According to the memo from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the state brought in about $19.6 billion in tax revenue in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, which is roughly 12 percent higher than the previous year and $319 million more than the most recent estimate predicted.
The collections leave the state in the strongest fiscal shape it has been in during any budget cycle in recent memory. It is a sharp departure from expectations many had of declining collections and a dire budget picture during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under state law, if tax collections exceed projections, half of the surplus amount must be deposited into the state’s so-called “rainy day fund.” Because of that law, the memo projects that about $967 million will be deposited into the fund.
According to the budget office, the rainy day fund has a current balance of about $762 million. The deposit will bring that total to about $1.7 billion.
The increased revenue figures come as the state continues to receive billions in federal coronavirus relief money. Evers has about $2.5 billion from the latest round of aid to direct around the state over the next few years.
The figures released Thursday are based on preliminary data released by the state Department of Revenue. Finalized data will be made public in October.