MacIver News Service | October 15, 2015
[Madison, Wisc...] The Department of Administration (DOA) announced good news for the state on Thursday when it released financial data showing Wisconsin ended fiscal year 2015 (FY15) with $135.6 million in surplus.
The co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Finance celebrated the news, noting significant government reforms over the past few years.
"Careful budgeting and tax cuts are creating an environment where revenues are growing better than predicted," Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) said in a statement. "Thanks to those reforms, Wisconsin will end this fiscal year with an additional $135.6 million."
The annual fiscal report showed the state spent $271 million less than originally budgeted - a drop from an expected $15.61 billion to $15.33 billion.
At the same time, general purpose tax revenues increased from $13.95 billion in FY14 to $14.54 billion in FY15. The increase of $593 million represents a 4.3 percent increase year over year.
Wisconsin spent $5.34 billion on school aids in FY15, the most of any other category in the state budget. The next largest chunk of taxpayer funds - $2.52 billion - went to Medical Assistance. Both saw an increase in funding over the previous fiscal year. School aids were up 3.8 percent, and Medical Assistance was up 9.3 percent.
"Wisconsin continues to be better off than it was five years ago," the JFC co-chairs added. "Republicans will continue to protect taxpayers and boost our vastly improved business climate."
DOA plans to release the full comprehensive fiscal report in December.