Wisconsin Republicans prepare tax cut plan, as part of state budget discussions
Top Republicans say they may have their income tax cut plan ready for state budget discussion by the end of this week.
At last weekend's State GOP convention, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Racine County) told convention delegates he doesn't like the state having so much revenue.
"My priority has always been reducing the amount of revenue that the state of Wisconsin takes in because all of us spend it better than the government does," Vos said to cheers.
Earlier this year, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) floated the idea of a one-rate so-called flat tax because he says other Midwest states are going that route to please wealthy residents. The GOP concept is that the well-to-do would stay in Wisconsin, and invest here. But Gov. Tony Evers (D) has said he would veto a flat tax proposal.
So, Vos offered this idea at the GOP convention:
"We will focus on trying to reduce income tax rates to make us more competitive. But also try to hold the line on property taxes because those are the two that have made us the party that we are. Because we have continually dropped income taxes, and we have held the line on property taxes, and in many cases, tried to cut those two. So have faith," Vos told delegates.
Evers' office Monday referred us to previous comments Evers has made about tax cuts, presumably ones saying that Evers supports focusing any tax cuts on the middle class.
But Vos also bragged last weekend that in the recent education funding agreement that dramatically boosts state support for taxpayer-funded voucher schools, Republicans got Evers to go "way further' than many in the GOP thought he would.
Tuesday in Wausau, Evers plans to sign another part of that agreement, boosting shared revenue to local governments. But that deal also puts controversial conditions on Milwaukee and potentially sets up a local fight over whether to raise sales taxes.
Joint Finance Committee (JFC) member Sen. LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee) sent WUWM a statement, responding to Republican talk of tax cuts.
"Whether it be gutting a critical lifeline for childcare centers or denying our citizens access to paid family leave, JFC Republicans have rejected doing the right thing for hardworking Wisconsinites at every turn throughout this process. We have no reason to believe they will change course and support a true middle-class tax cut. JFC Democrats will be supporting the 10% tax cut for the middle class included in the Governor's budget," Johnson wrote.
Editor’s note: A portion of the audio is from WisconsinEye.