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    April 28, 2017

Wisconsin has tackled many problems since 2011 when the Governor’s office, Senate and Assembly switched from Democratic to Republican control. Some of our accomplishments since 2011 are:

Educational outputs have improved.

The state is more solvent:
-The Rainy Day Fund is at an all-time high – it is 165 times larger than it was in 2011.

 -The GAAP deficit has decreased by 43%.

Taxes are lower:
 -Property taxes are at the lowest point since WWII.
 -Income taxes are lower and less complex.

Seven years ago we had too many people and not enough jobs; now we are experiencing a worker shortage:
 -We have our lowest unemployment rate since 2011.
 -The highest number of people are working in Wisconsin’s history.

However, there are two areas in which Wisconsin is either falling behind or not making satisfactory progress:

1. The state’s transportation system is degrading; meanwhile the percentage of revenue dedicated to debt service is at unhealthy levels and continues to grow.

2. The state’s income taxes are among the highest in the country and are also among the most complicated. Our standard form is twice as long as the federal form and our income tax rates are among the highest in the nation.

Neither of these challenges can be solved in a single two-year budget cycle. However, we can start moving toward a more solvent transportation fund and a simpler tax code right now. 

I have been tasked by the Assembly leadership to solve Wisconsin's transportation problem. I have run on and fought for lowering and simplifying the tax code since the day I was elected and will continue to do so. In the upcoming weeks, one of the most comprehensive transportation and tax reform packages seen in the last two to three decades will be introduced.The package will put Wisconsin on a long term trajectory to improve our infrastructure while significantly lowering our tax burden.

More details will be provided in future E-Updates once the package is introduced.


State Capitol - Room 324 East | Post Office Box 8952 | Madison, Wisconsin 53708
(608) 266-9180 | Rep.Kooyenga@legis.wisconsin.gov