Friday, December 23, 2022

Evers responds on tax plans for upcoming budget. Vos responds to Evers, but will he listen?

With billions to play with in the next state budget, the tax-cutting debate between legislative Republicans and Governor Evers is starting up. Evers sketched out his tax cut plans to reporters this week which (not surprisingly) is targeted toward lower-income and middle-class Wisconsinites compared to the giveaway to the rich flattening of the tax brackets that the Republicans have said they wanted.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is promising to veto any flat income tax cut plan passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature, favoring instead his proposal to reduce taxes for the middle class by 10%....

Evers said the tax cut plan he released in August as he was running for reelection is what he will include in the two-year state budget he delivers to the Legislature on Feb. 15. Under that plan, taxes would be cut $600 million a year, including by 10% for individuals earning less than $100,000 and families earning less than $150,000.

Evers’ proposal would also cap copays for insulin at $35, repeal the state’s minimum markup law in an attempt to lower gas prices, cut taxes for seniors on fixed incomes, expand property tax relief for veterans with disabilities and attempt to lower the cost of caregiving and child care.
Seems like decent targeting, and what Evers seems to be indicating is that the income tax cut he will ask for will involve an increase in the state's standard deduction (lowering the amount of income that is taxed), or reducing the lower income tax brackets even more than they have been.

And Assembly Speaker Robbin’ Vos already seems to be admitting that there will be a need to work with Governor Evers if any tax cuts are to happen.
So while Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, has said his caucus is working on a plan to pave the way to a flat tax, Vos said Assembly Republicans are just starting to talk about tax cuts for the 2023-25 budget. Vos has said the $3.4 billion in tax cuts enacted during the current biennium are the minimum of what he wants in this budget. Still, he is open to looking at changes to property, income and corporate taxes.

Meanwhile, Gov. Tony Evers has said he can’t envision signing a budget that includes taking Wisconsin’s four individual income tax rates — which top out at 7.65 percent — and reducing them to one.

“Look, if we had Gov. Michels, tax reform and a flat tax obviously would’ve been my top priority,” Vos told in his Capitol office. “It’s still a huge priority, but I’m not going to die on that hill and say we can’t do anything if we don’t do it.”….

Vos said he envisions three areas for compromise in the upcoming session: addressing learning loss, tax cuts to help residents with inflation and innovation to address the state’s demographic challenges. With a population graying faster than the rest of the nation, Vos said Wisconsin faces a choice of an increasing tax burden or a drop in the services that government can afford unless there’s an injection of younger residents — and workers.
You want an injection of younger residents/workers, Robbin’? Maybe we shouldn’t have a 19th century abortion law, defunded public schools, and a gerrymandered Legislature that ignores what the majority of the state wants on social and economic issues.

But then Robbin’ Vos would be just be another mediocre businessman from a nothing town, and not someone anyone else has to listen to. And Vos and the rest of the GOP “leadership” won’t dare put themselves in a position where they actually have to earn respect, and win on ideas.

The words are nice, Robbin’. But let’s see if you actually take action and pass bills that actually would make this state better and more competitive. I don’t think you want that, and I don’t think your fellow mediocre businessMEN at WMC and MMAC want it, either.

Evers and the gerrymandered WisGOP Legislature obviously have different things that they want to see done with taxes, but it also seems like both recognize that they can do something that cuts taxes for at least some Wisconsinites. And it's going to be a multi-faceted poker game to see who gets what.  

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