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Eye On Olympia

Wed., Feb. 15, 2006, 11:20 a.m.

Extra cash — and a warning…

Washington's top economic weather forecaster, Chang Mook Sohn, slightly upped the size of the state's unexpected tax windfall. By the end of the fiscal year, he said, Washington will have $107 million more than it expected. That's good news for the budget writers. The Senate will unveil its budget proposal in about 45 minutes.

But Sohn repeated a warning he's had for the last several quarterly forecasts: that much of the state's windfall was fueled by a smoking-hot real estate market, and that the real estate market appears to be slowing, based on December real estate tax collections.

"Housing simply cannot continue to accelerate year after year, month after month," Sohn said. "There's always a correction."

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