Gov. Walker claims to have eliminated the state’s $3.5 billion deficit, without raising taxes and without “kicking the can down the road” by shifting payments to future budgets. Are those claims accurate?
Those claims are not accurate. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s recent analysis of the budget shows a remaining deficit of over a hundred million dollars going into the next budget year. Taxes on our lowest income families were increased $41 million by changes in the Earned Income Tax Credit, and taxes on homeowners were increased $8.1 million by changes in the Homestead Tax Credit. Gov. Walker also proposed the largest delay in debt payments in the history of Wisconsin–$468 million. The legislature cut that back, but still $323 million in debt payments were “kicked down the road.” Add this to the debt payments not made in the actual ‘budget repair bill’ and the total amount of outstanding principal due but not paid on General Fund debt is $528.3 million.