Proposed Budget - Fiscal Years 2024-2025
On February 15, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers presented a two-year budget for fiscal 2024 and fiscal 2025 calling for spending from all funds of $52.1 billion in fiscal 2024, a 17.9 percent increase over the fiscal 2023 adjusted base, and $51.7 billion in fiscal 2025, a 0.8 percent decline from fiscal 2024. The governor recommended a general purpose revenue budget of $24.2 billion in fiscal 2024, a 23.2 percent increase over the fiscal 2023 base, and $23.9 billion in fiscal 2025, a decrease of 1.2 percent from fiscal 2024. The budget projects that total available general fund revenues and transfers will be $29.5 billion in fiscal 2024, a 12.1 percent increase from fiscal 2023, and $25.0 billion in fiscal 2025, a 15.3 percent decline from fiscal 2024. General fund taxes are projected at $21.7 billion in fiscal 2024, a 1.8 percent increase from fiscal 2023, and $22.5 billion in fiscal 2025, a 3.7 percent increase from fiscal 2024. The net balance is projected to be $1.3 billion in fiscal 2024 and $34.1 million in fiscal 2025. Additionally, the governor recommends transferring $500 million to the state’s budget stabilization fund, raising the rainy day fund balance to over $2.4 billion by the end of the biennium, or over 10 percent of fiscal 2024’s general fund tax collections. The governor’s budget proposal also includes $1.2 billion in tax relief for working families including a 10 percent middle class tax cut.
Proposed Budget Highlights
In his budget address, the governor discussed his plans to maintain the economy’s momentum; bolster the state’s workforce; build safe, reliable infrastructure; and invest in kids, schools and communities. Highlights of his budget proposal include:
Targeted Tax Relief
- Providing long-term relief for working families: Creates a nonrefundable Family and Individual Reinvestment (FAIR) Credit, which cuts taxes by 10 percent for single filers at or below $100,000 and married joint filers at or below $150,000. Also increases Wisconsin’s supplement to the federal Earned Income Tax Credit; expands the current state Child and Dependent Tax Credit; and creates a caregiver tax credit.
- Providing targeted tax relief for seniors and veterans: Enhances the Homestead Credit and expands the Veterans and Surviving Spouses Property Tax Credit.
- Protecting student loan borrowers: Adopts federal tax changes to ensure federal student debt relief would not be subject to state taxes.
- Providing tax relief for Wisconsin businesses: Fully repeals the personal property tax and increases the refundable share of the research credit for businesses.
- Creating a fairer tax code: Limits the manufacturing portion of the Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit and limits the long-term capital gains exclusion.
Supporting Working Families, Strengthening Workforce, and Maintaining the Economy’s Momentum
- Creates a paid family and medical leave program in which workers will be eligible for 12 weeks of leave.
- Proposes significant investments in Wisconsin’s child care industry and workforce through creating opportunities for new programs, encouraging development for prospective child care providers, supporting existing providers, and encouraging employers to partner with care providers.
- Recommends a series of affordable housing and neighborhood development initiatives including establishing an Affordable Workforce Housing Grant program; creating a Municipal Home Rehabilitation Program; revising the Workforce Housing Rehabilitation Loan program; and modifying the State Housing Tax Credit.
- Bolsters healthcare infrastructure and workforce through continuing the Healthcare Infrastructure Capital Grant program, and allocating funding to address healthcare workforce shortages.
- Strengthens Wisconsin’s workforce by providing additional investments to the Workforce Innovation Grant program and other initiatives.
- Revitalizes main streets and helps small business succeed by continuing the Main Street Bounceback Grant program and investments for start-up businesses.
- Provides additional funding to bolster the tourism industry.
- Includes the highest level of funding ever for general transportation aid; increases investments to build out electric vehicle infrastructure; helps prevent reckless driving; and bolsters the supply chain.
- Uses part of the state’s surplus to pay down debt in the transportation revenue bond program and creates two new sources of revenue including an amount calculated from the sales tax generated by the sale of electric vehicles.
- Proposes investing $750 million in the Broadband Expansion Grant program and other initiatives to increase broadband access.
Investing in K-12 Schools
- Provides an overall state investment of $2.6 billion in aid for public schools, including $1 billion through the general equalization aid formula.
- Recommends a $1 billion increase in special education aid.
- Invests over $270 million in the “Get Kids Ahead” mental health initiative.
- Modifies Medicaid school-based services to increase support.
- Makes investments to provide universal breakfast and lunch.
- Invests in improving reading outcomes, financial literacy, mathematics curriculum, computer science, and English learners.
- Other initiatives are aimed at addressing teacher shortages; supporting tribal partners; providing out-of-school programming; bolstering driver’s education; enhancing career and postsecondary opportunities; preventing opioid overdoses; and encouraging family and outdoor engagement.
Supporting Local Communities and Promoting Public Safety
- Reforms shared revenue and provides the largest increase in aid to localities in decades by creating a new shared revenue appropriation.
- Recommends a series of justice system workforce initiatives to ensure qualified and experienced professionals including increased compensation and providing funding for additional staff.
- Responds to the state’s acute EMS crisis by expanding education and credentialing opportunities; incentivizing potential employees; and providing flexibility to purchase needed equipment.