Wisconsin Democrats question latest Republican tax cut plan

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(The Center Square) – Wisconsin Democrats aren’t sure if they will support a plan to cut taxes for middle class families in the state.

Democratic state Rep. Tip McGuire, D-Kenosha, said the $2.1 billion tax cut for middle class families could leave the state short.

“I’m worried that we would be running Illinois-style deficits. I’m worried that this would be fiscally irresponsible and that the people that would support this would be fiscally irresponsible budgeters,” McGuire said.

Wisconsin has a $3 billion budget surplus, and another $ 1billion-plus in its rainy day fund.

Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Cedarburg, believes Democrats aren’t worried about budget deficits. He said they simply want to spend Wisconsin’s surplus.

“Many of my Democrat colleagues would rather keep the people’s money in Madison rather than returning it to the rightful owners – Wisconsin taxpayers,” Stroebel said. “While I am disappointed that every Finance Democrat voted to deny relief for middle class families, I hope that when these bills come to the floor that we are able to come together and do the right thing and return the surplus to the hardworking taxpayers of Wisconsin.”

Gov. Tony Evers said he hasn’t seen the specifics of the plan, and isn’t promising anything.

“I’m always looking for opportunities to make our tax system more fair, and hopefully they’re doing that, but until I see the final results, I can’t make that judgment. I don’t know what it looks like. Any number of things could be put in those bills that I would not like, but we’ll take a look,” the governor told reporters.

The $2.1 billion-dollar tax cut is the third tax cut that Republican lawmakers have tried to pass. The governor has scuttled the others, calling them tax cuts for the rich.

Stroebel said he’s hopeful this latest plan, which is not targeted toward top earners in the state, has a better chance.

“These common-sense bills provide an average state tax cut of $454 for most filers, exempt $150,000 of retirement income from state income taxes per married couple, and expand both the child and dependent care tax credit as well as the married couple tax credit to help support young families as they face rising costs of groceries and child care,” Stroebel added. “Many of these proposals were items that Gov. Evers himself has indicated that he supported in the past.”

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