Friday, January 18th, 2019

Act 10 has saved Wisconsin over $5 billion

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The MacIver Institute announced today that the landmark legislation known as Act 10, five years old today, has saved Wisconsin taxpayer $5.24 billion. That number will only grow year after year.

Five years ago, Gov. Walker and the Republican legislature started their odyssey that resulted in the signing of Act 10, a milestone law that has saved Wisconsin taxpayers $5.24 billion, according to a new analysis by the MacIver Institute.

The analysis found that Wisconsin saved $3.36 billion by requiring government employees contribute a reasonable amount to their own retirement. The analysis also estimates local units of governments saved an additional $404.8 million total by taking common sense steps like opening their employees’ health insurance to competitive bidding. Milwaukee Public Schools saved $1.3 billion in long-term pension liabilities, and Neenah saved $97 million in long-term pension liabilities in addition to other savings.

These taxpayer savings are only possible thanks to Act 10.

After budget after budget crisis, Act 10 stabilized Wisconsin’s finances, not only at the state level but at the local level as well.

$5.24 billion in savings works out to $910 in savings for every man, woman and child in Wisconsin, or $2,291 for every household in Wisconsin. The DOT could build 2,912 more roundabouts. The savings could fund over 68,000 four-year degrees at UW-Madison, or install 42 separate Milwaukee-style streetcar systems throughout the entire state. Thankfully, however, Walker and the legislature have used the Act 10 savings to provide more than $2 billion in direct tax relief for Wisconsinites.

But what’s even more significant than the total is the distribution of savings. Units of government that saved big in the wake of Act 10 range from the smallest villages and townships to the largest agencies in state government. On its own, the UW System saved $527 million in retirement costs alone. “That’s an incredible statement about the success of Act 10,” Healy said.

The MacIver Institute’s analysis found that over 493 different units of government in Wisconsin have saved over $1 million since 2011. Over 100 different units of government have saved over $6 million and almost 20 units have saved more than $20 million since 2011.

Chart courtesy of the MacIver Institute.

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