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Wisconsin governor releases 2013-2015 budget, makes income tax cuts top priority

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February 22, 2013

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

By Greg Janetka

MADISON, Wisconsin: Gov. Scott Walker (R) issued a $68 billion two-year budget proposal this week, which included a detailed plan to cut income taxes. According to Walker, the plan would save residents $343 million.[1]

"Our focus is simple -- more prosperity, better performance and true independence. Our middle class tax cut is a down payment on my goal of reducing the tax burden in our state every year I'm in office. I want to cut taxes over and over and over again until we are leading the country in economic recovery," Walker stated.[2]

Under the plan, income tax rates would be lowered one or two tenths of a percent for the bottom three tax brackets, which includes everyone making less than $215,000 a year. A family of four making $80,000 a year would save $106 a year, or about $2 a week. Democrats criticized the plan as little more than a political ploy. Sen. Dave Hansen stated, "He is running in 2014 and it makes good press because he can say he's giving a tax cut. But people have to realize it's not going to make a huge difference in their lives and maybe that money could be spent better doing something else,"[3]

The plan now goes to the Joint Finance Committee. Some Republicans are considering a larger tax cut. Rep. John Nygren, who serves as co-chair of the committee, said Assembly Republicans will be reviewing the tax code and considering changes to at least some of the 52 tax credit programs.[4]

Debate over the budget is expected to go on for months. The fiscal year begins July 1.