On Jan. 17, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) released their latest projections for the 2017-19 biennium. LFB increased their ending general fund balance projection assumed in the state budget by $137.5 million, leaving the state with a net balance of $385.2 million. The 2017-19 biennium ends on June 30, 2019.
LFB reports that the $137.5 million increase is attributed to a $76.3 million in tax collections, an increase of $1.7 million in departmental revenues, a decrease of $97.7 million in net appropriations, and $38.2 million transferred to the budget stabilization fund.
Driving the $76.3 million uptick in tax collections are increased projections in the general sales and use tax. LFB stated that compared to January 2017 estimates, sales tax collections are up by $81.2 million in the first year of the biennium and $56.9 million in the second year.
LFB reports that on the appropriations side, the $97.7 million decrease in appropriations is largely a result of a decrease in necessary payments ($77.8 million) to the state’s general fund debt service.
With the welcome news of more state revenues, Joint Finance Co-Chairs Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) and Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) issued a positive press release reiterating the state’s sound fiscal condition.