Wisconsin Revenues Up More Than a Half Billion

MacIver News Service | May 9, 2013

Updated Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 10:49AM

[Madison, Wisc…] New revenue estimates from the non-partisan Fiscal Bureau on Thursday show Wisconsin will bring in $575 million more, or 1.4 percent, than expected over the next three years. Income tax estimates are up $385 million and corporate tax estimates have increased by $190 million.

According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, “the primary factor in the increased estimates is unexpected strength in individual income tax revenues since January.”

An expected decrease in tax collections has not materialized. In fact, according to the LFB, quarterly estimated payments of taxes on non-wage income are up 35.9 percent over April 2012 amounts.

The non-partisan Fiscal Bureau’s report updated the General Fund Condition Statement, which is made up of estimated revenues, appropriations, and balances.

Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Finance, would like to use the additional revenue to increase the per-pupil funding for local public school districts. “We would like to increase funding by $100 per pupil,” Nygren said in a statement, “We have listened to the citizens that spoke out during public hearings throughout Wisconsin and to our colleagues.”

The other Co-Chair of JFC, Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), would like to use the revenue for education and tax relief. “It is my hope that we can look for ways to improve educational opportunities for our children, lower the tax burden on our citizens and businesses, and prevent a structural deficit,” Darling said in a statement.

Thursday’s report continues a trend of higher than expected revenues for the state.

In January the LFB provided general fund revenue and expenditure projections to the Joint Committee on Finance in preparation for work on the next biennium budget. It predicted the state would bring in $13,799.1 million in the 2012-13 fiscal year.

A year before that, LFB predicted the state would bring in $13,603.5 in 2012-13.

Currently, the JFC is working on the state’s next biennium budget, which goes into effect on July 1st. The added revenue will provide that committee with greater flexibility in this work.