Walker Budget Property Tax Credits Favors Wealthy, Asserts Report

Wisconsin Budget Project Looks At School Levy Tax Credit, Homestead Credit

Courtesy of Wisconsin Public Television

A new report says property tax credits in Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget favor the wealthy.

The report by the Wisconsin Budget Project points out disparities in two credits. One, which all state property owners get, is the “school levy tax credit.” The governor’s budget would increase it by $211 million more dollars over two years.

But Analyst Tamarine Cornelius said only half the money goes to people whose primary residences are in Wisconsin.

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“So the other half goes to lower property taxes for businesses and corporations. It lowers property taxes for owners of second homes and it cuts taxes for people who live outside of Wisconsin and own Wisconsin property,” said Cornelius.

Cornelius said if the governor and Legislature want to lower property taxes they should focus on the “homestead tax credit,” which is geared toward people who pay high taxes compared to their incomes.

“So a typical example would be somebody who’s living on Social Security income and owns a home and is struggling to pay,” she said.

The homestead credit has been frozen since 2011 and does not keep pace with inflation.