Laurel White

GOP Legislators Offer Middle-Class Tax Cut

Evers administration wants cut but criticizes plan as “unfunded.”

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Jan 18th, 2019 11:29 am
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Robin Vos

Robin Vos

Assembly Republicans unveiled a proposal Thursday to cut taxes for middle-income families in Wisconsin, saying their plan will fulfill both a GOP priority and a campaign promise from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

Under the proposal, individuals who make less than $100,000 and families who make less than $150,000 would receive a tax cut. A family that earns between $100,000 and $125,000 a year would save about $212, according to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester.

“This is a way for us to work together with Gov. Evers to meet the needs of those middle class families,” said Rep. Mary Felzkowski, R-Irma.

Evers proposed a 10-percent income tax cut for middle-income families during his campaign. He has said the cut could be paid for by putting new limits on a tax credit program for farmers and manufacturers. Under Evers’ plan, the credit would be eliminated for the highest income earners who receive that credit.

However, Republicans have said that would amount to an unacceptable tax increase for those farms and businesses. Instead, their tax cut would be paid for with an estimated budget surplus. Late last year, the Walker administration estimated a $588 million budget surplus for 2018. Figures from the Legislature’s nonpartisan budget office are expected later this month.

“The best part about this proposal is that sound budgeting means that you can actually return the money back to the taxpayers. No one has to have a tax increase, especially on farmers and manufacturers and businesspeople all across the state as they are trying to make sure that they can be profitable and continue to grow our ever-expanding economy,” Vos said.

Vos said Republicans didn’t speak with the governor about their proposal at a meeting earlier this week.

“I think he is serious about a middle class tax cut, and we’re serious about using the surplus,” Vos said.

Evers spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff criticized the GOP proposal as “unfunded”.

“It’s great to hear that Republicans agree with another one of the governor’s good ideas to support middle-class families, however, their proposal falls short of what Gov. Evers has proposed,” Baldauff said in a written statement. “The governor’s sustainable plan to cut taxes for middle-class families—which is funded by rolling back tax giveaways for millionaires—would provide relief for 86 percent of taxpayers without adding to the deficit or relying on one-time funds.”

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans appear to be on board with the plan.

“Middle-class families in Wisconsin should keep more of what they earn,” said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, in a prepared statement. “During the last eight years of Republican leadership in Wisconsin, taxes have been cut by over $8 billion dollars. With another budget surplus this year, we can once again prioritize lowering taxes on families without raising taxes on small businesses and farmers.”

Vos said he hopes lawmakers will approve the plan within the next month.

Republican Lawmakers Propose Middle-Class Tax Cut was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

One thought on “GOP Legislators Offer Middle-Class Tax Cut”

  1. JeffreySommers says:

    Any middle-class tax cut should be funded by removing tax cuts given under Walker to top income tax brackets.

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