Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Campaign Cash

Special Interests Push for Tax Cut

Big donor business lobbyist groups want big handout: $200 million tax cut.

By - Jun 26th, 2021 12:42 pm
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. File photo by Riley Vetterkind / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. File photo by Riley Vetterkind / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Dozens of special interests are backing a Republican bill that would provide businesses with a $200 million tax cut.

The measure, Senate Bill 189, would exempt all business and manufacturing personal property from property tax assessments, beginning with tax assessments as of January 1, 2022. The groups supporting the bill include manufacturing, business, construction, tourism, banking, agriculture, insurance, and real estate interests.

The bill was approved by two legislative committees earlier this week. The Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee has set aside $202 million to compensate local governments in 2022 for revenue it would have collected from the tax. The proposal has no Democratic sponsors, but Democratic Sen. Jon Erpenbach, of West Point, supported the bill when the Joint Finance Committee considered it.

Among the special interests behind the bill is Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), the state’s largest business organization and a political heavyweight in outside state election spending. Since January 2006, WMC has spent $41.3 million to support GOP and conservative candidates for legislative and statewide offices.

In addition, WMC claims about 3,800 business members who span more than a dozen special interests and industries that have contributed more than $67 million to the campaigns of Republican legislative and statewide candidates since January 2011.

WMC and other business interests have sought to repeal the personal property tax on businesses for decades, claiming it was unfair because of the large number of businesses and professions that have already been exempted over the years from paying the tax.

The full GOP-controlled legislature is expected to vote on SB189 and the state budget next week. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has not said whether he will sign or veto SB189.

One thought on “Campaign Cash: Special Interests Push for Tax Cut”

  1. GodzillakingMKE says:

    WMC is an evil organization.

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