Same goal, different methods: state Republicans counter Evers' middle-class tax cut planSubmitted: 01/17/2019
Same goal, different methods: state Republicans counter Evers' middle-class tax cut plan
Story By Ben Meyer

WAUSAU - Something said by a Republican state lawmaker on Thursday might come as a surprise.

At a Wausau press conference, he said Democratic Gov. Tony Evers was right.

Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) and other Republicans agreed with Evers' plan to cut $340 million in middle class taxes.

They just want to do it differently from the Governor.

Late last month, the Walker administration reported Wisconsin had a surplus of more than $588 million. Assembly Republicans want to use part of that money to pay for a tax cut in 2020.

According to their numbers, the average middle class family would save more than $300.

"To me it makes sense. This is money that our taxpayers have paid in, and this is money that we look at as a surplus, [and] it should go back to our taxpayers," said Rep. John Spiros (R-Marshfield).

During the campaign, Evers proposed a similar tax cut. But he would pay for it by capping the manufacturing and agriculture tax credit, which he said benefits too many millionaires.

The method is different, but the $340 million figure is the same between Evers and Republicans.

"Gov. Evers was right. It's time for a middle-class tax cut. The way we go about it is going to achieve goals for both the Assembly Republicans and for the Governor at the same time," Krug said. "It proves that we can work together on some common-ground issues. It sets the stage for the rest of the session. I think that's the most important thing here today, is that we are going to find ways to work together."

Democratic lawmakers sounded open to negotiation on Thursday.

"I hope we can come to a compromise [on] what we should do with this surplus, if it is there, and what services are best to meet the needs of everyone in Wisconsin," said Rep. Beth Meyers (D-Bayfield).

Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), however, said she hoped move like this came through the state budget process. Republicans said they were seeking a standalone bill prior to the state budget's due date on July 1.

"Tony Evers has said he wants to cut taxes," Shankland said. "Why don't we do it through the budget process, so that we're fair and transparent, and we're funding it in a way that's sustainable long-term?"

The Evers administration pointed out the Republican plan would be a one-time tax cut using surplus money. It said the governor's plan is sustainable into the future.

"It is our hope that legislators who believe in protecting the taxpayers and our state's bottom line will support the governor's sustainable tax plan," Evers spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff said in a statement.

The $588 million surplus figure was calculated by Walker's Department of Administration and announced in December.

But that number could change next week, as the Legislative Fiscal Bureau will come out with a new financial estimate.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


Play Video

RHINELANDER - Vehicles with loud exhaust can be very annoying. The exhaust can also be expensive if you get a citation that's around 200 dollars.

Wisconsin requires people to maintain their exhaust system and to have a muffler in working condition. Oneida County Sheriff Patrol Sergeant Brad Fogerty says the biggest problem is during the winter.

"Exhausts can fail at any time during the year," said Oneida County Patrol Sergeant Brad Fogerty. "In northern Wisconsin with the winters we have and the amount of salts that is used on the road, that commonly will disintegrate a lot of our exhaust systems. Exhaust can get loud for a variety of reasons. Poor maintenance, exhaust can just wear out over time, or it can just become defective or altered with after-market products."

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - There are more kittens than the shelter would like at the Lincoln County Humane Society. 
"Overcrowding, especially during peak times of year that are nicknamed 'kitten season', is a really big problem for shelters everywhere," said shelter manager Liz Friedenfels.

+ Read More

NEWBOLD - The Newbold Outdoor Recreation Center will soon have a new building.

Blackwell Job Corps provided the labor for the town to build the facility.

Builders put in a concrete slab for the foundation one month ago to start the project.

An instructor at Blackwell says that building will help store items. 

"This storage shed is going to be for them to store their equipment for their disc golf facility," said Jim Flannery, A construction craft labor instructor at Blackwell. "They have lawnmowers and UTV's and things like that to go into this facility." 

+ Read More

Play Video

ST. GERMAIN - Dozens came to the 10th annual Day of Renewal at Moon Beach Camp in Saint Germain Thursday.

Each year the event features a different theme on wellness.

"The focus is on happiness and how you can create happiness in your life," said presenter Jessica Schiek.

+ Read More

Play Video

ONEIDA COUNTY - Thousands of visitors filled the Northwoods this summer helping the state see a 12% increase in tourist arrivals.

+ Read More

Play Video

HARSHAW - A deadly mosquito-borne illness claimed the lives of two more people in the Midwest early this week. Only a handful of cases are reported each year and the illness is often a death sentence. 

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Musicians gathered at Nicolet College for a night of collaboration. The local band Boat Patrol set up the event.

Boat Patrol keyboardist Daleth Mountjoy wanted to showcase the great talent in Rhinelander. He also said its always fun to play with other people.

"We've got a lot of people that are doing some really cool things," said Mountjoy. "We can take what they're doing and add our own little flavor to it. So it's not just showcasing someone else. It's collaborating with these other musicians and taking their songs and making them into something new and something fun."

Mountjoy said he met many of the artists at the monthly ArtStart open mic series "In Progress" in Rhinelander. One of those artists is Nate Sheppard.

Sheppard said playing with others makes him a better musician. He also thinks the event is a great way for the musicians to support each other.

+ Read More
+ More General News