Wisconsin Governments Near Average in Revenue and Spending

Monday, March 13, 2017 at 11:55 AM by

Wisconsin is near average in many measures of government revenue and spending, according to figures for 2014 that were recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s nothing new, as Wisconsin has been near the middle of the pack for about a decade now.

A new analysis from the Wisconsin Budget Project found:

  • Wisconsin state and local governments ranked 24th among the states in the amount of taxes, fees, and other charges that they collect from state residents on a per-person basis, and 21st when that amount is measured as a share of personal income.
  • Wisconsin ranks 25th in total government spending per person and also 25th when the amount is measured as a share of income.

There are many different ways to measure public revenue and spending, and Wisconsin ranked very close to the middle in nearly all of them, with two exceptions:

  • Wisconsin ranked 16th in the share of income that governments collect from state residents in taxes. Wisconsin is higher on this measure than the other spending and revenue measures partly because Wisconsin governments rely less on fees and more on taxes than most other states. Still, Wisconsin’s rank has dropped since the 1990s, when Wisconsin’s rank rose as high as 4th.
  • Wisconsin ranked near the bottom – 38th – in the amount of federal aid Wisconsin governments receive measured in dollars per state resident. Wisconsin has long been among the bottom-dwellers in the amount of money state and local governments receive from the federal government.

For the complete picture on how our Wisconsin compares to other states in different measures of taxes, revenue, and spending, read our new analysis: Middle of the Pack: Wisconsin Government Revenue is Not out of Line. And just for fun, test your knowledge of trends in taxes and spending by taking our Wisconsin Tax Quiz.

Tamarine Cornelius

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