Evers issues special session call, Republican lawmakers counter

Evers issues special session call, Republican lawmakers counter

February 18, 2022 0 By Benjamin Yount

One Republican lawmaker is offering to accept Gov. Tony Evers’ offer to provide tax relief for Wisconsin, and even add a little.

The governor on Wednesday signed an order calling for a special session of the legislature on March 8 to consider his plan to provide $150 tax rebate checks for everyone in the state.

“[The] Legislative Fiscal Bureau recently released new projections indicating the state general fund balance will have a $3.8 billion surplus at the end of the 2021-23 biennium – nearly $2.9 billion more than was previously projected in June 2021,” the governor wrote in his special session proclamation. “Nevertheless, these costs remain a top concern for working Wisconsinites and families in every corner of the state, many of whom are already working to try and make ends meet.”

Most Republican lawmakers call Evers’ $150 rebate plan an election-year giveaway. The Republican-controlled Assembly and Senate are expected to ignore the March special session call.

But Sen. Roger Roth, R-Appleton, is willing to come back to Madison and vote on tax reforms. Just not the governor’s plan.

“Let’s not stop at $150 in one-time refunds, let’s use this historic opportunity to return all surplus funds back to the hard working families and businesses of Wisconsin,” Roth said Thursday. “Let’s use this special session to take up my bill to become the first state in the Midwest to eliminate the state income tax.”

On Monday, Roth and other Republicans introduced a plan to reduce Wisconsin’s personal income tax with the hope of fully eliminating it in a few years.

The proposal would lower income tax rates to:

  • 2.15% (currently 3.54%)
  • 2.85% (currently 4.65%)
  • 3.20% (currently 5.30%)
  • 4.50% (currently 7.65%)

Roth says if Wisconsin’s finances don’t suffer, the tax rates would be reduced again.

Wisconsin Republicans are looking to make the state the eighth in the nation without a state income tax.

The debate is expected to ramp-up next year when the legislature will begin the process of writing a new state budget. And when Wisconsin may have a new governor.

This article was originally posted on Evers issues special session call, Republican lawmakers counter