Press Releases

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

How Active Was the 2009-10 Legislative Session?

It Depends How Legislative Activity Is Measured

June 3, 2010

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With the 2009-10 legislative session coming to a close and the 2010 campaign underway, it is now time for state voters to begin evaluating legislative performance over the past two years. Understanding how active the legislature has been is a good start for voter research. A new report from the nonpartisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX), recaps legislative activity by comparing the number of bill introductions and passages, and session and per diem days in 2009-10 with those of prior sessions.

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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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