The General Fund is state government's main operating fund. By law the fund must remain balanced over a two-year period; state government cannot spend more than it deposits to the fund.
Receipts are estimated at $26.7 billion for fiscal years 2004 and 2005, with 90% of receipts coming from state taxes. Income, sales, corporate, motor vehicle and state property are the five biggest tax categories.
For fiscal years 2004 and 2005 the DNR will deposit $15.6 million to the General Fund. Examples include receipts from a range of transactions such as selling timber for harvest on state land; assessing water use fees; the sales tax on park permits and merchandise sold at state parks, on nursery seedlings, maps and publications; collecting fire fighting fees; and leasing state land. The receipts deposited by the DNR are intermingled with all other tax and non-tax receipts in the General Fund.
Under current law about eighty-eight percent of the money in the General Fund will be spent in the next two fiscal years on the following: K through 12 education, higher education, health and human services, and aid to local governments. Less than twelve percent of the General Fund will be spent on all other state agency operations and services.
The DNR's proposed budget of $239.8 million is less than 1% of total planned General Fund spending for fiscal years 2004 and 2005.
The difference of $24.2 million is a reduction of 9.2% in the proposed General Fund budget from spending in the current two-year period.
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