State brings in $281 million less than expected
MADISON -- According to a report released by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, the state pulled in about 280 million dollars less in tax revenue than expected for the last fiscal year. As of right now, that means the state is on track for a budget deficit by next June according to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
"It's the worst possible economic news especially for Scott Walker and his Republican Legislature who's policies are failing the people of Wisconsin." said retiring State Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar).
With numbers showing the state took in about 280 million dollars less than it budgeted for the 2014 fiscal year, Democrats joined Jauch in saying this means Wisconsin's budget is now millions of dollars in the red.
But Walker and Republicans have a completely different view of the numbers. In a statement from Walker's press secretary, she says, "Our state will end the fiscal year with a significant positive fund balance and we will finish the biennium with a balanced budget. The total revenue collections are less than 2 percent lower than estimates."
While one fiscal year is positive, Wisconsin operates its budget based on two years. So that means the second year of the budget begins roughly $115 million in the red according to the Fiscal Bureau.
Simply that means the Legislature either needs to bring in more money than expected, or spend less than it budgeted to close the gap.
Jauch says Walker and other Republicans are trying to deceive people in Wisconsin when they say the budget is in good shape. "It's like Cinderella writes his speeches and Darth Vader enacts his policies and people are now able to see the policies are harmful and hurtful to the state of Wisconsin." Jauch said.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said in a statement, "Today Wisconsin residents should feel even more confident that our state is headed in the right direction. The latest revenue projections show the state budget is balanced and continues to have a surplus."
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said in a statement, “Today’s revenue projections show once again that our reforms are moving the State of Wisconsin in the right direction. The increase in sales tax revenue illustrates the confidence that our citizens have in the state’s economic recovery."