Governor Evers vetoed another middle class tax cut this week. The bill that passed with bipartisan support in the Assembly last week would have invested nearly $250 million to reduce taxes for middle and lower income levels by increasing the sliding scale standard deduction by 13.2 percent for each filer. This would have resulted in an average savings of $106 per filer. The bill also would have reduced personal property taxes for manufacturers and paid off $100 million in general obligation debt. In addition, the rainy day fund would receive another deposit bringing the total of the Budget Stabilization Fund to nearly $1 billion.
Governor Evers should have signed the bill that returns surplus dollars back to the taxpayers and pays down debt. Thanks to good budgeting and a growing economy, we have grown a sizable surplus and Wisconsin’s families should reap in our economic windfall. But for the second time this session, the governor is refusing to help middle and lower income taxpayers in Wisconsin and is intent on increasing government spending.
It is not about who gets the credit – it’s about not growing government more than we can afford. It seems that Governor Evers is obsessed with growing government more than addressing the needs of the middle class. This was a missed opportunity to do the right thing.
While the governor says he wants to work with the legislature, his actions prove otherwise. He had every chance to discuss his spending plan over the last few weeks, including during the meeting I had with him the day before he announced the special session on education.
Assembly Republicans are proud of our record on education. In the last four years, Republicans have increased state aid by 15 percent, increasing per student funding by nearly $1,000. We've also dedicated one out of every three new tax dollars collected by the state to public education in the last two budgets.
The conservative budget that Governor Evers signed into law last year made the largest investment in K-12 schools in actual dollars and doubled the current funding for student mental health programs. Not one legislative Democrat voted for the budget that increased support for our schools.
The regular session of the state Assembly has concluded. We will likely return in May to attempt to override gubernatorial vetoes.