MADISON, Wis. — Following Gov. Tony Evers’ plan to direct taxpayer dollars back to Wisconsin families to address rising costs immediately, Rebecca Kleefisch rejected the idea. But in 2014, Kleefisch wholeheartedly endorsed returning surplus dollars to Wisconsinites through a tax credit when she was lieutenant governor.

At the time, she said of the Walker-Kleefisch plan, “We want taxpayers, you all, to keep more of your own money,” [04:51] and she posted a tweet promoting Scott Walker’s comments saying you send a surplus “back to the people that earned it.”

Today, Wisconsin has a projected record-breaking $3.8 billion budget surplus thanks to Gov. Evers’ leadership. Gov. Evers’ proposal would return a portion of the surplus back to Wisconsinites now through a $150 tax credit and funds for schools, but Republican leaders have indicated they’re going to wait over a year to return taxpayers’ money — essentially holding it hostage until someone from their political party is in power.

Kleefisch hasn’t been able to explain why she’s opposing this common sense plan to return money to working families. Kleefisch supported a tax rebate in both 2014 and in 2018, when Wisconsin’s finances and economy were in a much weaker position. At the end of the 2014 fiscal year, Wisconsin’s budget surplus was only $517 million, and at the end of 2018, Wisconsin’s budget surplus was only $588 million and the state’s rainy day fund only had enough to keep state government running for nearly seven days. 

Wisconsin now has a rainy day fund that’s five times larger than it was in 2018, the lowest unemployment rate in state history, and a record budget surplus. Today, Wisconsin families are also facing rising costs, and with this unprecedented budget surplus, Gov. Evers’ plan returns this money back where it belongs, in the pockets of Wisconsinites.

”Rebecca Kleefisch only wants to give Wisconsinites their money back when she can take the credit for it,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Iris Riis. “While Wisconsin’s economy is miles ahead of the rest of the nation, families are still struggling with rising costs — that’s why it’s so important to direct the unexpected surplus money to taxpayers right now. Our rainy day fund, our budget, and our economy are far ahead of where we were in 2014 and 2018 — opposing help for working families right now is selfish and goes against common sense. Governor Tony Evers knows that the right thing to do is to invest this budget surplus back into the economy by putting it directly into Wisconsinites’ pockets.”

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