Wisconsin Income Tax Credits Amendment, Question 1 (April 1989)

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The Wisconsin Income Tax Credits Amendment, also known as the Authorizing Income Tax Credits or Refunds for Property Taxes or Sales Taxes Due in this State question, was a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the April 4, 1989 ballot in Wisconsin, where it was defeated.

This amendment would have modified Article VIII, Section 1 of the state constitution to allow the state to provide provide property and sales tax relief through tax credits and refunds.[1]

Supporters called the amendment the "3% Solution," and claimed that the confusing wording of the proposal caused its narrow defeat.[2]

Election results

Authorizing Income Tax Credits or Refunds for
Property Taxes or Sales Taxes Due in this State
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No406,86350.07%
Yes 405,765 49.93%

Note: The results above were after recount. The initial count was 405,504 (for) and 406,154 (against).[1]

Official results via: The Wisconsin Blue Book 1989-1990

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

"Shall section 1 of article VIII of the constitution be revised, and shall an additional provision be created in that section, to allow the state of Wisconsin to provide by law property tax relief or sales tax relief, or both, to the citizens of the state, subject to reasonable classification and progressive effect on the tax system, by means of credits or refunds for taxes due under properly or sales taxes in this state, to be credited against or refunded from taxes imposed by this state on income, privileges and occupations?"[1]

Constitutional changes

(NOTE: Scored material is added; stricken material is deleted; italics show text created.)

[Article VIII] Section 1. The rule of taxation shall be uniform but the except as follows:
(1) The legislature may empower by law authorize cities, villages or towns to collect and return taxes on real estate located therein by optional methods.
(2)(a) Taxes shall be levied upon such real property with such classifications as to forests and minerals including or separate or severed from the land, as the legislature shall prescribe prescribes by law.
(b) Taxation of agricultural land and undeveloped land, both as defined by law, need not be uniform with the taxation of each other nor with the taxation of other real property.
(3) Taxation of merchants' stock-in-trade, manufacturers' materials and finished products, and livestock need not be uniform with the taxation of real property and other personal property, but the taxation of all such merchants' stock-in-trade, manufacturers' materials and finished products and livestock shall be uniform, except that the legislature may provide by law that the value thereof shall be determined on an average basis. Taxes may also be imposed
(4) The legislature may by law impose taxes on incomes, privileges and occupations, which, Such taxes may be graduated and progressive, and reasonable exemptions may be provided.
(5) Subject to reasonable classification and to progressive effect on the tax system, the legislature may by law authorize credits or refunds for taxes due under property or sales taxes m this state from or against taxes. imposed by this state, on incomes, privileges and occupations.[1]

Path to the ballot

  • First Legislative Approval: AJR 117 & JR 74 (1987)
  • Second Legislative Approval: SJR 9 & JR 2 (1989)[3]

See also

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