Wisconsin governor releases 2013-2015 budget, makes income tax cuts top priority
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.
"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.
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,"
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.
Debate over the budget is expected to go on for months. The fiscal year begins July 1.
- Reuters, "Wisconsin governor wants to cut income taxes, public school aid," February 20, 2013
- Twin Cities, "Scott Walker calls for Wisconsin income tax cut," February 21, 2013
- FOX 11, "Gov. Walker calls for income tax cut," February 20, 2013
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lawmakers balk at parts of Scott Walker's budget," February 21, 2013