Publications for 2017

An Updated Summary of the Proposed Budget for K-12 Education

September 20, 2017
Wisconsin state lawmakers are in the process of passing an education budget that significantly increases resources for Wisconsin K-12 schools, with most of the increase delivered in a way that would move the state away from its commitment to providing more assistance to districts with less capacity to boost local property tax support for schools. The budget also increases the amount of public money going to private schools and cuts property taxes compared to what they would otherwise be.

An Updated Summary of the Proposed Budget for Taxes and Revenue

September 14, 2017
The state budget proposal approved by the legislature’s budget committee includes more than $400 million in tax cuts, as well as a smaller amount of tax and fee increases. Most of the tax cuts are aimed at reducing the amount of property taxes that individuals and businesses pay.

A Summary of the Finance Committee’s Proposed Budget for Early Care and Education

September 13, 2017
The 2017-19 budget bill approved by the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) provides a significant increase in funding for the Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy program, adding additional funds to the Governor’s proposal, relative to current spending level, especially in the second fiscal year of the 2017-19 two year budget. Nevertheless, the increased appropriations would be far below the amounts expended in past years, before the state made policy changes that have significantly reduced the reimbursement rates and the number of families and providers participating in the subsidy program. The JFC budget bill also includes additional funding for home visiting.

A Summary of the Finance Committee’s Budget for Health Care

September 12, 2017
The 2017-19 budget bill approved by the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) contains many new requirements for participation in public assistance programs. However, relative to Governor Walker’s previous budgets, the health care portion of the latest budget bill makes relatively modest changes in health care funding and policy. Although the bill contains a few significant changes in BadgerCare and Medicaid policy, it is possible that much more substantial changes will be debated later this session if Congress approves proposals that could radically transform Medicaid.

An Updated Summary of the Proposed Budget for Higher Education

September 12, 2017
Wisconsin state lawmakers have proposed a higher education budget that continues a tuition freeze at the University of Wisconsin System. The budget approved by the Joint Finance Committee includes a small increase in state support for the UW System, distributing the funding based on how individual campuses perform on a set of outcome measures. The budget does not roll back significant budget cuts to the UW System or the technical college system that lawmakers have made in recent years.

The Significant Risk of Not Breaking Even on Foxconn Subsidies

August 17, 2017
Foxconn has said that the new plant it wants to build in southeast Wisconsin could employ between 3,000 and 13,000 workers. Whether the number of employees is ultimately at the top of that range or far lower will dictate how much the proposed subsidies would cost Wisconsin taxpayers per job and how long it would take our state to break even on the new tax credits.

Pulling Apart 2017: Focus on Wisconsin’s 1%

August 8, 2017
As the economy grows, the gains are concentrated on the state’s richest residents. Inequality is on the rise, both nationally and in Wisconsin. Over the last 40 years, Wisconsin’s richest residents have experienced dramatic increases in income, yet the rest of the state’s residents have experienced little or no income growth.

Different Assumptions about Foxconn Job Creation Yield Much Higher Estimates of the Cost of Jobs

August 3, 2017
The cost of the proposed new tax credits for the tentative deal with Foxconn could be far larger per job created than some people have suggested. Those costs will vary greatly depending on the ratio of spending for payroll versus the capital expenditures. The more that Foxconn invests in its facilities and state-of-the-art automation, rather than employees, the more the proposed deal will cost state taxpayers per job created.

Competing Proposals for Wisconsin Schools: A Comparison of Three Different Education Budgets

July 24, 2017
Governor Walker, Wisconsin Assembly Republicans, and Senate Republicans have each released their own version of an education budget. This table highlights the major areas of difference in their budget proposals, as well as the general reaction of education advocates, a diverse group with varied positions.

Missing Out: Recent Tax Cuts Slanted in Favor of those with Highest Incomes

June 27, 2017
Since 2011, Wisconsin state lawmakers have made it a high priority to cut taxes, particularly personal income and property taxes. The tax cuts they have passed have disproportionately gone to Wisconsin residents with the highest incomes.