State Income Tax Reform Underway in Assembly

Subcommittee on Personal and Corporate Income Tax holds first meeting 

MacIver News Service | December 13, 2017

By Ola Lisowski

MADISON, Wis. – As congress finalizes federal tax reform, on Dec. 13 Wisconsin lawmakers began moving their own reform plans for the state income tax.

The Assembly Subcommittee on Personal and Corporate Income Taxes, chaired by Representative Bob Kulp (R-Stratford), will hold meetings through January and February of 2018. Its primary goals: coming out with legislation that will simplify the tax code, lower the bureaucratic burden on taxpayers, and perhaps most importantly, reduce rates.

Lawmakers at Wednesday’s informational meeting identified the bipartisan subcommittee’s main goals and set a general timeline for hearings. The members hope to be ready with new legislation by the next session that begins in early 2019. While the one Democrat on the committee, Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison), expressed skepticism with lowering rates, she acknowledged the need to simplify the tax code.

The subcommittee is one of four that were created under the Assembly Ways and Means committee, the first standing Assembly committee to have its own subcommittees. Each will focus on a different area of the tax code, including sales and use tax, excise taxes and fees, and local government taxes.

Speaking with reporters last month, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said that he would prefer prioritizing comprehensive tax reform rather than one-off tax cuts. Check out MNS’ coverage of that comment below.

Vos’ comments come as no surprise after the Assembly earlier in 2017 formally endorsed transitioning Wisconsin to a flat tax. Dubbed “The Road To A Flat Tax,” that plan was part of a series of proposals that would increase funding for transportation.

The Assembly plan was very similar to MacIver’s Glide Path to a 3 Percent Flat Tax report, which can be found here. As your one-stop shop for Wisconsin tax reform, MacIver will stay on top of this story as it develops.