The Legislative Fiscal Bureau announced today that the state of Wisconsin’s net balance is $419.7 million. This is significantly higher than their last estimate in November 2012, which estimated that revenues for the 2012-2013 fiscal year would end in a net balance of $283.1 million. The non-partisan Fiscal Bureau’s report updated the General Fund Condition Statement, which is made up of estimated revenues, appropriations, and balances.
The Fiscal Bureau’s report comes out in odd-numbered years just before the Legislature is scheduled to begin its budget deliberations. The single biggest change found in today’s estimate is a $64.5 million reduction in net appropriations compared to November, 2012. Also, tax collections are higher than expected, which is another positive for Wisconsin’s economy because it means people are working.
Senator Alberta Darling and Representative John Nygren, co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Finance released a statement today in response, stating that “Wisconsin’s economy is improving. We are more fiscally sound and in a position for continued economic growth. Our reforms of last session have resulted in positive growth for our state.”
Governor Walker also released a statement:
The projected $419 million surplus is good news for Wisconsin taxpayers. Unlike two years ago when we faced a $3.6 billion deficit, Wisconsin is better off. Together, we tackled monumental challenges and enacted long-term structural reforms and, because of our tough decisions, we are moving our state forward.
At the time of publication, neither Sen. Larson nor Rep. Barca had put out a statement on the new revenue projections.