What's New

  • FOCUS: How have schools here and elsewhere weathered economic and fiscal storms?

    New Census data through 2014 shed light on K-12 expenditures. In 2002, Wisconsin spent $8,574 per pupil, 11.3% more than the U.S. ($7,701). The difference between the two was due to benefits: Wisconsin spent $2,070 per pupil, or 57% more than the nation ($1,321). In 2014, the state spent in total $11,186, or 1.6% more than the U.S. ($11,009). The state-nation gap in benefits, once over 60%, is now 12%.

    Continue Reading
  • FOCUS: Historic July 4 speeches: Presidents Roosevelt and Reagan

    To mark civic holidays, WISTAX occasionally reprints historic documents. In two of the most memorable July 4 addresses, Presidents Franklin Roosevelt (D) and Ronald Reagan (R) invoked common purpose and shared sacrifice to commemorate the holiday. In March, Abraham Lincoln’s 1838 speech on mob violence appeared on these pages. All three speeches appear in full on our site, www.wistax.org.

    Continue Reading
  • FOCUS: They’re off: State legislative candidates set for August primary, fall general

    With papers filed, Wisconsin candidates have kicked off the 2016 campaign. Despite reported high voter interest nationally, only 224 hopefuls filed for 115 state legislative seats ��"the lowest number since at least 2000. In 41 districts, candidates are unopposed. In about half, there is no November contest between major party candidates, virtually guaranteeing election.

    Continue Reading
  • BLOG: School revenues to rise slightly in 2016-17

    A recent release of school aid information by the Department of Public Instruction received much press coverage. The department noted that general school aids are slated to rise $108.1 million next year, resulting in more aid for 61% of the state’s 424 public school districts. However, in the complex world of Wisconsin school finance, the increase in general aid will not mean more money for schools. Instead, they will benefit from a small increase in another aid program.

    Continue Reading
  • FOCUS: Final property tax numbers for 2016

    Gross property taxes to be collected this year rose 2.3% to $10.6b. School taxes, the single largest share of the levy at almost 46%, increased 2.0%, as did counties (20% of the total). Municipalities accounted for 25% of total levies and rose 2.2%. After dropping last year due to a $400-million state“buy down” of their levies, technical colleges increased their taxes 2.4%.

    Continue Reading
  • BLOG: Property taxes falling as share of income

    A look at the long-term trend of Wisconsin property taxes as a share of personal income.

    Continue Reading

Has Legal Gambling Plateaued in Wisconsin?

Beginning in 1965, voters in Wisconsin have approved five constitutional amendments allowing certain forms of gambling in Wisconsin. Today, the state lottery and tribal gaming generate the most revenue. Since 2001, the state lottery has relieved, on average, about 2% of residential property tax levies. While amounts fluctuate, tribes pay the state about $50 million annually to operate casinos in the state.

Continue Reading

Available Soon: MunicipalFacts16. Order Yours Today!

MunicipalFacts is the state's only comprehensive factbook for Wisconsin's 244 largest cities and villages.  This 116 page, 9x12 professionally bound book contains information on spending (by category), debt, property taxes, and shared revenues, among others.  It is a must-have for municipal officials, the press, and citizens interested in how their community compares to others.  The 2016 book will be going to press soon, so order yours today by calling 608.241.9789.






A State Report Card

How are Wisconsin's economy, schools, and public sector doing?

Learn More