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Evers Says He’ll Prioritize Tax Cut For Wisconsin’s Neediest Families

Citing Report, Candidate Says 860K Families Struggle To Pay For Basic Needs

Tony Evers
Ximena Conde/WPR

Tony Evers, the state superintendent of public schools and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, says he wants to help more than 860,000 of Wisconsin’s neediest families with a tax break. But how he would fund those cuts is a fluid process.

Speaking at a Milwaukee Rotary Club event Tuesday, Evers cited an August United Way of Wisconsin report that found almost 40 percent of Wisconsin families struggled to pay for basic needs like transportation and child care.

Evers said giving these families a tax cut would boost the state’s economy more evenly. Funding these cuts, he said, is a matter of priorities.

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“You go to the budget, you get the best you can and you try to do it without any taxes and it happens,” Evers said. “It happens every single time.”

Evers maintains the state can find savings in parts of government, including the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the state’s job creation agency, which Evers has vowed to eliminate and replace.

This month, Evers proposed increasing funding for K-12 schools by 10 percent, an increase of $1.4 billion, for the 2019-21 state budget.

As governor, Evers has said the increase in funding would be paid for by rearranging funding priorities without raising taxes.

Another funding priority for Evers is road repair and in the past he’s said he’s open to raising the gas tax, although not by how much.

Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign has slammed Evers, accusing him of wanting to raise property, income and gas taxes.

“Scott Walker’s leadership has resulted in more jobs and higher wages for hard-working families across the state,” said Austin Altenburg, a Walker campaign spokesman. “In contrast, Madison bureaucrat Tony Evers says, ‘everything is on the table’ when it comes to increasing property, income, and gas taxes — threatening to take our state backward.”

“I want fair taxes and I believe those 860,000 families in the state of Wisconsin that are working families should get a tax cut,” said Evers, pressed by reporters to detail his tax policy.