Earlier today, Senate Republicans released their version of a state budget bill. The proposal incorporates all of the decisions the Joint Finance Committee has made so far to the Governor's budget bill. Consequently, the proposal makes no changes to funding levels recommended by the Governor and approved by JFC for shared revenue, the expenditure restraint program, payment for municipal services, recycling, and other local aid programs. It also retains the Governor's recommended increase in general transportation aids and the Local Road Improvement Program.
Key differences from the Governor's budget bill include:
- Repeals personal property tax in the second year of the biennium. The Senate proposal eliminates the Governor's income tax cuts and uses the dollars to help pay for a new $239 million state aid program to hold municipalities harmless.
- Levy Limit Referenda Language. Requires a municipal levy limit referendum to include ballot language identifying the specific purpose for which the additional funds levied would be used.
- Milwaukee BIDs. Specifies that Business Improvement Districts in Milwaukee may specially assess only the percentage of mixed use properties that are not tax exempt or residential (i.e., apartments).
Read the Legislative Fiscal Bureau's memo comparing the Senate's budget proposal to JFC's and the Governor's proposals here.
The Assembly and Senate GOP leaders are not talking privately and are not any closer to reaching an agreement on a state budget that both houses can pass. It is not clear that the Senate's proposal moves the two sides any closer.