MADISON (WITI) -- A new year will bring in a new agenda for Governor Scott Walker, who has plans to overhaul the state's tax code. His major priority in 2014 will be laying the ground for work tax reform in 2015. Walker says eliminating the state sales tax could hold the key to job creation.
"I made a clear objective that every year I'm in office, I want to see the overall tax burden in the state -- I want to cut taxes," said Walker. "Every year I'm in office I want to continue to see the overall tax burden go down."
Walker says he's looking at everything from eliminating the state income tax to drastically reducing state property taxes.
"We encourage the public to give us feedback. Do you like this, and if so, how would you like us to do it because we can reduce spending, which we've done in the past, but there's no way -- if you eliminate the property tax of the income tax -- to do that exclusively through spending reductions," Walker explained.
The income tax is the single biggest revenue source for the state, and Walker says he knows the revenue would have to come from somewhere -- that could mean increasing the sales tax.
"So then you have the other trade-off, if you're going to raise some other revenue other than income or property tax, and how do you make sure your overall tax burden goes down?" Walker asked.
The Governor is also running for re-election in 2014. The only democrat currently in the race is former business executive Mary Burke, who says eliminating the income tax is too extreme. Burke argues the better approach to job creation is funding start-ups and expanding overseas markets for Wisconsin products.
"We have to take a more aggressive approach to making sure we're getting those great products sold all around the world. As I mentioned, entrepreneurship is really important to regenerating our economies. The logistics of economy is there's industries that grow, there's businesses that contract -- with new businesses being created we're taking advantage of creating jobs," said Burke.
The current two-year budget lowers taxes by $650 million but Walker says he's thinking bigger for the next budget.
"Beyond just chipping away as we've done over the last couple of years -- we've cut taxes $1.5 billion -- but in terms of an economic impact what we want to see, is there an even better way, beyond just cutting these taxes, is there a more effective way that we could help stimulate the economy in this state?" Walker said.
The Governor says he's not committed to any specific proposal, but will spend the year discussing the issue and seeking input for whatever action is ultimately taken in the next budget.