Agency 101: Department of Revenue

Oct 26, 2022 | Administration

Click here for a printable version of our report or read the full version below.

State Agency Fast Facts: 

  • The Department administers the state’s tax laws which includes collecting individual and corporate income taxes, sales taxes, and excise taxes.
  • The agency also provides state financial aid and financial management assistance to local governments.
  • DOR administers the state lottery and the unclaimed property program.
  • The state’s chief economist is housed at DOR and is responsible for estimating state revenues and forecasting economic activity.
  • The 2021-2023 budget set DOR’s funding at $477,462,200 and they have 1,178 employees.
  • Central Office in Madison, regional office in Milwaukee
    • There are tax assistance location in Milwaukee, Appleton, Eau Claire, Green Bay, and Wausau

Did you know?

The Wisconsin Lottery started in 1988. Since then, more than $9.7 billion in prizes have been paid out, $5.1 billion has gone to property tax relief, and $1.1 billion commission has been paid to retailers.

Reform History:

Since 2011, lawmakers have focused on reducing the tax burden on Wisconsin families and employers – cutting taxes by almost $22 billion over that time frame! At the same time, state revenues have continued to grow, and the state is expected to have a surplus of $5.4 billion in 2023.

Despite these tax cuts, other states are doing more to reduce the tax burden and attract people to their state, like focusing on eliminating the income tax. Will Wisconsin follow-suit in 2023?

Keep an Eye on:

The state of Wisconsin sends $1.5 billion each budget to local governments through the Shared Revenue program. Shared revenue is a complicated program that utilizes state sales and income taxes to help fund local governments. In 2023, policy makers will have to decide if keeping the program as is best, if the amount should be increased or decreased, or if a complete overhaul in how local governments are funded is warranted.

Close Call…

In the 2021-2023 budget, Governor Evers proposed a slew of tax increases:

  • Limiting Manufacturing and Agriculture tax credit: $487 million tax increase.
  • Capital Gains Tax exclusions: $350 million tax increase.
  • “Internal Revenue Code Update”: $540 million tax increase.

IRG Wants to Know:

If you were in charge for a day, what reforms would you make to the department? Email Alex Ignatowski, IRG’s Director of State Budget and Government Reform, at [email protected].