This is Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu wishing everyone a Happy New Year.
We start the New Year with a projected budget surplus of almost 7 Billion dollars. We got to this point by using sound conservative budgeting practices. It was just 12 years ago the state was saddled with a multi-Billion dollar deficit. With the new budget bill being introduced in February, we look to build on our previous budget which reduced taxes, had bi-partisan support and was signed by the governor.
One of our priorities in this upcoming session will be to continue reducing the tax burden faced by Wisconsin families across the state. These same families are being pressured by inflation which has pushed up the cost of food, fuel and other essentials, leaving families to make hard choices on how to spend their money.
The legislature has a track record of reducing the tax burden on Wisconsin families. Now we have a once in a generation opportunity. Thanks to the projected surplus we can make transformational tax reform. I plan to introduce legislation that will create a flat tax. This will reduce the rate everyone pays by collapsing the multiple tiers in our current system into a single rate for all.
Our neighbors in Michigan and Illinois have flat taxes, while Iowa is phasing in their new flat tax. With a historic surplus, this is the time to take bold steps to reform our tax laws to help keep more dollars in the hands of the hard working families and businesses in Wisconsin.