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GREEN BAY – Thursday afternoon, the state Department of Revenue revealed how much the state collected in tax revenue for the fiscal year that ended in June, and the numbers show the state is now projected to come up short next year.
Meeting with potential voters at Lambeau Field, Governor Scott Walker says he isn’t worried about the state’s newly released revenue numbers.
“It’s not just Wisconsin,” said Walker. “Other states that have annual budgets have had to make adjustments earlier this year, so they’re off far more than what the Legislative Fiscal Bureau was off on.”
The state’s nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau projected the state would bring in $14.23 billion in tax revenue. The state actually brought in just $13.95 billion. That’s less than last year’s total of $14.09 billion.
“We’re going to be perfectly fine,” said Walker. “It’s a fraction of the overall state budget and we’ve already made adjustments going forward and we’re hopeful as we go into the next year revenues will continue to grow as the economy continues to grow.”
“This is a big deal,” said Democratic State Senator Dave Hansen of Green Bay. “I don’t care how they spin it. This is a truth deficit. They are not telling it how it is. They don’t want to be where they’re at going into a November election at all.”
Hansen says something needs to change. He says it’s up to Governor Scott Walker to come up with a solution.
“We expect it really could be tough going into the next budget,” said Hansen.
As it stands now, the two-year budget was slated to end with a $165 million cushion. But with the new numbers, the state would be $115 million in the hole.
“I think the real solution is get us a new governor in November, in my opinion,” said Hansen. “That’s our step forward.”
“Every year we’re looking to save taxpayers money,” said Walker. “We’ve already done it this year without anticipation of where revenues would be at.”
While current projections put the budget out of balance, a lot can change before June 30th of next year. That’s the end of the two-year budget cycle.