The Wisconsin Policy Forum is a nonpartisan, independent statewide policy research organization with offices in Milwaukee and Madison. Our mission is to provide informed, nonpartisan analysis of critical policy issues affecting local governments, school districts, and the state of Wisconsin. Our research and facilitation activities encourage elected officials and community leaders to find effective, data-driven solutions to pressing policy challenges, and promote productive discussion among the public and private sectors.
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Our analysis of the governor's proposed 2019-21 state budget finds that it addresses several important priorities, but leans on a net increase in taxes and a drawdown of state reserves to help finance the cost. A key question is whether it strikes the correct balance between needed re-investment and prudent financing.
Our state budget brief discusses several key issues likely to dominate budget deliberations, including:
Reserves: In the first year, the governor’s budget would take in substantially more in general purpose revenue (GPR) than it spends, raising the general fund ending balance to $937.9 million. In the second year, however, the budget proposes spending $832.6 million more than projected revenues. The state would close the year with just $105.3 million in the general fund, the lowest amount since 2011.
Taxes: The governor’s budget includes a two-year, $688.7 million net increase in collections of GPR income, sales, and excise taxes. It proposes a 10% income tax cut for middle-income taxpayers, as well as... View Research
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