Politics & Government
2:17 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Gov. Walker's Tax Cut Plan on Legislative Fast Track

State lawmakers Tuesday are batting around a plan by Gov. Walker to cut property taxes by $100 million.

The tax cut could make it harder for legislators to balance future budgets, but most may jump onboard anyway. Walker’s plan would lower property tax bills for a median-valued home by $13 this year and $20 next year.

The reductions are possible because Wisconsin has a budget surplus, according to Republican Rep. John Nygren.

“As the legislature we’re forced with a decision – spending the money on another program, increasing the size of government, or in this case, giving it back to the taxpayers who pay it. I’m going to side on the side of taxpayers every single day and give it back to them,” Nygren says.

Democratic Sen. Jennifer Shilling urged colleagues to keep the tax cut proposal in perspective.

“Let’s not be too quick to pat ourselves on the back so strongly, that this perspective…$33 for property tax owners. Now for me, when I head home I have to stop and get gas and fill up the minivan. That’s going to be half a tank of gas for me to get back to La Crosse,” Shilling says.

The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau says Walker’s tax cut plan, along with his worker training bills, would increase Wisconsin’s projected budget shortfall for 2015. It could jump by 33 percent to $725 million. It would still be less than half the structural deficit the state has faced every two years since 1997.