An astute reader wanted me to go over the tax proposals Governor Evers wanted in the State Budget. I'm going to go off the totals given in the Budget in Brief (Table 9 on Page 98 if you want to check it out).
End M&A Giveaway to large manufacturers $556.6 million
End capital gains tax cut for richer Wisconsinites $505.1 million
Make state tax code match changes in GOP Tax Scam $362.4 million
Enforce sales tax laws on 3rd Party Internet sales $93.9 million
Remove tax cut for broadcasters $29.5 million
Make tax on e-cigs and small cigars match other tobacco $41.5 million
Remove tax cut for private school tuition $24.3 million
Enhanced DOR Tax Audits $43.5 million
Other minor changes $23.1 million
TOTAL TAX INCREASES FOR 2019-21 $1.64 BILLION
Tax cuts in Evers budget
Income tax cut for Wisconsinites making less than $80K single/$150K married
EITC Expansion $53.1 million
Homestead Tax Credit expansion $38.9 million
Child Care Credit $9.9 million
Medical insurance credit for self-employed $9.5 million
Other minor tax cuts $6.4 million
TOTAL TAX CUTS $951.3 MILLION
NET CHANGE IN 19-21 REVENUE +$688.7 MILLION
You can clearly see the change in emphasis from Walker and WisGOP, who gave their tax cuts to the rich and corporate, and took services and lower-income tax cuts like Homestead and EITC away. The second part of this added revenue is that it pays for items such as expanded services on Medicaid (beyond the savings of Medicaid expansion), restoring funding to K-12 and special education, and increases in shared aids for local communitie and the UW System.
I generally like the concepts of ending the free ride that the rich and corporate have had for 8 years in this state, but I do have a couple of concerns over how Evers plans to do that.
1. The amount of money involved is so high that it makes for an easy GOP target "Oh, look at Evers raising taxes by nearly $1 billion. Argle bargle wubba wubba." Even though most Wisconsinites won't see a tax increase due to how these moves are targeted (and quite a few will see a tax break with better services), it gives a talking point that is easy fort he average low-info voter to remember and be scared about.
Evers probably should have backed off on a couple of these things, or waited a year for the increase to take effect (like the capital gains thing). But it seems like they got stuck in trying to get every initiative in there while coming up with the money to make things balance out (the cushion to end the year
2. What are these "federalized" changes to the state tax code. It's hard to find an explanation in the budget documents, but I have worries that it means Wisconsinites won't be able to use itemized write offs like mortgage interest and charitable donations because the GOP Tax Scam has pushed many people into taking the standard deduction, with no benefit from those itemizations. I'll wait till the Legislative Fiscal Bureau to describe just what would cause this sizable increase in revenue, and I fear this could become an unforced error by Evers once that's revealed.
That being said, this budget is miles better than the trickle-down garbage Walker and WisGOP gave us, and it is heartening to see someone recognize that the field needs to be leveled. Even youth the gerrymandered GOP Legislature will likely ignore most if not all of this, it lays down a marker, and makes the WisGOPs justify why their regressive policies should be continued while the state continues to lag behind the rest of the country.