FILE - Wisconsin Sen. Alberta Darling

Wisconsin Sen. Alberta Darling

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The state of Wisconsin will likely have some extra money next year. 

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) on Wednesday released a report that projects tax collections will jump next near. 

"We can expect nearly $150 million in ongoing revenue available for the next biennium on top of the $1.8 billion previously estimated," state Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, said. 

Darling is one of the leaders on Wisconsin's budget writing panel.

"Contrary to the negativity coming from Democrats, Wisconsin is on solid economic ground," she said. "This is even more proof that there is no need to raise taxes on the people of Wisconsin."

The LFB report details "significant strength in individual income tax and corporate income/franchise tax collections."

Researchers say after a few down months to start the year, tax projections have shot up. 

"Based on our review of collections data and the economic forecast, we now believe that general fund taxes will be higher than the previous estimates by $592 million in 2018-19, $68 million in 2019-20, and $93 million in 2020-21," the report states. "The three-year increase is $753 million, or 1.5 percent."

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says the growth is the latest sign that Wisconsin is succeeding by putting more people to work and creating better paying jobs. 

"These new revenue projections reflect the growing economy and the impact of the pro-growth reforms made by Republicans over the last eight years," Vos said in a statement Wednesday.

Darling said the growth means the state will see nearly $3 billion in new money for the next state budget.

Vos said he doesn't want to spend it. 

“Assembly Republicans are announcing our intentions to put these dollars toward providing tax relief, growing the rainy day fund and paying down debt," Vos added. "Now is not the time to go on a spending spree with one-time revenues. We refuse to spend in a way that we can’t afford."

There's no word from Gov. Tony Evers as to what he'd like to do with the added money. Though Assembly Democrats on Wednesday told reporters their top budget priority remains expanding Medicaid. 

"We have 82,000 people in this state who could have had access to life-saving healthcare.  The vast majority of these people don't have any health insurance," state Rep. Chris Taylor told reporters. "We know in that population that there are people who have underlying health conditions that probably are going to kill them."

Vos said, as he has since Evers was elected last fall, that Medicaid expansion is off the table. 

"Moving forward in the budget process, we’re committed to making the right priorities without raising income or sales taxes and expanding welfare," Vos said. “The citizens of Wisconsin should be confident that we’ll continue to be good stewards of their tax dollars."

This article originally ran on thecentersquare.com.

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