According to a new prediction from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Wisconsin’s projected budget balance will be approximately $2.9 billion higher than initially forecasted.
The funds, which are a result of unexpected tax revenue and coronavirus relief funds from the federal government, will force leaders to decide what to do with the additional funds.
“Based upon our analysis, we project the closing, net general fund balance at the end of this biennium (June 30, 2023) to be $3,812.3 million,” said a report sent to Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and State Representative Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam).
The letter explained the total is “$2,881.7 million above the net balance that was projected at the time of enactment of the 2021-23 biennial budget.”
“The $2,881.7 million is the net result of: (1) an increase of $2,509.2 million in estimated tax collections; (2) an increase of $33.1 million in departmental revenues (non-tax receipts deposited into the general fund); and (3) a decrease of $339.4 million in net appropriations.”
Senator Devin LeMahieu, the Republican Leader in the Wisconsin Senate, remained cautiously optimistic about the news, reminding individuals of the state that some of the additional funds are due to temporary funding by the federal government. He also pledged to provide tax relief for the residents of the state in next year’s budget.
“This is fantastic news for the state of Wisconsin. This is the best fiscal position our state has ever been in. However, much of this is the result of a one-time influx of federal money into our state. We will not be foolish with these tax dollars by spending them into the future,” Sen. Devin LeMahieu said in a statement. “Rather, we will focus on further tax relief in the next budget to continue our state on a positive trajectory and ensure the long-term health of the state budget and, more importantly, family budgets.”
The new estimated surplus of $3.8 billion is fantastic news for our state. Sound Republican budgeting continues to pay dividends.
We will continue to prioritize returning this money to taxpayers to ensure the strength of family budgets in the future. Read my full statement ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/7hYANoC44E
— Sen. Devin LeMahieu (@SenatorDevin) January 25, 2022
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