MADISON, Wis. — Multiple reports are detailing how Ron Johnson used his position in the Senate to support various tax loopholes that likely allowed his family and mega donors to avoid paying their fair share in taxes. 

AP News: Wisconsin Sen. Johnson pushed tax cut, bought properties

Key Points: 

  • ​​Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin was pushing for a tax cut provision in 2017 that benefitted his former plastics company and many others as his family was acquiring properties around the country, a newspaper review of property records revealed.
  • The tax cut to companies called “pass-throughs” benefitted not only Johnson’s company and big donors, as had been previously reported, but it came as the senator’s family was acquiring luxury properties that could also take advantage of the law, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday.
  • The Journal Sentinel reported that Johnson’s three adult children are the beneficiaries of a family trust and are listed as managers of about 10 companies registered with the state Department of Financial Institutions.
  • Those companies and the family trust own about two dozen properties around the nation with assessed values of $21 million, the newspaper reported.
  • In 2017, Johnson held up passage of Trump’s tax bill by objecting to the plan’s already generous tax break for pass-through businesses. Originally, the Trump administration proposed allowing business owners to deduct up to 17.4% of their profits. Johnson fought to increase that to 23%. The figure ended up at 20%.
  • Several studies have found that the tax cut primarily helped the wealthy.
  • “I think these pass-through provisions have been criticized because much of the benefit of them goes to very high income and/or high wealth households,” Milton said. “And presumably the Johnson family is a high-income household.”
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