What's New

  • Focus: Spring elections in Wisconsin

    Turnout for Wisconsin’s nonpartisan spring elections tends to be about half that for fall partisan races. The drop-off may be due in part to a lack of competitive races for county, city, village, town, and school board offices. However, this year’s spring ballot features an open state Supreme Court seat and nearly $600 million in school district borrowing referenda.

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  • FOCUS: School finance: Here vs. elsewhere

    A recently announced legislative task force will spend 2018 studying Wisconsin’s school funding formula, which has not undergone major change for about 25 years. The committee will explore issues of both equity and adequacy, areas where Wisconsin typically outperforms other states. However, that has come at a price of increased complexity. Is there a way to simplify?

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  • TAXPAYER: Investigating Residential Property Taxes

    Wisconsin’s overall property tax burden has declined from 6.9% of total personal income in 1972 to 3.6% of income in 2017. During that same period, residential property taxes changed less, falling from 2.9% to 2.5% of income. Residential property taxes here are high compared to other states; this report explains why.

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  • FORUM: Welcome to the Wisconsin Policy Forum

    The merger of Wisconsin’s two oldest and most-respected nonpartisan policy research groups creates a new organization with broader research capabilities and an enhanced communications platform. The mission, however, remains the same: to provide expert, nonpartisan policy analysis that informs Wisconsin citizens and helps decisionmakers tackle their policy challenges.

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  • BLOG: How Wisconsin Government and Politics Have Changed-And What To Do About It

    Retired WISTAX President Todd Berry offers his views of what ails Wisconsin state government.

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  • FOCUS: Property taxes 2017-18 (II): County levies, state totals projected

    WISTAX estimates that total statewide property taxes will rise about 1.8% to almost $11 billion (b). After subtracting state property tax credits from this total, net levies are expected to grow 1.1% to $9.9b. Counties, which account for one-fifth of all property taxes, are levying $2.2b this year, 3.0% more than last year. Municipal levies are projected to increase 3.5%.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

For the first time in more than a decade, voters will decide who will fill a vacant seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Three little-known candidates are running in the February primary; the two top vote-getters will compete in April. To help voters make an informed choice, the Wisconsin Policy Forum sent questions to the candidates about their experience and views. Their responses are presented here in full.

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Order now! The NEW Framework of Your Wisconsin Government - 19th Edition!

The Framework of Your Wisconsin Government is the only textbook that specifically teaches Wisconsin state and local government. Now in its 19th edition, the Framework has been the go-to text for more than 60 years for high school and college teachers, civic groups, and anyone who wants to learn more about how state and local government operate.
In 11 easy-to-read chapters with full-color photos and graphics, the Framework covers topics including:

  • Wisconsin history, population and economy;
  • State constitution, legislative, executive and judicial branches;
  • State budget and taxes;
  • Counties, cities, villages, and towns; their organization, duties, and funding sources;
  • K-12 schools and higher education institution;
  • Property taxes and other local taxes; and,
  • NEW in 2017: Native American Tribes and state-tribal relations.

Order your copy today!

State Debt Growth Slowing

State Debt and Annual Pct. Change

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