Local State Reps comment on proposed Republican tax cuts

Republican legislators were making the announcement about proposed Republican tax cut plan throughout the state yesterday ahead of the Governors “State of the State” address. The plan includes a middle class tax cut, and expands the married couple tax cut, the child care tax credit, and retirement income exemptions.

Governor Tony Evers has been wrangling with Republicans in the legislature ever since the two year budget was approved at the end of last year. There were some areas of agreement on how to use the states $7.2 billion surplus in that budget but the one area that did not get resolved was in the area of an income tax cut. The Governor did include a tax cut for two of the four tax brackets in the budget reducing income taxes by $175 million over the next two years — a fraction of what GOP lawmakers had proposed.

The GOP plan sought to reduce the four income tax brackets to three while reducing the rates for all of them. His vetoes nixed knocking the top rate of 7.65 percent down to 6.5 percent and the second-highest bracket of 5.3 percent to 4.4 percent.

The top income tax bracket applies to income of $405,550 or more for married joint filers, while the second-highest bracket covers income from that down to $36,840 for those same taxpayers.

Evers left untouched the GOP provisions taking the lowest tax bracket to 3.5 percent from 3.54 percent and the second lowest one from 4.65 percent to 4.4 percent. Those tax cuts kick in for tax year 2023 and apply to incomes up to $18,420 for married couples filing jointly and $36,840, respectively.

State Rep Loren Oldenburg

At the time the Governor rejected the two top brackets proposed in the budget because he said the brackets were too broad and too much of the cut went to the highest income earners. The plan offered this week by Republicans may be an attempt to find a middle ground and find a way they can agree with the Governor and return about $2 billion of the remaining $4 billion surplus to taxpayers.

Three area legislators commented on the latest Republican proposal. Republican State Assemblyman Loren Oldenburg (R-Viroqua) held a press conference in La Crosse along with some other legislators and said “This new set of tax reform bills helps working families, seniors on fixed budgets, and the second bracket broadly reaches the entire middle class as the entire package. This bill would provide $2.1 billion in tax relief for Wisconsinites.”

State Rep Tony Kurtz

The plan has $656 of average credit per filer of child and dependent care, and would also provide $454 of average middle class tax cut per filer.

“This is going to be four bills that are going to be given to the governor. And I would certainly hope he’d strongly consider these because it would help particularly our beautiful rural area, but it would help all Wisconsinites,” says Rep. Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc).

State Sen Brad Pfaff

Democratic State Senator Brad Pfaff (D-Onalaska) told the WEAU-TV he is still digging into what is in the Republican plan.

“Tax relief for middle class, working families has been one of my top priorities since I took office. I’m proud to have eliminated the personal property tax this session, delivering relief for small businesses. I look forward to reviewing this tax plan, and will make sure that any plan is responsible and does not bankrupt our state going forward,” said Pfaff.

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