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LFB: Additional $753 Million in State Revenue Available for 2019-21 Budget

By John Forester | May 15, 2019

From WisPolitics.com …

The state is projected to have nearly $2.9 billion in additional money to spend over the next two years after the Legislative Fiscal Bureau today upped its revenue estimates through mid-2021.

The state was already expecting healthy revenue growth for the next budget compared to the current biennium. But today’s re-estimate from LFB adds $753 million more in projected general fund tax collections through the end of the upcoming budget.

Still, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, cautioned much of that projected growth is one-time money as businesses continue to adjust to the 2017 overhaul of the federal tax code. He suggested some of the money could be used for road work or to address projects Gov. Tony Evers proposed paying for in his capital budget through borrowing.

Joint Finance Committee Co-chair Rep. John Nygren told reporters he wants to see the “vast majority” of the funding put toward the state’s rainy day fund, adding that “it’s the reasonable and responsible thing to do” given the one-time nature of the funding and the potential for a future recession.

According to today’s LFB memo, the revenue boost would result in a $291.1 million transfer to the state’s budget stabilization fund at the end of the 2018-19 fiscal year. LFB Director Bob Lang said the nearly $2.9 billion in additional money the state is expected to have for the 2019-21 budget takes into account that transfer.

“We think we’re being cautious by thinking that way,” the Marinette Republican said.

Still, he added he hasn’t yet spoken with the Senate about the plan.

Read the memo here.

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