Press Releases

Todd A. Berry or Dale J. Knapp
608-241-9789
wistax@wistax.org

Wisconsin State and Local Debt Rose Faster Than Federal Debt During 1990-2009

Average Annual Increase in State Debt, 7.8%; Local Debt, 7.3%

May 26, 2010

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State and local debt in Wisconsin grew faster than federal debt over the last 19 years. State debt rose 316%, an average of 7.8% per year, from $2.71 billion in 1990 to $11.25 billion in 2009. Local general obligation debt was up 284%, a 7.3% average, from $3.41 billion in 1989 to $13.1 billion in 2008. Federal debt held by the public averaged annual increases of 6.2% per year for a total increase of 212.8% from 1990 through 2009. The figures come from a new study from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX), a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization dedicated to citizen education.

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Todd A. Berry or Kyle C. Christianson
608-241-9789
wistax@wistax.org

Wisconsin's Prison Population Two and a Half Times larger Than Minnesota's

But Minnesota Has More Residents Under Correctional Control

April 27, 2010

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In 2008, Wisconsin had more than 23,000 people in state prisons, compared to fewer than 9,000 in Minnesota. Yet, despite the marked difference in prison populations, Minnesota had more residents under some form of correctional control—prison, jail, probation, or parole. A new study from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX), “The Cost of Corrections: Wisconsin and Minnesota,” examines crime and corrections in the two states. WISTAX is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research and education organization.

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Todd A. Berry or Kyle C. Christianson
608-241-9789
wistax@wistax.org

Unemployment Reserve Fund Ended 2009 with Record $896 Million Deficit

Future Tax Increases and Benefit Cuts Likely as Federal Borrowing Continues

April 14, 2010

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Wisconsin’s Unemployment Reserve Fund has declined each year since 2000, and it ended 2009 with a negative balance of $896 million. The Reserve Fund deficit could reach $2.4 billion by 2011, according to a new study from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX). The study, “Wisconsin’s Unemployment Reserve Fund,” explains Wisconsin’s reserve losses over the past decade, and compares those losses and the state’s current federal borrowing with other states. 

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Todd A. Berry or Dale J. Knapp
608-241-9789
wistax@wistax.org

State Income Tax Refunds Hit Record High

Annual Totals Approaching $2 Billion

April 5, 2010

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The total amount of state income tax refunds paid has hit all-time highs in each of the last nine years, including a record $1.86 billion paid to Wisconsin filers during 2009, according to a new analysis from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX). State refunds during the 2001-09 period totalled $13.5 billion, the Madison-based nonpartisan research organization said. Figures come from monthly data collected by the state Department of Revenue.

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Todd A. Berry or Kyle C. Christianson
608-241-9789
wistax@wistax.org

Wisconsin Government Employment Per Capita 8.2% Smaller Than U.S. Average

State Salaries Above Average, Local Salaries Below

March 15, 2010

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Wisconsin had 8.2% fewer state and local government employees per capita than the national average in 2008. The state had 50.35 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees for every 1,000 state residents vs. 54.82 for the U.S. and ranked 41st nationally, according to a new study from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX). The study, “Wisconsin’s Public Workforce,” details public employment and pay using 2008 Census figures, the most recent available. 

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