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PolitiFact Wisconsin: Is Gov. Evers' budget increasing taxes, deficit?

Posted at 6:21 PM, Apr 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-24 19:21:33-04

It will cost state taxpayers $83 billion over the next two years to pay for things like roads, education and raises for state employees. But does that mean higher taxes and a bigger state deficit?

PolitiFact Wisconsin puts both issues to the Truth-O-Meter.

Governor Tony Evers has made his first budget pitch and Republican lawmakers, like Town of Vernon state Senator David Craig, don't like it.

"In a tweet, Senator Craig said that Governor Evers is raising taxes by a massive amount in this budget. At the same time he's creating a two billion dollar deficit," Greg Borowski with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said.

Let's break both talking points. PolitiFact Wisconsin says there's no dispute, Evers is proposing more than one billion dollars in higher taxes.

What about the deficit claim? Two billion dollars is a real number but there is one big caveat.

"That number refers to the structural deficit which is kind of a hypothetical number on what could happen two years, four years or more down the line if current patterns hold," Borowski said.

PolitiFact Wisconsin says structural deficit happens all the time with Republican and Democratic governors but all two year budgets are required by law to be balanced.

"For the last 20 years or so there has been a structural deficit in the state and that will likely continue into the future," Borowski said.

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated this claim -- Half True.