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Wisconsin Republicans propose $250 million income tax cutSubmitted: 02/14/2020
Wisconsin Republicans propose $250 million income tax cut
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - Income taxes for the average person in Wisconsin would be cut by $105 under a Republican proposal unveiled Friday that lawmakers plan to vote on next week and quickly send to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

The nearly $250 million income tax cut is the largest part of the GOP plan that also would reduce personal property taxes paid by businesses by nearly $45 million and trim general state debt by $100 million. Republicans are tapping some of the state's projected $620 million budget surplus to pay for the tax cuts.

"Wisconsin is in great fiscal shape and we should prioritize giving money back to taxpayers," Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said in a statement.

It's unclear whether Evers supports any of the tax cuts. Evers' spokeswoman Britt Cudaback did not comment on whether the governor would sign any part of the plan, but instead faulted Republicans for not spending more on schools and reducing property taxes.

Evers has proposed spending $130 million to cut property taxes as part of a $250 million school funding plan the Legislature rejected. Republican Rep. Joan Ballweg, in explaining why Republicans weren't increasing school funding, said lawmakers will consider more money for schools when crafting the next state budget next year.

"I think we've done a pretty good job funding schools," she said.

The state budget that the GOP-controlled Legislature passed last year and Evers signed increased funding for K-12 schools by about $565 million over two years. Evers had proposed a $1.4 billion increase. Evers earlier this month called the Legislature into special session to spend $250 million more on schools, but the Assembly refused to take action.

The newly released Republican tax cut plan would not reduce personal property taxes as the governor proposed and that Fitzgerald had earlier said was a priority for him as well. Instead, it would increase the standard deduction for income tax filers, thereby cutting income taxes. Reducing income taxes, instead of property taxes, will put more cash directly into the pockets of taxpayers, Ballweg said.

The income tax cut would affect about 64% of all filers, about 2 million people, and result in an average decrease of $105, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The tax cut would increase the standard deduction for each filing type by 13.2%.

Wisconsin has a sliding scale standard deduction that falls the more a person makes. Under current law, married couples filing jointly who make less than $23,000 receive a $20,470 standard deduction. Under the bill, married couples earning up to $25,610 would receive a $23,170 standard deduction.

On the high end, currently any married couples earning more than $126,499 get no standard deduction. Under the plan, that income cut off would increase to $144,669.

The Senate plans to vote on the bill Wednesday, followed by the Assembly on Thursday, their final day in session this year.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - The Oneida County Sheriff's Office will host a DNR run Boater safety course later this month.

According to the Oneida County Sheriff's Office the class will be a two day event on Thursday, July 23 and Friday, July 24.

Course times will run from nine a.m. until one p.m. at the Oneida County Law Enforcement Center in Rhinelander.

Having a boater safety license is required for anyone born after January 1st, 1989.

Then, an hour after the Boater Safety courses wrap up, the sheriff's department is also sponsoring an ATV/UTV safety course.

This course is hosted by the Wisconsin DNR.

The class is held on July 23 and 24 from two p.m. until six p.m.

You must be at least 12 years old to drive an ATV, and 16 years old to drive a UTV. 

And if you were born after January 1st, 1988, you must complete the safety certification course to ride on public trails and areas in Wisconsin.

Finally, the sheriff's office is hosting a Hunter Safety Course on Monday, July 20th through Wednesday, July 22nd.

There will be two different times to take the classes, either from nine a.m. to noon or from one p.m. to four p.m.

Anyone born after January 1st, 1973 must have Hunter Safety to hunt in the Badger state.

Whether it's the hunters safety course, boater's safety course or ATV/UTV safety course.

Each course costs $10 per person.

You must register in advance for any course you choose to take.

That can be done on the Wisconsin DNR Go Wild Website. 



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Today, aspiring officers practiced routine traffic stops, while instructors weave in what Academy Director Tim Gerdman calls cultural competence.

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