State ends fiscal year with $135 million surplus

Wisconsin State Capitol
Wisconsin State Capitol

The state of Wisconsin’s general fund has an undesignated balance of $135.6 million as of the end of the fiscal year, which ended on June 30, according to a report released today by the state Department of Administration.

General-purpose revenue taxes for the fiscal year were $14.5 billion, compared to $13.95 billion in the prior fiscal year, an increase of $593 million, or 4.3 percent, according to the report.

Wisconsin State Capitol
Wisconsin State Capitol

General-purse revenue expenditures, excluding fund transfers, were $15.3 billion, which is #271 million less than the budgeted expenditure allocation of $15.6 billion, according to the report.

Local assistance, for school districts, municipalities and counties, accounted for 52.1 percent of total general purpose revenue spending, aid to individuals and organizations accounted for 24.3 percent, the University of Wisconsin System accounted for 7.1 percent and all other state agencies accounted for 16.5 percent.

“I’m pleased to see that our state is currently on a solid financial footing,” said state Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst. “The tax cuts and other reforms my colleagues and I have championed have had a positive impact on the state and are allowing businesses and individuals to be successful. We continue in the correct direction, but we need to remain fiscally responsible to meet the challenges before our state.”

But Democrats said the $135 million budget balance is $381 million less than the state’s budget balance at the start of the year.

“Spending more money than you collect, delaying debt payments into future budgets, and relying on one-time savings – just to end the fiscal year worse than you originally projected is nothing to celebrate,” said Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh. “The reality is that less than 18 percent of the 2015 budget fix came from unanticipated revenue. The rest involved the credit card, raiding funds, and one-time funding.”

“At a time of national economic growth for most other states, Republican legislators are relying on band-aids just to keep our state government going.” said Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison. “Instead of patting themselves on the back for a fake surplus, Republicans should be working to address the $250 million hole in they left in the UW system and the flat funding for Wisconsin’s struggling public schools.”

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

No posts to display