The lawmakers who control Wisconsin’s legislature are not seeking to spend what is projected to be a nearly $4 billion surplus. At least not yet.
A new report from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau on Tuesday said Wisconsin should see $2.9 billion more than expected. Bringing the budget surplus for the current budget to $3.8 billion.
“The majority of the excess revenue (97% of the excess revenue) is from increased projections for corporate income/franchise tax revenues, which are $935.0 million higher than the previous estimates, [and] individual income tax revenues, which are $823.7 million higher, and sales and use tax revenues, which are $670.9 million higher.,” the LFB report noted.
Republicans leaders at the Capitol took a victory lap over the news.
“Sound Republican budgeting continues to pay dividends,” Senate Majority Leader Devin Lemahieu, R-Oostburg, said on Twitter.
“Thanks to a decade of conservative budgeting; Wisconsin’s budget is projected to have a surplus of more than $3 billion, not including what we’ve already set aside for our Rainy Day Fund,” Rep. Cindi Duchow, R-Town of Delafield, tweeted.
The state has another $1.7 billion in its Rainy Day fund.
CJ Szafir with the Institute for Reforming Government said Republicans deserve all of the credit for moving Wisconsin onto solid financial footing.
“Today’s big news of a state surplus of over $3.8 billion is only possible because Speaker Vos, Majority Leader LeMahieu, and Republicans in the legislature rejected Governor Evers’ billions of dollars of new taxes and spending increases,” Szafir explained.
Democrats at the Capitol are looking to spend some of the money, there’s already a plan to use some of the surplus to increase shared revenue to local governments.
But LeMahieu said the legislature will wait until the next state budget to decide what to do with the extra money.
“We will not be foolish with these tax dollars by spending them into the future,” 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.”
Szafir said Republicans need to be bold.
“The state’s massive surplus is further reasoning to eliminate the state’s income tax,” Szafir added. “This would be a massive tax cut for the middle class and small businesses and make Wisconsin the best in the Midwest for job growth and to raise a family.”
This article was originally posted on Wisconsin’s finances continue to improve, new report estimates $3.8 billion surplus