Assembly Passes $500 Million Tax Cut Plan, Heads to Governor

MacIver News Service | March 18, 2014

[Madison, Wisc…] The Assembly passed Gov. Scott Walker’s tax cut package on Tuesday, and it now heads to Walker’s desk to be signed into law.

The tax cut plan, originally introduced during Walker’s State of the State address in January, would cut property taxes $406 million by changing how the state’s technical colleges are funded and cut income taxes $98 million by reducing the bottom tax bracket rate from 4.4 percent to 4.0 percent.

On top of the tax cut, Walker instructed Department of Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler to reduce the state’s income tax withholding table rates by $323 million. That change will be effective on April 1st.

A typical Wisconsin family will see an extra $522 in their paychecks this year because of the withholding changes, according to Walker.

Republicans supported the plan passed by the Senate earlier this month, calling it much-needed tax relief for Wisconsinites.

“What a great day today is because we finally get an opportunity to give the people of Wisconsin their money back,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said during debate on the floor. “That is what today is all about.”

Vos said that the income tax breaks passed today, mixed with the income tax cut in the budget, would provide $231 in tax relief for the typical Wisconsin family. The property tax cut will save the average homeowner about $100 this year.

Democrats were quick to say the tax cut package will be aimed at the rich.

“People on this side of the aisle [Democrats] care much more deeply than you do about the middle class and the average homeowner,” Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) said on the floor.

Barca said the Democrats’ plan would invest more money in job training and target property tax cuts toward the middle class.

The Governor applauded the Assembly for passing the tax cut package.

“The hardworking taxpayers in Wisconsin are the big winners today. Thanks to the members of the state Assembly for the bipartisan vote,” Walker said in a statement. “With this measure, we’ve reduced taxes by $2 billion since I took office.”

In total, the tax cut package will provide $859 million in tax relief through fiscal year 2015. Walker is expected to sign the bill next week.