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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Madison is About to Find New Money, So What's the Catch?

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Brian Fraley is ahead of the curve on this story.

First, the good news: I've heard from several sources that new fiscal estimates will soon reveal that the state's coffers are surging well beyond projections. Even the Speaker Robin Vos publicly alluded to the news in a column this weekend.
As I say, overall, this is good news. Frankly, so is the Assembly Speaker's promise not to spend any unexpected funds but rather return them to the taxpayers.
Now the bad news. We all need to temper our excitement, because the figures are skewed by a problem with the tax law that must be fixed.
Along with the additional revenue that is the result of a more vigorous Wisconsin economy, comes a pile of new revenue accumulated thanks to a surge of funds collected by the state's Alternative Minimum Tax.
How did this happen?
In 2011 the legislature passed the Manufacturing and Agriculture credit. The phased in tax cut was sold as: If you make it or grow it in Wisconsin, income from that activity would be tax free. 
But legislative intent was not followed. Unfortunately for thousands of people and businesses in Wisconsin, the tax break would only be offset by their now being subjected to the State's Alternative Minimum Tax.

This issue will hit the mainstream news in a week or two. You, too, can get ahead of the curve, read the rest.

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