FRI AM News: Evers administration expects ‘21-’22 tax revenues to come in ahead of projections; State seeing record low number of unemployed people

— The Evers administration predicts revenues for the 2021-22 fiscal year will come in higher than expected with collections from income, corporate and sales taxes all running ahead of projections so far.

Department of Revenue economist Emily Camfield noted income tax collections will be impacted significantly in the coming months as the tax cuts and changes in withholding tables kick in.

Even with that, she predicted the Legislative Fiscal Bureau will revise upward the overall tax collection picture for 2021-22. Camfield didn’t give reporters on a conference call yesterday a ballpark of how much the administration believes overall revenue projections will exceed previous expectations.

LFB Director Bob Lang said he expects to have new revenue projections next week.

The news comes as the state’s unemployment rate dropped to a record low 2.8 percent in December; the departments of Revenue and Workforce Development gave reporters an overview of the developments.

Sales tax collections were projected to grow 4.2 percent in fiscal year 2021-22 compared to the previous year. But through December, they were up 13.2 percent.

Meanwhile, corporate tax collections were expected to drop more than 25 percent after a record run of growth. So far this year, those collections are actually up 6.8 percent over 2020-21.

Income tax collections are also up 13 percent. But that’s before taking into account the impact of the tax cuts and changes to withholding tables. Updating withholding tables is expected to drop revenues by nearly $710 million, and Camfield said that will be reflected in the coming months as tax refunds start to go out.

“I don’t think anyone should be alarmed by those” coming revenue reports, she said.

Camfield added inflation is playing a part by pushing up revenue numbers.

“That’s good for the state. We’re able to bring in a little bit extra” she said. “The flip side is that limits what their income can go to purchase for the consumer.”

— DWD chief economist Dennis Winters said the state is seeing a record low number of people unemployed.

The unemployment rate in December dipped to 2.8 percent, down from 3 percent the month before. That tied the all-time low for Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, the number of people employed in December was just north of 3 million, about 48,000 more than in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

That is playing out against a backdrop of employers searching for people to fill open jobs in numerous sectors across the Wisconsin economy.

Winters said the state’s workforce has been flat at around 3.1 million since late 2010, a result of an aging workforce with the Baby Boom generation retiring.

“The economy keeps growing, and the workforce doesn’t,” Winters said.

DWD’s release also notes the number of state residents counted as unemployed reached a record low of 86,200 last month. The previous low for the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment number was 88,236, set in May 1999, according to a DWD spokesperson.

The state gained 5,300 private-sector jobs over the month, with much of that growth driven by the manufacturing sector, which added 4,800 jobs. Private-sector employment increased by 63,300 jobs over the year, the release shows.

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate remains below the national rate of 3.9 percent.

See the DWD release:

— This week’s episode of “WisBusiness: the Podcast” is with Casey Creech, co-founder and chief revenue officer for Everlight Solar. 

He highlights the company’s growth in Wisconsin since coming to the state in 2018, and provides an overview of the company’s business model. The company aims to “democratize home solar,” to make renewable energy generation more accessible to homeowners. 

The company has seen rapid growth in the state with Madison becoming the company’s home base, Creech explains. The business has over 200 employees overall including 65 in Wisconsin. 

“We’ve gone from a market that’s just a small niche, to something that’s really growing incredibly fast,” he said. 

Creech also discusses the rise of solar energy more broadly and the role that home solar installations play in that trend. 

Listen to the podcast here: 

See a full list of podcasts: 

— Gov. Tony Evers and the Department of Health Services have announced a statewide multimedia effort aimed at getting more kids vaccinated. 

The “Keeping Kids Safe and In School” campaign will feature doctors urging parents and guardians to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19, much like the previous “Our Doctors” media campaign. Messaging will recommend keeping children home from school when sick, as well as having them wear well-fitting masks at school and other public indoor spaces. 

According to DHS, the campaign will include a mix of traditional media such as television, transit ads and local newspapers, and social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok and Snapchat. 

DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake says Wisconsin has seen an increase in the number of pediatric hospitalizations associated with the virus due to high case activity. Since the pandemic began, more than 2,350 state residents under age 20 have been hospitalized with COVID-19, including 65 that have required some level of intensive care, she said yesterday during a media briefing. 

Meanwhile, Dr. Jasmine Zapata, chief medical officer for the DHS Bureau of Community Health Promotion, underlined the importance of getting kids vaccinated. She pointed to “a growing body of research” showing COVID-19 can have serious long-term health impacts on children. 

“In addition to the acute illness that COVID-19 can cause, there are also long COVID symptoms that our children can experience,” she said. “And also there was a recent [Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report] that showed that there is an increased incidence of children being diagnosed with diabetes after having a COVID-19 infection.” 

Zapata also noted the majority of children being hospitalized with the virus are unvaccinated. 

“There are many studies that have been showing that COVID-19 transmission rates within school settings are typically lower or similar to community transmission when there are multiple prevention strategies in place,” she said, highlighting vaccines as well as masks and testing. 

The DHS site shows 24 percent of children aged 5-11 in Wisconsin have received at least one vaccine dose, while 18.4 percent of kids in that age range have completed the vaccine series. And 58.9 percent of kids aged 12-17 have gotten at least one dose, with 54 percent having completed the series. 

Find the latest vaccination numbers: 

See the release: 

— Marquette University and Froedtert Hospital are launching a new program to provide mentorship opportunities for nursing students. 

The “Froedtert Scholars” effort is aimed at reducing orientation time for graduates by giving them more experience with specialty nursing areas in their senior year. Participating students will be paired with a senior staff nurse for a semester-long mentorship experience. 

Dr. Jill Guttormson, acting dean of the university’s College of Nursing, says the program represents a “paradigm shift for working with students and hospitals.” 

“This innovative program enhances the already transformative educational experience that Marquette nurses have been receiving for almost 90 years, while offering Froedtert Hospital a pipeline of nursing staff already familiar with its policies and protocols,” she said in a release. 

See more: 

— Fetch Rewards, a Madison-based company with a shopping rewards app, will be spending $1 million to build a new office in Alabama. 

“With Fetch continuing to grow exponentially, Birmingham is the perfect place to launch the next chapter of our expansion,” said CEO and founder Wes Schroll. “It’s an up-and-coming technology and entrepreneurship hub with an incredible pool of local talent.” 

The company also recently hired former Facebook executive David Sommer as its first chief customer officer. Sommer will help drive the company’s growth into new markets, a release shows, while developing existing relationships with major clients such as PepsiCo, General Mills and Unilever. 

Since launching in 2013, Fetch Rewards has grown to have more than 13 million active users who have collectively submitted more than 2 billion receipts and earned more than $290 million in rewards points. Users can submit pictures of receipts from stores and restaurants, earning points that can be redeemed for gift cards and other rewards in the app. 

The app boasts more than 500 brands and the company is reportedly valued at more than $1 billion. 

See the release on the new office: 

See the release on the new hire: 

Listen to an earlier podcast with Schroll: 


# Wisconsin Assembly approve lowering working age in summer

# Fetch Rewards hires Facebook executive to lead partnerships and revenue growth

# Union membership, representation fell in Wisconsin in 2021



– World Championship Cheese Contest entries due soon

– WABA honors members during Wisconsin Agribusiness Classic


– Wausau’s Schlund competes in national masonry competition


– Wisconsin unemployment hits record low of 2.8%

– Wisconsin’s unemployment rate dips to 2.8%


– Now in its 7th year, Bridge Work helps artists make a life in Madison

– Milwaukee Public Market to open area’s ‘smallest public ice rink’


– Acting Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson signs city mask mandate


– Northwestern Mutual joins the Milky Way Tech Hub as a corporate member


– Update: Wisconsin Assembly approve lowering working age in summer 


– Wisconsin Legislature passes vaccine tampering bill


– Gateway Technical College president Bryan Albrecht announces retirement


– Speaker announces Assembly Committee on Trade, Supply Chain

– Assembly OKs GOP-authored bills expanding gun rights

– Wisconsin Assembly passes package of gun bills


– Northwestern Mutual to pursue nightlife, entertainment for land near Ikea in Oak Creek

– Rallius investing $2 million for affordable housing in Milwaukee


– WisDOT waives part of school bus driver test in attempt to bring in more drivers


– Fetch Rewards names Facebook exec as chief customer officer


– WisDOT introduces GIS mapping system


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