An update from your State Treasurer

Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski

Friend - 

I am pleased to report it has been a productive first year serving as your fiscal watchdog. It is clear that this constitutional post had been neglected - constituent requests were piling up, statutory requirements went unfulfilled, and the office was rarely open to the public. The people of Wisconsin deserve better, and we've been fighting for you since day one. We immediately set out to protect your tax dollars, tackle issues of economic security, and make win-win investments that benefit all Wisconsinites. 

I'm proud of how far we've come in a year and wanted to share a few of our 2019 accomplishments. I look forward to continuing to serve as your State Treasurer. Please know that my door is always open. 

Yours in Service,

Treasurer Godlewski signature

2019 Year End Newsletter

Serving as Wisconsin's Fiscal Watchdog

As your chief financial officer, one of my main priorities is to bring transparency and awareness to the state’s fiscal matters. This year during the state’s budget process, our office developed a simple budget graphic that cuts through the lengthy red tape. We will build on this and shine a flashlight on how our state tax dollars are spent in 2020. 

County Treasurer Conference

Wisconsin Statute calls for the Treasurer's office to support the 72 county and hundreds of municipal treasurers around the state. My office started rebuilding these important relationships immediately - working with the Municipal Treasurers Association and the Wisconsin County Treasurers’ Association. We discussed ways to cut down on wasteful spending and how to provide more resources for those facing foreclosure. I look forward to working closely with these committed local officials, who do so much for their communities, to ensure we serve taxpayers effectively.

Funding Win-Win Investments for Wisconsin

Treasurer distributes BCPL funds with students

The State Treasurer serves as the Chair of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL). The BCPL manages trusts with assets exceeding $1.2 billion, whose income funds books and technology for all public schools. In 2019, the BCPL distributed $36.2 million in library aid, one of our largest ever distributions. 

One of our programs, the State Trust Fund Loan Program, provides affordable financing to Wisconsin communities for infrastructure, economic development, emergency needs, and other projects. This past August, we provided $169,000 to the City of Washburn in Bayfield County to install solar panels for its wastewater treatment plant. This investment in support of renewable energy cut the city's electric utility costs in half. Win-win investments of this kind have a positive impact on our economy and our environment. As your Treasurer, I'll continue to find ways to invest the state trust funds wisely. 

To see a map of other local projects financed by the BCPL, click here. 

Ensuring Economic Security for Wisconsinites

Treasurer Godlewski AARP Speech

A healthy economy is only as healthy as the economic security of its people. My office is committed to advocating for the financial well-being of all Wisconsinites. Two of our priorities are to address the retirement gap and the student debt crisis. 

More than two-thirds of registered voters in Wisconsin have anxiety about having enough money to live comfortably in retirement, while well over half say they are behind in planning and saving. As Chair of the Governor's Retirement Security Task Force, we are working hard to create a practical plan to address how Wisconsin can provide peace of mind when it comes time to retire. 

Student Loan Listening Session

As a student loan borrower myself, I have experienced firsthand how difficult it can be to stay afloat under the burden of this debt. Student debt is now the second largest consumer debt category in our country at $1.5 trillion, and graduates can pay up to 14% in annual interest. We should all have the ability to refinance this debt just as we would a mortgage - something we are working on. 

I've traveled across the state hosting listening sessions to understand what is important to you and how we can help. As my mom always said, "God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason - do more listening." And that's exactly what I've been focused on in 2019, listening to Wisconsinites. 

More to come in 2020...

  • The Taxpayer Annual Report. Where do your tax dollars go? Our office is compiling a report to show you where exactly your tax dollars are going. 
  • Unclaimed Property Promotion. Have lost property? Our office works to return property to its rightful owners from uncashed death benefit checks to inactive savings accounts. We are launching an active promotional program in 2020. You can visit here, and you can check if you have any unclaimed property here or by calling (608) 264-4594.
  • Local Treasurer Initiatives & Taxpayer Resources! We're continuing to partner with local treasurers to help taxpayers avoid the risk of delinquency and foreclosure. Stay tuned for more information on this initiative. 

Keep In Touch

If you would like to stay connected with our office, please don't hesitate to:

Enjoy the holidays and have a Happy New Year!

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