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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Representatives differ in their strategies of providing middle-class tax cuts.

Senate passes middle class tax cut bill

The Senate passed the GOP-sponsored middle-class tax cut bill Wednesday, sending it to the desk of Gov. Tony Evers.

Votes fell along party lines after the Assembly voiced their approval for the legislation. The Senate approval for the outline came a day after the Assembly signed off on it. 

While Republicans and Evers have expressed support for cutting middle-class taxes, they disagree as to how to supplement the lost tax revenue.

The Republican proposal would depend on a projected surplus of nearly $700 million to pay for the tax cut and give taxpayers $490 million in its first year and $338 million annually after that. 

Evers’ plan would aim to increase taxes by more than $220 million on manufacturers while providing more than $440 million in tax relief this year to the lower and middle classes.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, took issue with Evers’ and fellow Democrats’ method of raising funds. 

“Sadly, Democrats in the Legislature have decided that the only plan they can support is one that would increase the tax burden on Wisconsin businesses – hurting our state's manufacturers and agricultural producers in the process,” Fitzgerald said in a statement

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) called on Evers to sign the bill into law, saying, “Wisconsin’s economy is booming and our State’s finances are in great shape. We do not need to raise taxes on manufacturers and small businesses to cut taxes for middle-class Wisconsinites.”

In addition to the tax break for the middle class, Evers’ plan would expand the earned income tax credit, which provides the working poor with tax breaks or cash payments. 

Evers and others oppose the bill because of the long term impact on the state’s finances. 

“It’s disappointing to see Republicans play games with the money hardworking Wisconsinites have earned. Protecting tax giveaways for millionaires without a plan to fund middle-class tax cut just irresponsible,” Evers said in a statement.

“The Republican spending plan will end up costing taxpayers more in the long-run, in order for Republicans to keep in place tax handouts to millionaires,” Sen. John Erpenbach, D- Middleton, said in a statement.

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Evers is expected to veto the bill once it appears on his desk.

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