Graphing Revenues, Expenditures, and Taxes Program
G.R.E.A.T. contains statewide databases for all counties, municipalities, and towns from 1987-2016 (the most current data available). This tool automatically maps out revenue and expenditure information in easy-to-use graphs.
The information provided in these graphs is not intended to indicate a course of action but to provide a basis for discussion. The real value is in providing educational information on various elements of public finance for local officials and citizens, to start discussion and examination of local budgets and financial management, services provided, and how they are financed. Local officials will find this visualization of revenues and expenditures informative and perhaps even eye-opening.
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue annually compiles local revenue and expenditure data going back to 1987 from statutorily-mandated financial reports. The summary data are published in an annual report titled "County and Municipal Revenues and Expenditures".
The G.R.E.A.T. program presents data that are all adjusted for population and inflation using the implicit price deflator for state and local government so that all figures are in "real" (inflation-adjusted) dollars. Each revenue and expenditure category is expressed in terms of dollars spent per person ("per capita"). In other words, each revenue or expenditure total is divided by the county, municipality, or town population. The profiles compare the individual county, municipality, or town to other Wisconsin places of similar populations.
This program is a joint effort of the University of Wisconsin-Extension Local Government Center, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Department of Public Administration.
If you have any questions, please contact Yunji Kim, Local Government Specialist, UW Extension Local Government Center.