Major Tax Reform Bills Get Public Hearing
This week Senate Bill 1 (establishing a flat tax) and Senate Bill 2 (eliminating the personal property tax) received a public hearing in the Senate. Both proposals received overwhelming support with nearly every person attending in favor of the bills. SB 1 had 27 registrants in favor and only one registrant opposed, SB 2 had 63 registrants in favor and none opposed.
Since 2011, the Legislature has cut taxes by a cumulative $22 billion, including eliminating several taxes entirely. State and local taxes as a share of personal income have fallen to the lowest level since at least 1970. Despite our progress, Wisconsin’s tax code is still too burdensome putting our state at a competitive disadvantage nationally. Only 9 other states have a higher individual income tax rate, and 31 states have a top individual income tax rate that is lower than Wisconsin’s third tax bracket rate of 5.3%.
These bills would help both families and small businesses by accomplishing truly transformative tax reform making Wisconsin a more competitive state nationally. SB 1 achieves that by moving Wisconsin to a 3.25% flat tax by tax year 2026. At that new rate, only 11 states will have a top individual income tax rate lower than Wisconsin. SB 2 follows the lead of states around the country and here in the Midwest, that have eliminated or are phasing out the personal property tax. The language in SB 2 received bi-partisan support last session but was vetoed by Governor Evers. Both of these policies have broad support among stakeholders across Wisconsin, and I hope we will send them to the Governor, and I will encourage him to sign them