Compared To Last Year, Tax Collections in Wisconsin Down

May 28, 2014

State income tax collections were down in April while sales tax revenues were up.

Wisconsin lawmakers could face a budget challenge next year, plugging a $226 million hole.

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue reports tax collections are lagging last year’s by two-tenths of a percent. Income tax revenue is down notably, because of the tax cut leaders approved. The state has begun withholding less from many workers’ paychecks.

The report includes general purpose revenue (GPR) taxes collected, and does not include taxes collected by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, administrative fees, and other miscellaneous revenues.
Credit Wisconsin Department of Revenue

Todd Berry directs the non-partisan group, Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. He says the state bringing in less money than expected is problematic, if the trend continues.

"If our tax collections were not to grow at all, then we would need to cut taxes or raise spending, so that is the problem that will be staring us in the face as the governor and the legislature work on the state budget a year from now," Berry says.

Berry says even if that happened, the $226 million shortfall would represent a relatively small budgetary obstacle.

"It's a much smaller imbalance than what we saw between 1997 and 2013," Berry says.

Berry says the state budget picture is greatly affected by political, economic and other worldwide and national circumstances. He says that fact is often glossed over by state officials.