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  • FOCUS: Assembly GOP dives into transport finance, gubernatorial cold water

    Even before state budget work began, it was clear that transportation finance -"stagnant revenues and a heavy debt load - "would dominate debate. Setting aside the governor's request for project delays and $500 million in borrowing, the Assembly GOP proposed a sales tax-gas tax swap in an attempt to find a long-term, consumer-friendly solution. However, the governor quickly turned down the offer.

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  • FOCUS: Balloon squeezing: Transportation finance and the state budget

    Wisconsin's transportation finance woes are long-standing. If past is prologue, the status quo - rising debt costs and project delays - will continue. However, the governor (R) and some legislative leaders (R) have also expressed interest in tapping income and sales taxes, the majority of which now goes to schools and Medicaid, to fund transportation. This could create a new set of larger problems.

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  • Taxpayer: Inside Wisconsin Corrections

    Wisconsin’s prison system houses almost 23,000 inmates, a number that surged in the 1990s, then stabilized, and eventually declined in the past decade. Inmates are generally older than in past decades, serving time for more serious crimes, and more likely to ultimately be returned to prison under the “truth in sentencing” laws. These shifts all carry important budgetary and policy implications for state government.

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  • FOCUS: The 2016 CAFR: State controller sees red, while state officials see black

    After each fiscal year, the state controller, a CPA, issues a "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report," or CAFR. The state's CAFR must follow generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The state budget does not use GAAP. As a result, the 2016 CAFR reported a $1.72 billion general fund deficit, while a state budget recap for the same year showed a $331 million surplus.

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  • TAXPAYER: Uncovering Hidden Taxes

    State and federal governments impose a variety of taxes that go largely unnoticed but can add up to significant sums. Taxes on gas, tobacco, and alcohol are not seen by consumers, but are paid by them because they are “hidden” in the price. Telephone and electric bills also include a variety of taxes that are unfamiliar to citizens, yet generate millions of dollars.

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  • WISTAX Pres on School Borrowing Referenda Boom: Surprising, But Follows Bonding Cycle, School District Growth

    WisconsinEye "Newsmakers" program interviews WISTAX President Todd Berry on recent research on a spate of school district borrowing referenda in Wisconsin.

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Wisconsin’s Many Forms of Property Tax Relief

In 2016, state government spent more than $9.8 billion, or 40% of state taxes and fees, on property tax relief. The spending was in the form of aid to local governments, property tax credits, and selected income tax credits. In addition, it imposed strict property tax limits on local governments. Despite the effort, Wisconsin’s property tax burden ranks 11th among the states.

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Order Now: 2017-18 Legislative Directory is here!

The 36th edition of our biennial, 24-page Wisconsin Legislative and Congressional Directory is here! In addition to legislative contact information, the directory contains committee chairs, individual maps of the 33 senate districts and with their associated assembly districts, as well as a state map of the eight U.S. congressional districts. The directory includes the name, address, party affiliation, telephone number, and election results for each legislator, and lists legislative leaders, constitutional officers, legislative service agencies, and many state agencies.  Order yours today by calling 608.241.9789.






Debt Costs Cut Available Transportation Revenues

Transportation Revenues: Gross and Net of Debt Service

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