Wisconsin Tax Collections up $818 Million above Projections

Wisconsin tax collections are expected to come in more than $818 million above projections made last summer, an increase reported Thursday that will fuel the push to make an election year tax cut.

Any tax cut that the Legislature approves would have to be signed by Evers before becoming law. The state budget Republicans passed and Evers signed into law last year cut personal income taxes on middle income earners by 10%.

The forecast is an estimate of how much money the state will collect through the current two-year budget cycle, which runs through the end of June 2021. The net increase to the state’s bottom line is $452 million above what was projected when the budget passed in July, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported in a memo to lawmakers. That leaves the state with a projected net balance of $620 million by the middle of 2021.

That surplus could grow even higher. The state budget passed last year assumed that Foxconn Technology Group would qualify for $212 million in state tax credits for job creation and capital expenditures at the plant it’s building in southeast Wisconsin. However, progress has been slower than anticipated and the Fiscal Bureau estimates Foxconn will only qualify for between $50 million and $75 million in credits for 2019.

The state’s rainy day fund, akin to a savings account, is also slated to grow to its highest levels ever, topping $1 billion by July 2021