Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Campaign Cash

Businesses Want Wealthy Tax Cut

Bill gives $519 million in tax cuts to millionaires. MMAC favors it.

By - May 11th, 2017 10:58 am
Tim Sheehy, president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. Photo by Michael Horne.

Tim Sheehy, president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. Photo by Michael Horne.

A GOP Assembly income tax cut and road-funding proposal would eventually cut taxes for Wisconsin’s wealthiest residents by $1 billion.

The GOP plan drew kudos from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, and Americans for Prosperity, a rightwing electioneering group backed by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

Under current law, the state has four income tax brackets ranging from the 4 percent rate paid by low-income earners to 7.65 percent paid by high-income earners. The GOP Assembly proposal would gradually replace those brackets with a single, flat income tax rate of 3.95 percent for all earners in tax year 2029.

A Legislative Fiscal Bureau analysis released Tuesday showed that by 2029, more than $2 billion of about $2.7 billion in tax cuts that the proposal would create just in that year would go to taxpayers earning $100,000 or more. More than $519 million in tax cuts would go to those making $1 million or more.

Some of the taxpayer dollars the state would lose under the plan would be offset by eliminating numerous tax credits and exclusions, including the alternative minimum tax paid by wealthy earners, capital gains exclusions, and breaks for working families, married couples, and renters. The proposal would eliminate many of the tax credits in tax year 2019 and result in more than 740,000 tax filers getting a tax increase averaging $248 and about 1.5 million filers getting a tax cut averaging $262 that year, the analysis showed.

The road-funding portion of the plan would effectively increase the net state tax that drivers pay for gasoline, according to another state fiscal analysis of the plan released last week.

Between January 2010 and December 2016, Americans for Prosperity secretly spent an estimated $5.7 million to help elect conservatives and Republicans for statewide office and the legislature. During the same period, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce contributed more than $1.7 million to two secretive outside electioneering groups, known as 527 organizations, that helped elect Republican Gov. Scott Walker and GOP legislative candidates. 527 groups are loosely regulated by the U.S. Internal Revenue, but may raise and spend unlimited amount of money from any source on state and federal elections.

In addition to its 527 contributions, the Milwaukee business group’s political action committee doled out about $68,885 – all to Republican legislative and statewide candidates between January 2010 and December 2016.

The GOP tax and road-funding plan is intended as a legislative addition to the proposed 2017-19 state budget proposed by Walker, who said he opposes increasing gas taxes but has been largely silent on the income-tax changes in the plan.

3 thoughts on “Campaign Cash: Businesses Want Wealthy Tax Cut”

  1. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    Hmm, the Milwaukee metro was 1 of only 2 large metros to lose jobs in the last 12 months, and Tim Sheehy and his fellow MMAC oligarchs say “We want more GOP tax cuts and wage suppression!”

    Maybe the problem is Tim Sheehy and the backwards, greedy mentality MMAC. FIRE THEM

  2. WashCoRepub says:

    These types of press releases by left-wing organizations of course normally accompany any proposal for tax cuts. Since a progressive taxation system (an unfair principle rotten to its core) by its very nature places more of the taxation burden on the wealthy, an across-the-board cut reduces the outsize burden by a larger amount.

    It’s simple math. It may work on some low-information zealots, but I suspect most educated voters see right through the attempt at ginning-up indignation and class envy.

  3. Vincent Hanna says:

    “low-information zealots”

    That kind of irony is priceless. I mean you include partisanship right in your fake name here. Blind devotion to the party line doesn’t get more obvious and stark than that. All you do here is repeat GOP talking points because, well, your name says it all.

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