Wisconsin Budget Taxes

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers speaks during the annual State of the State address on Jan. 24, 2023, in Madison, Wis. Evers said Tuesday, Feb. 7, that he will ask the state Legislature to approve allowing counties and most large cities be able to ask voters to raise the sales tax to pay for local services, like police and fire protection and road repairs.

(The Center Square) – The Republicans who will write Wisconsin’s new state budget say the latest breakdown shows they are right.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau on Wednesday released a line-by-line breakdown of Gov. Tony Evers’ $104 billion two-year state budget.

The LFB analysis doesn’t offer any commentary on the governor’s spending proposal. Instead it simply tracks where the money would go and just how much the governor wants to spend.

Joint Finance Committee co-chairmen Rep. Mark Born, R-Beaver Dam, and Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, said the analysis jives with what they’ve been saying about the governor’s budget for weeks.

“The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s analysis of the Governor’s budget confirms what we have been saying all along. The Governor’s ideas increase spending significantly and dig us into a hole that would make future budgeting difficult,” Born and Marklein said in a joint statement.

Evers’ budget proposal, which is almost certainly not going to happen, would be the largest state budget in Wisconsin history. The governor wants to spend 24% more than the current budget, and wants to hire hundreds of new state employees.

A recent Wisconsin Policy Forum report also warned that Gov. Evers could deplete the state’s record $7 billion surplus if the governor’s got everything he wants.

Born and Marklein say the LFB report underscores their plan to build the next state budget from scratch, and limit new spending and new programs.

“As the legislature writes the state budget, we will start from the current base budget and spend within our means for the next biennium and beyond. Our budget will invest in our state now and for the future, for the good of our whole state,” the two said.

Born and Marklein will hold a series of public budget hearings next month, then get to work on the new state budget.

They hope to have something for the governor to sign in May or June.