October 15, 2013

Wisconsin's $760 million surplus — $89 million more that projected when the 2013-15 budget was passed last summer.

"When we took office two years ago, we said we would be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money, and this report shows we’re on the right track," said Governor Scott Walker.

There's  $100 million of property tax relief in the works, and unlike some other GOP efforts, the Democrats in the state legislature are not opposing it (though they are irked at the timing, which coincides with the announcement by Mary Burke that she will run against Walker in the 2014 governor's race).

28 comments:

Original Mike said...

The Democrats are "irked at the timing"? How petty. I hope it's not true.

cubanbob said...

$760mm? Make that man president. Now what is it that makes the WI democrats irked? All that money that they can't use to buy votes?

PB Reader said...

Illinois Democrats stick their fingers in their ears, close their eyes and say, 'Na, na, na, na, na,..."

n.n said...

Optics. The Democrats know that the people are not blind, and many, perhaps most, will not be deceived by illusions.

TosaGuy said...

Amazon is also going to set up a warehouse in Kenosha County and provide over 1,000 full-time and 2,500 seasonal jobs.

Also, Amazon will start collecting $30 million/year in online state sales taxes from Wisconsin residents because they have would now have a brick-and-mortar presence in the state -- consider it a closed loophole since WI residents are supposed to pay sales taxes on internet purchases anyway.

LarsPorsena said...

My guess is he had to starve orphans, dispossess widows, and ravage the environment to do this.

Scott M said...

Ugh. How do you run against a budget surplus in the middle of the Great Recession?

MadisonMan said...

I am skeptical whenever a politician says good news that is self-serving.

I hope it's true.

Mark said...

I agree, MadisonMan.

I would also point out that when you remove $800 mil from education, should it be surprise that you might have a surplus? In 10 years, when those kids grow up - that's when we can judge how great Walker's plan was.

I would also point out that we still have a structural deficit, and this makes it worse. But hey, let's only pay attention to half the story ....

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The projected budget shortfall Wisconsin will face in 2015 would increase 33 percent if the Legislature approves a $100 million property tax cut and other worker training bills proposed by Gov. Scott Walker.

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau released an analysis Tuesday showing the increased spending would grow the state's projected shortfall from $545 million to $725 million.

News about the growth in the structural deficit came the day after Walker's administration announced that the state collected $89 million more than originally expected in the last fiscal year. Even with that growth, the Fiscal Bureau report shows the deficit would grow thanks mostly to the property tax cut.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

If it doesn't already have one, Wisconsin should do what California failed to do and institute a rainy-day fund. No surplus is forever, since Wisconsin will likely, in some misty future, elect another Democrat majority.

TosaGuy said...

Ah, the structural deficit...two words that few actually know what they mean.

Those scary figures come from the use of static scoring -- meaning that you base the "cost" of a tax cut on conditions that include zero economic growth and no increase in tax revenue based on that growth.

The national deficit will decline over time if new spending stops because economic growth will close that gap. The GOP at the national level ignores that in their messaging, while the Dems at the state level are ignoring it also.

If Dems were so "concerned" about the structural deficit as they see it at the state level, they need to develop a plan to cut spending.

n.n said...

Mark:

America grossly overspends on education and its product is only sixth (or seventh) in the world. The people who claim that more money is the answer are objectively wrong. If anything, the more money argument has sponsored corruption.

TosaGuy said...

Where state governments get in trouble when with making policy calculations based on future growth is if the growth doesn't happen or if sudden new expenditures, such as massive Medicaid expansion forced by the feds, kicks in.

Many government pension plans are in trouble because they based their calculations on a ridiculous rate of return of the market.

There is a balance between using static scoring and a more dynamic economic planning model.

Strelnikov said...

Thus starting the inevitable cycle which will result in the Dems re-taking the government based on demands that the money be spent - since the State is in such great shape.

Seeing Red said...

So the great "progressive" company Amazon, when it had a chance to actually walk the talk and put the warehouse in Deep Blue, home of Barack Obama Illinois, decided to choose a red state very close to Deep Blue's border?

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

I wonder if they'll have a pick up location so the Illinoisers can pick up their orders?

Seeing Red said...

So Amazon, which would collect more in sales taxes for the State of IL decided not to help out Deep Blue and the social model Amazon supports?

I wonder how many employees will be from IL?

mrs. e said...

Nothing says love to the Wisconsin taxpayers more than "Here's a $750M structural deficit for when I'm gone ".

MadisonMan said...

I'm guessing Amazon chose Kenosha Co because of its proximity to OHare, although Mitchell is just as available, and if you're in Racine Co, not only do you get closer to Mitchell, but you get better kringle.

TosaGuy said...

Mrs. E.

Amazon's sales tax collection of $30 million, its share of corporate income tax paid to Wisconsin and the state income tax of those 3,500 new employees is not baked into that $700 million structural deficit number you throw out. Neither are any taxes from any other economic growth from this time forward.

Larry J said...

Tyrone Slothrop said...
If it doesn't already have one, Wisconsin should do what California failed to do and institute a rainy-day fund. No surplus is forever, since Wisconsin will likely, in some misty future, elect another Democrat majority.


While a rainy day fund is a good idea, the problem is that to politicians, every one of their vote-buying wet dreams qualifies as a rainy day. Few politicians have any discipline when a pot of money is available to enact new programs and to buy votes.

n.n said...

Seeing Red:

Not all "progressives" are created equal. Most "progressives" are not progressive in the classical sense. Progressivism is simply an ideology of unqualified, monotonic change.

Glenn Howes said...

Doesn't anybody read articles? The linked article explicitly says that some of the money is being put into the pre-existing rainy day fund.

Also, surprise surprise, the Madison school district is raising taxes as much as they can presumably to pay for their lengthy union contracts.

Also, I no longer live in Wisconsin, but I would have though it was the state income tax that most needs trimming. What is it 8+% ?

Strelnikov said...

"but you get better kringle."

First time I've agreed with Madison Man.

Strelnikov said...

"Also, I no longer live in Wisconsin, but I would have though it was the state income tax that most needs trimming. What is it 8+% ?"

Which is why I will ever only have a vacation home there.

Strelnikov said...

That one sentence should just read "Democrats are irked. (Full Stop.)"

damikesc said...

Umm, does anybody remember the "structural deficit" left to Walker by Doyle?

The ACTUAL deficit was bad enough.

Big Mike said...

Democrats are irked?

You'd need a scanning electron microscope to see the tiny violin I'm playing.

cf said...

Oh, thank Goodness!!!!

Someone that makes sense, sticks to his guts, and makes it work!

I needed a good injection of that.

NPR, and The View, etc. airlifting the Cone of Silence into place NOW, I expect.

But at least I got this much of it. Ahhhh.