State of Wisconsin’s Budget Surplus is Shrinking but Still Large

Wisconsin’s budget surplus will be less than what was projected six months ago.  The state is predicted to have a surplus of $3.25 billion by the end of the current budget cycle, according to a new estimate of the state’s general fund from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

The state is projected to collect less tax revenue while spending has increased. The fiscal bureau is now expecting the state will collect $422 million less than previously expected from both individuals and corporations.

This estimate from the bureau included spending that has passed since June, as well as bills currently working their way through the legislature. That includes $423 million for building projects on University of Wisconsin system campuses and other items.

Republican leaders said the new estimates show there is still enough of a surplus to deliver more tax cuts.

“These estimates are consistent with what we expected when we crafted our budget. We created a responsible budget that protects taxpayer resources, while making important investments in our state,” Sen. Howard Marklein and Rep. Mark Born wrote in a statement. “With over $3 billion in the bank and $1.8 billion in the state’s rainy day fund, it is critical for us to return a portion of these funds to the people of Wisconsin.”

When asked for a response to the revised estimate, a spokesperson for Evers pointed to this week’s State of the State address. In that speech, Evers called for funding a variety of programs, including child care, expanded Medicaid coverage for new mothers and investing in education.