Office of the Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch
Office of the Lt. Gov, Rebecca Kleefisch - Press Release

Rebecca Kleefisch: Tax reform topic of today’s discussion

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - Press Release

We are all familiar with Ben Franklin’s common wisdom that in this world nothing is certain except death and taxes.

While that may be true, that doesn’t mean that taxes have to be too high, too burdensome or too confusing for taxpayers to understand and afford. That’s why I’m in La Crosse today to talk tax reform.

Through our first three years in office, Gov. Scott Walker and the Legislature have cut taxes by more than $1.5 billion, and he just introduced a new plan to take that number to $2 billion in total tax relief.

Under our plan, the typical family of four will see tax relief of $345 for the two years covered by the budget. Every income taxpayer in Wisconsin will see lower tax rates this April. And people in the middle class will see the greatest relief. That’s especially true for families, who also will benefit from a new deduction for school tuition and an increased deduction for child care.

Homeowners and other property taxpayers throughout Wisconsin saw their property tax bills inch downward in December. For each of the three years our team has been in office, property taxes in Wisconsin have gone down. Plus, we’ve added $100 million in property tax relief this fall that you saw in your December 2013 tax bill.

We’re also working to reduce taxes for employers, especially those creating new jobs. We’ve invested more than $100 million in a manufacturing and agriculture tax credit to double-down on two of Wisconsin’s proven winners for job creation. To promote innovation and entrepreneurship, we lifted the cap on the tax credits available for angel investors. These are just a few of the tax tools we’re leveraging to encourage job growth in Wisconsin.

Last week the governor announced a new Blueprint for Prosperity in his State of the State address. Thanks to our expanding economy and prudent fiscal management, the state’s coffers have a $911.9 million surplus. We’re resolved to return that money to you, the hardworking taxpayers who earned it.

The owner of a median-value home in Wisconsin will pay $101 less in property taxes next year. The average Wisconsin taxpayer will save $58 next year on income taxes. That same taxpayer will see $57.90 more on his paycheck each month after our withholding updates.

In total, the everyday Wisconsin family will keep an additional $850 a year in their own pockets.

And we’re not done yet, not by a long shot. I’m at Western Technical College today for a round-table discussion with La Crosse citizens to talk about fundamental tax reform for Wisconsin’s future. We’re committed to lowering taxes for families and businesses. But we’re also exploring whether a different system for taxes would do more to encourage job creation, to save people time and money.

I’m excited for the conversation and look forward to hearing your ideas. You can be certain that under our administration, we’ll do everything we can to drive taxes lower and to make paying them easier.