Official estimate shows big increase in state revenue

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    On Tuesday the Legislative Fiscal Bureau released its revenue estimates based on the most recent tax filings in Wisconsin.

    “The increase in general fund tax collections in 2021, particularly in the months of April and May, is unprecedented,” Fiscal Bureau director Bob Lang wrote in a letter to the Legislature’s budget committee co-chairs, Rep. Mark Born and Sen. Howard Marklein.

    “Based upon the strength of collections and the vastly improved economic forecasts for the remained of this year and the next two years,” Lang wrote, Fiscal Bureau analysis shows that aggregate general fund tax collections will be $4.4 billion more than previous estimates for the next three years.

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    The estimate of the total amount of money in the state’s general fund has been revised upward by $816.1 million, Lang reports.

    Among the contributing factors to that increase in revenue are higher- than- projected tax collections and lower- than- projected expenditures, including reduced claims for the earned income tax credit and a lapse in a $20 million appropriation for the state public defender’s office.

    Under state law, half of the increase in tax collections must be transferred to the state’s rainy day fund.

    221 - Revenue Estimates June 8, 2021


    Ruth Conniff
    Ruth Conniff is Editor-in-chief of the Wisconsin Examiner. She formerly served as Editor-in-chief of The Progressive Magazine where she worked for many years from both Madison and Washington, DC. Shortly after Donald Trump took office she moved with her family to Oaxaca, Mexico, and covered U.S./Mexico relations, the migrant caravan, and Mexico’s efforts to grapple with Trump. Conniff is a frequent guest on MSNBC and has appeared on Good Morning America, Democracy Now!, Wisconsin Public Radio, CNN, Fox News and many other radio and television outlets. She has also written for The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times, among other publications. She graduated from Yale University in 1990, where she ran track and edited the campus magazine The New Journal. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and three daughters.