UPDATE: Wisconsin Senate Passes More than $500 Million in Tax Cuts

MacIver News Service | March 4, 2014

[Madison, Wisc…] The Wisconsin state Senate passed Special Session Senate Bill 1 on Tuesday afternoon, which will provide more than $500 million in relief to the state’s taxpayers.

The plan, originally proposed by Governor Scott Walker during his state of the state address in January, would provide $406 million in property tax cuts and $98 million in income tax cuts.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said during debate he was glad the Senate took the time to find the best way to return the surplus back to the people of Wisconsin.

“This is a great day for taxpayers, and this is a great day for Wisconsin,” Fitzgerald said during floor debate. “It’s exciting to be able to be here and vote on this.”

Democrats proposed multiple amendments to change the way the surplus would be used, including different types of tax relief and new spending. Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) told his colleagues the tax cuts are not focused enough on the middle class.

“This is so watered down that in the end, it’s not really going to help anybody,” Erpenbach said.

The bill passed on a 17-15 vote, with all the Democrats and Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) voting in opposition. Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) was not present for the vote.

The bill now needs to be approved by the Assembly before being signed by the Governor.

Original Post on March 4, 2014 at 3:00AM:

Senate to Vote on Gov. Walker’s Tax Cut Plan Today

[Madison, Wisc…] The Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday on Governor Scott Walker’s tax cut package that was announced during his state of the state address in January.

Walker called a special session during his address to pass more than $800 million in tax relief. Special Session Assembly Bill 1 and Senate Bill 1 would provide about $500 million of that relief.

The now identical bills 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.

The bills have seen minor adjustments from the Joint Committee on Finance since being introduced by Walker more than a month ago, including changes to some of Wisconsin’s tax credits.

On top of the $500 million in tax cuts expected to pass in the Senate, the Governor also reduced the state’s income tax withholding table rates by $323 million. Walker instructed Department of Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler to make those changes effective April 1st.

A typical family of four is expected to see $58 more each month in their paycheck thanks to the withholding changes.

Wisconsin taxpayers will see a total of $859 million in tax relief under the plan.

The MacIver Institute will provide updates as they become available.