MADISON — Today, on Tax Day, taxpayers in Wisconsin and across the country are experiencing the painful annual reminder that the work of reducing the tax burden can and should never stop.
Over the past eight years, Wisconsin has made considerable progress toward easing the tax burden. During that time, taxpayers have enjoyed a total reduction in their tax burden of $8 billion, the share of personal income going to taxes dropped from 11.7 percent in 2011 to 10.5 percent in 2018—a 50-year low—and property taxes on a median-valued home have stayed flat.
Despite that commendable progress, the tax burden remains too high. This year, Wisconsinites won’t fully pay their combined federal-state tax burden until April 19, according to the Tax Foundation. As hard-working Wisconsinites can attest, there’s still a lot more work to do if we are to truly make Wisconsin a competitive place to live, work, raise a family, or run a business in the 21st century.
Unfortunately, Gov. Tony Evers is proposing to not just stop the progress of the past eight years, but to take a big step backward. His proposed 2019-21 budget raises taxes by a staggering $1.2 billion and ends the property tax freeze that has been in place since 2011.
MacIver Institute President Brett Healy issued the following Tax Day statement:
“The progress made toward easing the tax burden on the hard-working taxpayers of Wisconsin in recent years is encouraging. We should all take a moment to remember the dark days of a decade ago when taxes and spending were out of control. Despite the progress we’ve made since then, the drive to make Wisconsin more free, fair, and taxpayer friendly cannot stop now.
“As everyone settling up with state and local government today understands all too painfully, Wisconsin must continue working to reduce income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes—all taxes. One giant leap forward would be to adopt a flat tax for Wisconsin.
“If Wisconsin wants to truly compete in a 21st century economy and attract the best talent to live and work here, we must reject efforts to raise taxes and grow government. We must continue the work of lowering the tax burden and reducing the size of government.”