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Guest Editorial | Over a decade of reducing taxes | By Rep. Rick Gundrum

Washington Co., WI – Wisconsinites have been hit hard by inflation over the last four years. These are not easy times for working families that see a diminished value in their wages and seniors who are on a fixed income. Unfortunately, Governor Tony Evers consistently adds insult to injury when it comes to taxation.

tax

In his last budget proposal, he planned to raise taxes by nearly $1.4 billion and combined it with more bloated government spending. Even with the tax hike, his budget proposal would have turned a $2.8 billion positive structural balance into a $1.4 billion deficit. Governor Evers has always been fiscally illiterate.

For context, when he first became governor, he came up with an idea to increase the gas tax and re-started indexing it to inflation with an increase on April 1 of each year. If this had been enacted, then the gas tax on April 1, 2024, would have been 47.3 cents per gallon instead of the current 30.9 cents. That’s a 53% increase.

Fortunately, Governor Evers did not get his way thanks to the efforts of Legislative Republicans. Since 2011, tax cuts enacted by Republicans in Wisconsin have totaled nearly $32 billion.

It is an accomplishment I am proud to be a part of – because Wisconsinites know how to spend their money better than the government does. When it comes to a personal level, these tax cuts will save Wisconsin families $1,707 this year.

Returning this money makes a meaningful difference with buying essentials like groceries or gas. This session, I worked with my Republican colleagues to build on prior success and return part of our state’s $7 billion surplus back to the taxpayers.

We first tried with a $4.4 billion tax cut package that touched on property taxes and income taxes. Of the $3.5 billion income reduction that was part of the package, Governor Evers vetoed 95% of it. He turned an average tax cut of $573 per filer down to $36 per filer.

Legislative Republicans were undaunted and tried again with a bill that would have raised the tax exemption on retirement income and delivered tax relief targeted to the middle class. Governor Evers vetoed this bill as well.

We tried again with a package of four bills to expand the second bracket to include income up to $150,000, increase the exemption on retirement income, increase the cap on the married couple tax credit, and would expand the child and dependent care tax credit. Only the child tax credit bill was signed into law.

Governor Evers has often said that he will fight for a middle-class tax cut. He continues to show his true stance by rejecting three Republican authored tax cuts. This means a large surplus will remain in state coffers when it should be returned to the taxpayers. Governor continues to lie to the people, but I am committed to the fight for tax relief.

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