Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More Debt Is The Solution to WI Budget?

Sure. That way, anyone who can will relo outta here in the next 2 years.

Budget watchers and lobbyists speculate budget negotiators have set aside big revenue uppers like combined reporting and a new hospital tax to focus more on bonding moves and pushing a school payment forward as a short-term, election-year fix to the state's projected $525 million budget hole. Also likely out, observers speculated, would be Gov. Jim Doyle's plan to borrow $243 million from the transportation fund and backfill it with bonding.

...If the transpo diversion and controversial revenue uppers are off the table, some believe budget negotiators could agree to get the necessary dollars from refinancing tobacco securitization bonds and a combination of other bonding schemes. A plan to refinance the state's tobacco bonds, for example, could net the state as much as $68 million a year through 2017, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. LFB says the budget passed last year accounted for some $50 million a year from a refinancing plan; Doyle's repair bill would add another $15 million annually to that.

Not only is it irresponsible, it has a time-bomb attached:

Doyle's refinancing plan would extend the payoff date to 2027, giving the state cash immediately, instead of starting in 2019. LFB says the net effect of the refinancing would be $94 million less in revenue between now and 2028.

Other than cosmetics (pushing pay-dates into forward FYs for schools and municipals) there's not much left to squeeze.

Except SPENDING on those schools and munis, of course.


Billiam said...

Of course, it NEVER crossed their little minds to SPEND LESS. Nah, that'd isn't in the liberal lexicon.

J. Gravelle said...

We can put all this budgetary ugliness behind us once the state's new accounting system goes online.

Or, if...