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NEWS STORIES

Walker lays out major property, income tax cuts under "Blueprint For Prosperity" during State of the StateSubmitted: 01/22/2014

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker got specific with his plans for nearly $1 billion in surplus revenue on Wednesday.

He delivered his fourth State of the State address at the State Capitol.

"Pass this Blueprint For Prosperity and return this money to the people of the state," he told the joint session of the legislature.

Walker made a new idea called the Blueprint For Prosperity the blueprint for his speech.

"Now is the time to send your money back to you, the hard working taxpayers of Wisconsin," he said.

The governor wants property and revenue tax cut of half a billion dollars to sit in the center of that blueprint.

"It's a pretty obvious political ploy for short term gains for the individual citizen to get a tax break," said Rep. Mandy Wright, D-Wausau, after the speech.

"We'd be much happier to see that money go to a place like our neighborhood public schools that have been woefully under-invested in during the past three years," said Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point.

While Walker stressed considerable tax cuts, he also hit on issues important to the Northwoods.

"In the coming years, resorts, guides, bait dealers, marinas, and all of the other businesses that depend on good fishing will benefit as Wisconsin becomes the premiere destination for walleye fishing in the Midwest," Walker said.

He highlighted his legislation to dramatically increase the stock of walleyes in state lakes.

"It takes a walleye to get all of you to stand," he joked upon a standing ovation. "I should say that throughout the whole speech."

But Walker completely skipped touching on another issue on the minds of Northwoods people - mining.

"There are a lot of questions, and maybe he is starting to hedge away from the mining bill," Wright said.

While walleye and mining impact the Northwoods disproportionately, Walker's tax plan, if passed, will affect all of Wisconsin.

"The state of our state is strong and improving every day," Walker said.

"We have a lot further to go than he thinks," Shankland countered.

Walker will call a special session of the legislature on Thursday to consider his tax proposals.

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