Appleton Concerned Taxpayers continue to monitor progress toward improving Wisconsin Shared Revenue formulas. A listening session hosted by State Senator Rachael Cabral-Guevara and State Assembly Representative Nate Gustafson included special guest State Assembly Representative Tony Kurtz (Wonewoc, District 50), a member of the Joint Committee on Finance. Representative Kurtz noted that they were nearing the end of the state-wide series of budget listening sessions with only the April 26th session (10am – 5pm, Lakeland Union High School, Minocqua) remaining before composing their response to Governor Tony Evers’ proposed budget. Highlights from his comments include:
The $7+ billion surplus is really two different buckets of money:
- Four billion should be classified as one-time expenditure money. When this type of money is allocated, it will not be given year after year.
- The remaining is sustainable money that the state should be able to regenerate. This type of money can be given to programs that must be supported for years to come.
The State Shared Revenue formula has been modified in 2001, 2004 and, most recently, in 2009. These modifications generally have been done to help balance the state budget. The modifications have not always been fair, creating some definite winners and losers. The emphasis of this modification effort is to create a sustainable and fair Shared Revenue Formula.
One solution would be to increase all current allotments by 9% to 10% with areas that were slighted in the past having their allotments increased by amounts to bring them into line with comparable areas. An example: Menasha currently receives about $1.3 million in shared revenue while Grand Chute receives less than $300,000. Both would receive the 9–10% while each may have their total amount adjusted. No allotments would be reduced.
It was suggested to Rep. Kurtz that the committee consider tying the increased modification to some type of freeze or rollback in local levies for a number of years to reduce the state-wide tax burden.
Fairness and sustainability were cited as focal points. If you wish to weigh in on this issue or others, contact your local representatives:
Nate Gustafson, State Representative District 55. Email Rep.Gustafson@legis.wisconsin.gov or phone 608-237-9155 or 888-534-0055
Rachael Cabral-Guevara, State Senator District 19. Email Sen.Cabral-Guevara@legis.wisconsin.gov or phone 608-266-0718
Tony Kurtz, State Representative District 50. Email Rep.Kurtz@legis.wisconsin.gov or phone 608-237-9150