Wisconsin’s state budget reserves recently hit their highest level in four decades, as corporate tax collections grew in fiscal year 2019 at their fastest rate in more than a half century.

The good news comes with caveats, including the fact that state reserves were boosted by unusually high corporate tax revenues that may not be sustained. Wisconsin’s reserve levels also remain modestly below other states and are projected to fall over the next two years.

As of June 30, the state had total balances of more than $1.7 billion in two key funds, the most since the late 1970s. This amounts to a little less than 10 percent of state general fund expenditures in 2019, the highest level for Wisconsin since 1978. The combined reserves are enough to cover the state’s current budgeted spending levels for about five weeks.

This information is a service of the Wisconsin Policy Forum, the state’s leading resource for nonpartisan state and local government research and civic education. Learn more at wispolicyforum.org.

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