Wisconsin Republicans propose $250 million income tax cut

MADISON — Assembly Republicans say they want to give you a $100 tax cut with the state's projected budget surplus. But Governor Tony Evers says some of the money should go to our schools.

Republicans who control the Wisconsin Legislature unveiled a nearly $250 million income tax cut plan on Friday that they plan to vote on next week and quickly send to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. Republicans also want to cut the personal property tax paid by businesses by nearly $45 million and reduce state debt by $100 million.

The GOP plan was unveiled at the Allis Roller plant in Franklin. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau says the Republican plan would apply to about 64 percent of all people filling their Wisconsin taxes -- with an average cut of about $106. But Democrats are not on board with the idea.

"We're giving it back the exact same way it was paid in, to make sure that the money flows to peoples' pocketbooks -- so they can keep it as they choose do you ever they want to, you know go out for dinner with their family, whatever is important," said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester).

"We're a democracy. It's really hard when the deal is cooked up in the back rooms and is just launched forward on a Friday, voted on a Monday, passed on a Tuesday," said State Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee).

It's unclear whether Evers supports all of the tax cuts Republicans proposed. Republican Rep. Joan Ballweg said Friday that lawmakers did not talk with Evers about their plan before releasing it.

Evers earlier proposed spending $130 million to cut property taxes as part of a $250 million school funding plan the Legislature rejected. Ballweg said lawmakers will consider additional funding for schools next year when crafting the next state budget.

Again, the newly released Republican tax cut plan would not reduce personal property taxes as the governor proposed. Instead, it would increase the standard deduction for income tax filers, thereby cutting income taxes.

Republicans are tapping some of the state's projected $620 million budget surplus to pay for the plan.

The Assembly plans to vote on the plan Thursday, their final day in session this year. It's unclear if the Senate would take it up next week or in March.

Gov. Evers' spokesperson Britt Cudaback released the following statement regarding Assembly Republicans' announcement:

"The governor's education plan provides an opportunity for Assembly Republicans to deliver on their promise to get to two-thirds funding for our schools before they take an eight-month vacation while still providing $130 million to help reduce property taxes across our state.

"Unfortunately, Assembly Republicans made it clear today that they would rather break their promise to the people of our state than work together on funding our schools and reducing property taxes in Wisconsin."