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October 18, 2019
State Budget Faces Big Shortfall
Posted On: Feb 13, 2012

Friday February 10, 2012 by Shawn Johnson
(STATE CAPITOL) Wisconsin's two-year budget faces a shortfall of at least 143-million dollars, a hole created largely by a drop in state income tax collections.

New numbers released yesterday by the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau show that individual income tax collections would likely be roughly 140-million dollars less than previously projected. Sales, corporate and tobacco taxes were also down, a sign that the state economy was struggling by multiple measures.

At a press conference yesterday, Governor Scott Walker would not take questions on the shortfall. Democrats, like Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, were more talkative.

"You know, the Governor had promised people of the state that we would have a balanced budget. And clearly that didn't turn out to be the case," he says. "And obviously being the only state in the nation to have six straight months of unemployment is taking its toll."

If the numbers hold, Wisconsin would end the current fiscal year with a scant 11-million dollar balance. The only reason that's possible is that nearly 26-million dollars from a national mortgage settlement announced yesterday will be rolled directly into Wisconsin's general fund.

The Walker administration did not indicate it would need a budget repair bill to fix the two-year shortfall. The Governor's reaction is in stark contrast to a year ago, when the Fiscal Bureau released similar numbers. At the time Walker declared it a "fiscal crisis" and used the numbers to justify his controversial collective bargaining bill.

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