Gov. Evers vetoes Republican-authored $250 million income tax cut

WAUWATOSA — Democratic Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a Republican-authored $250 million income tax bill on Wednesday at an elementary school in Wauwatosa, arguing that the Legislature should instead back his plan to spend more on education.

Evers proposed spending $250 million on K-12 schools, with $130 million to reduce property taxes, but Republicans ignored his plan. They said increasing funding for schools will be part of the debate over the next state budget in 2021.

Evers vetoed the tax cut bill, the 12th his vetoed as governor, in the school library surrounded by Democratic lawmakers.

Evers and the Legislature put forward the two plans in the wake of news that Wisconsin is expected to have a $620 million budget surplus by mid-2021. Republicans pushed for the tax cut, saying the higher-than-expected tax collections should be returned to people who paid them. Evers said the surplus instead should be tapped to help schools and also to cut property taxes.

The entire plan Evers vetoed would have cost $392 million. The nearly $250 million income tax cut would have sent an average of $106 back to every qualifying taxpayer. It also reduced business taxes by nearly $45 million and trimmed state debt by $100 million.