Wisconsin Public Radio

State Expects $3.8 Billion Surplus

Moving toward strongest financial position in 50 years.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Apr 26th, 2022 12:32 pm
Wisconsin State Capitol. Photo by Mariiana Tzotcheva.

Wisconsin State Capitol. Photo by Mariiana Tzotcheva.

The leader of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue said the state is in its strongest financial position in more than 50 years.

Speaking Monday on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The Morning Show,” DOR Secretary Peter Barca said the state is expected to end its current two-year budget with a $3.8 billion surplus.

“We’re in the best shape we’ve been in fiscally in more than a half century. We’ve got a huge surplus,” he said. “I think back to when I was elected back to the Legislature in 2008, we had structural deficits as far as the eye can see. Now we have structural surpluses.”

Barca said the fiscal turnaround is the result of growing revenue and a bipartisan effort to control expenditures.

Data released by the state Friday showed sales tax revenue increased 12.7 percent in March compared to the same month last year. Corporate tax revenue for March was up more than 40 percent during the same period.

Barca said sales tax data is an indicator of the health of the economy overall.

“Our economists at the Department of Revenue tell us that’s the best barometer of the economy, so being above 12 percent, that’s really a healthy place to be,” he said.

He said corporate revenue growth has remained strong throughout the last three years, and said manufacturing employment is now higher than it was before the pandemic.

Barca cautioned the economy could slow as the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates to combat inflation.

Gov. Tony Evers and the Republican-led Legislature have differed on how to handle the budget surplus,

In January, Evers called for a special session of the Legislature to address the surplus. The governor called for a $150 tax refund for every Wisconsin resident, along with $130 million for child and caregiver tax credits and $750 million for public education in the state.

Republicans rebuffed Evers’ plan, adjourning the special session without debate or action on the plan. GOP lawmakers have previously called the proposal for a tax refund an election-year gimmick. Republicans have instead said they would focus on tax relief in the next budget cycle.

Rising tax revenues generate big budget surplus for state of Wisconsin was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

3 thoughts on “State Expects $3.8 Billion Surplus”

  1. burrusdoiron says:

    I would like to see this story extrapolate on how the state is doing so well while cities appear to be struggling.

  2. Ryan Cotic says:

    Not even really trying to be partisan about it but it’s funny how Barca notices that it was in 2008 they went from a structural deficit to a large surplus a few years later and the timing of this almost exactly coincides with the republicans taking over the state and passing act 10. Its even more hypocritical how Peter Barca who fled the state to stop passage of this taxpayer and budget balancing bill is now trying to take credit for helping build this state surplus. How does this hypocrite even look himself in the mirror when he gets up in the morning?

  3. deansschultz@gmail.com says:

    Loggerheads about what to do with the surplus? Is that a surprise to anyone? How can the legislature turn its back on the Wisconsin citizens, especially when the school systems in small town Wisconsin have to go to referendum to meet financial needs? It is not acceptable.

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