The latest revenue snapshot from the state of Wisconsin hints that state government may be looking at a surplus at the end of the year. 

The Department of Revenue’s latest report on revenue collections for December show the state collecting more in income taxes, sales taxes, and corporate taxes in December 2019 as compared to December 2018. 

Individual income tax receipts jumped 3.4 percent in December. Sales taxes jumped four percent. Corporate taxes jumped 65 percent, according to the report

Lawmakers say there’s is good news in the numbers. 

“The biggest thing I notice is the large increase listed for corporate revenue,” state Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, R-Fond du Lac, said.

Thiesfeldt added that he is checking to see if that corporate revenue includes manufacturing tax revenue. 

“If that is the case, it would appear that the impact of the Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit has certainly had no negative impact on corporate revenue in 2019,” he said. “The Democrats continue to complain how manufacturers can escape state taxation with the credits, overlooking the booming manufacturing sector and the many thousands of increases in manufacturing jobs – that has been the case in the Fond du Lac/Oshkosh area with the two main employers Mercury Marine and Oshkosh Truck.”

State Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, said the revenue numbers are what he expected. 

“The economy is strong and it especially shows in the corporate income tax bucket. Trump is doing great things nationally and our work over the past eight years has helped put Wisconsin in a strong position,” Kapenga told The Center Square. “The big thing we need to do is make sure that any extra revenue beyond the budgeted amount goes toward paying down debt, just like you would in your personal budget. If there is a balance on the credit card, you pay the credit down and don’t go out and spend more. A significant portion of our transportation budget goes toward debt service, so we need to focus on paying it down and continuing to get our arms around the transportation mess we are in.”

Kapenga said he expects to see more numbers on state tax collections, perhaps this week. 

“I expect this positive trend to continue for a while,” Kapenga said. “However, eventually we will see a dip.”

Last May, lawmakers projected a $753 million surplus for the state budget that runs through next year. At the time, the state projected tax collections to hit $17.9 billion for Wisconsin in 2020-2021. 

Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square. Reposted with permission.

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