Assembly Votes To Amend State Constitution To Slow Future Tax Increases

Future Legislatures Would Need Two-Thirds Supermajority To Raise Income, Sales Tax

Wisconsin state Capitol

Future legislatures would need a supermajority vote to raise income or sales taxes under a plan that passed the state Assembly Tuesday.

The proposed constitutional amendment would require a two-thirds vote to raise taxes, as opposed to the simple majority vote that’s required now. Sponsor Rep. Dean Knudson, R-Hudson, said it was aimed at curbing what he called government’s “insatiable appetite for revenue.

“There’s a tax monster that just has an appetite that will not be quenched,” Knudson said.

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Democrats like Rep. Cory Mason of Racine called the bill undemocratic, questioning why Republicans felt they had the right to impose their will on future legislatures.

“Long after your gerrymandered majorities are long gone, you will have a two-thirds majority requirement to get anything done,” Mason said. “And we’ve seen what happens in those other states where you have these rules: Government becomes completely dysfunctional.”

Voters would eventually need to approve this plan, though it may never get to that point, with an unclear future in the Republican-controlled state Senate.