Saturday, May 22, 2010

Don't Believe the HappyTalk on Wisconsin Tax Revenue

Well. The State collected taxes in April!

If you read the happytalk from the Revenue Secretary, it's seashells-and-balloons time.

“We have three months left in our state fiscal year, but this news is certainly good,” Revenue Secretary Roger Ervin said. “Many other states are struggling to meet their forecasts, but April has brought good news to Wisconsin. The numbers suggest that a steady recovery is underway, yet we are keeping a watchful eye on the coming months.”

Umnnnhhhh....note carefully that the Secretary talked about 'meeting the forecast.'

Let's look at the actualities, shall we?

Individual income taxes (adjusted), DOWN 3.4% YTD (2010 v 2009)

General Sales/Use tax DOWN 5.1% YTD (2010 v 2009)

Corporate Income Tax UP 34.2% YTD (2010 v 2009)

(The 'corporate' category was goosed by the unified-tax legislation. So we're bleeding the State's employer-class a bit more.)

The best barometer of Wisconsin's economy is the sales tax. Draw your own conclusions.

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