Monday, January 20, 2014

Good news on the Wisconsin state budget situation

From SAA:

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has released new revenue numbers, increasing the projected ending balance by $911.9 million. The increased projections include all enacted legislation through Act 116. According to the LFB memo, the $911.9 million is the combined result of an increase of $892.7 million in estimated tax collections and a $16.0 million increase in estimated lapses to the general fund.

LFB said the revenue projections and new general fund condition statement do not include any changes to the medical assistance program. The December 2013 quarterly report from DHS projected a potential shortfall of $92.6 million in the 2013-15 biennium.

Under state statutes half of any excess of actual general fund tax revenues in a fiscal year, over the amount included in the biennial budget act, must be placed in the budget stabilization fund after the close of that fiscal year. The LFB memo shows the difference between 2013 ACT 20 levels and today’s estimate create a difference of $386,402,000 in 2013-14 and $499,652,000 in 2014-15. If taxes are not modified and the revenue collections are as projected, $443,027,000 would be transferred to the budget stabilization fund for the biennium.

The LFB memo also says that the transportation ending balance at the end of the 2013-15 biennial budget was estimated to be $1.8 million. DOT has completed a reestimate of transportation fund revenues and the ending balance is now expected to be $84.6 million. According to the memo, while the projected ending balance is higher with the reestimate, there are several factors to consider including: federal highway funds, a structural imbalance going into 2015-17, growth in transportation fund debt service, and costs that may occur in the 2015-17 biennium in excess of the 2014-15 appropriation base.

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