Republican Lawmaker Wants To Increase Walker’s Proposed Tax Cuts


Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield), charged with rewriting the tax code, wants to add hundreds of millions of dollars to a proposed income tax cut.

The move would drop tax rates for Wisconsin’s wealthiest residents in the process.

Kooyenga’s plan would reduce income taxes by a total of more than $400 million on top of the roughly $340 million Governor Scott Walker proposed in his budget. Kooyenga says money for the cut would come from projected revenue growth over the next two years. He says any time the state’s expecting more revenue, it can take to paths.

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“Do we use this money to increase the size of government? Or do we use this money to increase the private sector in support of Wisconsin working families?”

Where Walker’s budget would have cut tax rates for only the bottom three income brackets in Wisconsin, Kooyenga’s plan cuts rates for Wisconsin’s top earners as well, increasing their share of the tax cut. Kooyenga says that’s because they pay such a high percentage of Wisconsin’s state income tax right now.

“It is nearly impossible to create a tax reform or tax cut that is not going to disproportionately lower taxes for upper-middle-class and rich taxpayers.”

Rep. Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee), who sits on the legislature’s budget committee, disagreed.

“Right now, at first glance, it sure looks like it’s a giveaway to the very wealthy – far more than Governor Walker did – and it gets rid of some of the tools that Governor Walker said was necessary when he first came into office.”

Those tools include a tax break for job creation championed by the governor during his first months in office. The tax cut would total about $760 million in the upcoming budget. Richards noted the cost of Kooyenga’s plan would grow to $914 million in the 2015 budget.