Wisconsin in strongest fiscal position ever with unprecedented surplus

(WSAW)
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 4:28 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - A report released today by the Wisconsin DOA estimates state revenues are expected to moderately increase over the next biennium, with a record-high surplus and an all-time high Budget Stabilization Fund.

DOA projects a gross general fund balance slightly above $6.5 billion at the end of the current fiscal year. This record-setting figure does not include the roughly $1.7 billion currently in the state’s budget stabilization “rainy day” fund.

State general fund balances for the next biennium are estimated to be $8.4 billion at the end of the 2023-24 fiscal year and around $9.8 billion at the end of the 2024-25 fiscal year. Additionally, the report released today notes that the most recent budget which Gov. Evers signed provided nearly $1 billion in income tax relief for Wisconsin families and individuals with low to middle incomes. Even after significantly reducing individual income taxes, overall state tax revenues continued to increase by over $975 million in FY 2021-22.

“Wisconsin is currently in the strongest financial position we’ve ever been with unemployment at historic lows and a strong pandemic recovery that has helped new businesses open on Main Streets in every county,” said Governor Tony Evers. “We’re working hard to build an economy that works for everyone, and this unprecedented surplus presents an unprecedented opportunity to make critical investments in Wisconsinites and the future of our state.”

Revenue forecasts, based on the current state and federal tax laws, include $744.2 million in state tax revenue increases in FY 2022-23, $323.9 million increase in 2023-24, and $855.1 million increase in 2024-25 with a total revenue estimate of around $22.5 billion by 2025.

“Exceptional fiscal management, a positive GAAP balance, and a record high surplus are good news for Wisconsin as we get ready to close out 2022 and put the pandemic in the rearview,” said DOA Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld. “Our financial outlook is strong, as is our Administration’s leadership and commitment to ensure a prosperous and resilient Wisconsin that works for all.”