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HomeBreaking NewsWisconsin Flat Tax Pitch “The First Step”

Wisconsin Flat Tax Pitch “The First Step”

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Supporters of a Wisconsin flat tax know it won’t happen this year, but that’s not stopping them.

Dozens of Republican lawmakers, advocates, and business owners from across the state crowded a Senate hearing Tuesday to talk about the plan that would move Wisconsin from its current progressive income tax to a flat 3.25% income tax in three years.

“This will make Wisconsin more competitive, more affordable and stronger,” Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu told lawmakers at the hearing.

But his proposal has already been declared dead by Gov. Tony Evers. The governor called a flat tax a “tax cut for millionaires.”

Evers’ sentiment was echoed by Milwaukee Democratic state Senator Chris Larson.

“Legislative Republicans will bend over backward to cater to the needs of the super-rich and corporations, but when it comes to those who actually need help, they want to force them to jump through flaming hoops like a circus animal in exchange for any hope of assistance,” Larson, D-Milwaukee, said on Twitter Tuesday.

Chris Reader, executive vice president at the Institute for Reforming Government, said tax reformers understand the reality at the Capitol. But he told The Center Square that doesn’t mean they are giving up.

“Our advice to the governor and the legislature, and what we’ll work toward in the next couple of months, is to move on the boldest plan that they will accept,” Reader said. “Whatever happens this year, and we think we will get there, that the tax bill the governor signs will be a step toward significantly flattening and eventually eliminating the income tax.”

Megan Novak, director for Americans for Prosperity in Wisconsin, said a flat tax would move many thousands of small businesses in the state from a 7.65% income tax to a 3.25% income tax, enough to allow Wisconsin to compete for jobs and new families.

“Our individual tax rates are uncompetitive at best, and hostile at worst. In fact, only nine states in this country have an income tax rate higher than our 7.65% top rate that so many small businesses pay right now,” Novak told lawmakers. “The Legislature has the opportunity to transform Wisconsin for the better with [the flat tax]  for generations to come.”

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