

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