Most State Spending Supports Local Services

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 8:26 PM by

Most state spending goes to support local services, according to new spending figures released this week by the state Department of Administration. As shown in the chart below, 57 percent of GPR (General Purpose Revenue) expenditures support local services, amounting to $7.7 billion in fiscal year 2011. (If you get this post delivered to your inbox, you may need to tinker with your email program’s setting in order to be able to view the image.)

What kind of local services does state spending support? Support for Public K-12 education makes up the biggest chunk of state spending for local services; in 2011 the state spent $5.3 billion in support of public schools. The state also spent $874 million in 2011 in unrestricted aid to municipal and county governments, and distributed another $172 million to counties to provide human services.

After local services, the next largest category of state spending supports aid to individuals. Along with spending for individual tax relief and student financial aid, this category includes the $1.5 billion spent on Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus in fiscal year 2011.

This leaves about $3.2 billion of state spending that is actually spent on state agencies, including the UW System. That figure may seem like a lot, but it makes up less than a quarter of state spending.

Tamarine Cornelius

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