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As I See It

Too soon to determine what to do with tax windfall

Scott Robert Shaw

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If you suddenly find yourself with more money in your pocket, it can be tempting to go on a spending spree. But that may not be the best use of the new-found cash. That is the nature of the debate in Wisconsin, now that we have learned that the state of Wisconsin has about $450 million more in tax revenue than expected. Lawmakers are rubbing their hands together over the possibilities of tax cuts, which could be a good use of the money. After all, it is our money they’re sitting on. Some democrats are calling for increasing state spending on their pet projects. Governor Tony Evers is right when he says it is too early to decide what to do with the money. We don’t know how much extra will be collected, as the number is just a projection. And we don’t know what unforeseen expenses may crop up. The amount could be higher or lower based in part on whether Foxconn will be eligible for any state subsidies for job creation. There are plenty of ways the money could be used, whether adding to the rainy day fund for when the economy turns sour, or filling potholes in our roads. This extra cash gives our lawmakers opportunity to share their thoughts on the best use of the money. But that decision needs to be made deliberately. It is far too early to decide now the best way to spend this windfall.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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