GOP Approves Tax Cuts; Most Benefits To Top Earners


Republicans on the legislature’s budget committee have voted to nearly double the tax cut proposed by Governor Scott Walker.

Most of the net benefits from the cuts will go to taxpayers who make more than $100,000.

Taken together with the tax cut Governor Walker originally proposed in his budget, the plan approved by GOP lawmakers would cut income taxes by a total of $650 million over the next two years. It was crafted by Brookfield Republican Rep. Dale Kooyenga.

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“We have a significant tax issue in this state: We are in the bottom ten. This will move us out of the bottom ten.”

The vote for the tax plan came on the same night lawmakers voted on the budget for public schools. Republicans would increase funding there, but as Racine Democrat Rep. Cory Mason pointed out, it would not offset the funding cut from two years ago.

“The choice before us is clear. Do we want to use the resources available to our state to restore some of the funding cuts to the biggest cuts to K-12 education in our state’s history, or do we want to instead use that money to put into a tax break that by and large will favor the wealthy?”

A memo from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau showed almost 55 percent of the tax cut would go to people who make more than $100,000 or more. Kooyenga noted the same memo showed those people also pay roughly the same share of Wisconsin’s tax burden.

“We are just giving back what people have paid us, and it’s in proportion to what was paid, nothing more, nothing less.”

The tax plan passed on a party line vote. It still needs final approval from the full Assembly and Senate.