What's New

  • TAXPAYER: Here Comes the 2015-16 Legislature

    The 2014 elections were largely a continuation of the status quo. Republicans continue to control both houses of the legislature: 63-36 in the assembly and, pending a special election, 18-14 in the senate. Legislative turnover continued to be high, particularly in the state assembly. Twenty-six representatives are new, and combined with turnover from the last three elections, 71 of 99 assembly members have served four or fewer years. This relative inexperience will soon be tested as lawmakers begin work on the 2015-17 state budget.

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  • BLOG: A brief look at state borrowing

    Governor Walker (R) is requesting to borrow about $1.3 billion for transportation over the next two years. A look at borrowing authorizations in past budgets puts this figure in perspective.

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  • Blog: School revenues under state budget proposal

    Under the state budget recently proposed by Governor Scott Walker (R), Wisconsin school districts will see a $150 per student cut in revenues in 2015-16. In the following year, revenues rise by $165 per student, bringing them to just $15 more than this year.

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  • FOCUS: New tax rank information brings surprises from south, west

    New tax figures from the US Census released over the holidays brought rare news. Both Illinois (now, 9th) and Minnesota (10th) moved past Wisconsin (12th) in state-local tax burden relative to personal income. Illinois, which in modern memory has never cracked the top ten, jumped from 26th place in 2009; Minnesota ranked 14th that year. Wisconsin placed 13th in 2011 and 9th in 2010.

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  • BLOG: Minding the GAAP: National Comparisons

    Wisconsin’s general fund deficit reported in its annual financial statement declined for the third consecutive year and is now less than half as large as in 2011. However, when compared to other states, our fiscal position is not quite as rosy. That is the leading news that came from the December release of Wisconsin’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

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  • FOCUS: Did the state

    The big news on the property tax front this year was the legislature’s attempt to “buy down” levies by appropriating $406 million in additional aid for technical colleges. That resulted in “tech college” levies falling 48.9% statewide. At the same time, however, school (1.3%) and county (1.8%) taxes rose. Assuming municipal levies grew 2.5%, WISTAX estimates a 2% decline in total levies.

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Wisconsin's Evolving Technical Colleges

Wisconsin is home to the nation’s oldest technical college system, which was established in 1911 to enable residents to obtain training for technical and skilled positions and to encourage economic development. Since then, many states have established technical and community colleges of their own. The structure of these institutions varies widely by state, particularly in how they are funded and governed. This is now an issue in Wisconsin.

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Now Available: The WISTAX 2015-16 Legislative & Congressional Directory. Get Yours Today!

The all-new 2015-16 Legislative and Congressional Directory includes names, district maps, office phone numbers, home addresses and most recent election results for all 132 members of the Wisconsin legislature. It  also includes the names of the Wisconsin Congressional delegation, contact information and maps of their districts.


Every citizen's guide to the state budget process: The Framework of Your Wisconsin Government handbook

The best guide to Wisconsin state, county, city, village, town and school governments and budgets.

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