Senate sends Republican tax cut bill to Evers’ desk

QUORUM CALL

The GOP tax cut plan is heading to Gov. Tony Evers’ desk after Senate Republicans voted to advance it over Dems’ objections tonight.

The bill, which would increase the standard deduction on a sliding scale, passed the Assembly yesterday on a party-line vote. But Evers in a statement after the vote said he won’t “be taking immediate action” on the bill.

Instead, he says he’ll put his tax cut plan into the budget, and he calls for GOP lawmakers to “set politics aside and work with me to get this done.”

The Senate signed off on the bill 19-14, along party lines.

Evers and Republicans have been split on how to cover the cost of the middle-class tax cut each has proposed. Evers wants to cap a tax credit for manufacturers to help offset the cost of the Dem version, while Republicans want to use most of the expected $691.5 gross balance at the end of this fiscal year to pay for it.

Dems on the floor today argued the chamber should wait to act on the GOP plan until Evers’ budget is released, with Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling saying it’s “premature” to vote on the legislation without having “a comprehensive discussion” on it.

“It would be more responsible to look in totality as we have a new budget, we have new priorities, new opportunities for investments and it’s paid for in the budget,” the La Crosse Dem said.

But Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, countered when tax cuts are done in the budget, they’re “always considered last.” That means, he said, the state has to “deal smaller tax cuts in specific periods of time,” such as the $100 per-child tax rebate last year.

“Let’s be serious about making sure the state remains competitive and in a good place,” he said, adding: “The only way to do that is some type of tax cut.”

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