Government Waste

Unused WI Governor's Mansion Costs Taxpayers a Bundle

In these strapped times

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MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker only spent 28 nights this year in the $3.9 million executive residence on the shores of Lake Mendota, as of last month's election, a Wisconsin Reporter review of his official schedule shows.

The mansion's annual budget, funded by taxpayers, is $270,700.

Wisconsin taxpayers pay a baseline of $270,700 a year for an executive residence that's rarely the home of the governor and his family, a Wisconsin Reporter analysis has found.

So if Walker's average of staying there 2.7 nights a month holds for the rest of the year, that works out to about $8,258 a night.

By contrast, a midweek suite with king bed and whirlpool at the Hilton Monona Terrace goes for $259.

"We are, or should be, in a new age of austerity in government, and looking to find savings everywhere," Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies for the conservative Cato Institute, wrote in an email to Wisconsin Reporter on Thursday. "People at the top of government should set an example."