Withholding Changes Lead to Decreased Income Tax Revenue

Fiscal Bureau Expected to Released Updated Budget Numbers This Week

MacIver News Service | January 21, 2015

[Madison, Wisc…] State income tax revenue decreased by 3.2 percent in December of fiscal year 2015 (FY15), compared to December of FY14, mostly thanks to changes in Wisconsin’s income tax withholding rates that took effect in April of last year.

The Department of Revenue (DOR) released the new revenue numbers on Tuesday. While income tax revenue was down, sales tax revenue was up 3.7 percent – a sign that Wisconsinites are spending more money.

Sales tax collections for December FY15 were up more than $13 million over December FY14. Over the first six months of FY15, sales tax collections are up nearly $93 million.

Overall, state tax collections for the month of December were $34 million less than the previous year’s totals, and total revenue for the first half of FY15 is $179 million short of revenue during the first half of FY14. That amount represents a 2.7 percent decrease from what was collected through the same period the year prior.

Individual income tax revenue for December was down $23 million year over year, and down $232 million over the first six months of FY15.

The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau is expected to release new 2015-17 budget projections later this week based on the actual revenue collections over the first six months of FY15.

The most recent memo from the Fiscal Bureau predicts an $824 million deficit for the upcoming budget.

The new projections will likely help shape Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal, which he is expected to introduce on February 3rd.