It’s still just a projection, but it’s positive news as the legislature considers the next budget. Since there’s “extra” money, the taxpayers can expect a refund, right?
Wisconsin’s biennial budget picture got $714 million brighter Wednesday, with a projected deficit turning into a small surplus, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
Fiscal bureau director Bob Lang reported tax revenues are expected to be $455 million higher than what the Department of Administration projected in November. Also, spending in the current fiscal year that ends June 30 is expected to be $226 million lower — largely due to lower-than-expected Medicaid enrollment — and other revenues are expected to be $33 million higher.
That turns what was thought to be a $693 million deficit for the upcoming budget into a $21 million surplus, including all departmental budget requests.
It also adds more cushion to the state’s bottom line as it closes out the 2015-2017 budget cycle. Previously the net balance was about $40 million. The latest estimate has the state closing out the year with a $362.2 million ending balance.