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For Immediate Release                                                                          January 25, 2011
Contact:  Representative Tyler August                                                    608-266-1190
August Legislation to Limit Tax Increases Passes Assembly
Bill would require 2/3rds supermajority for sales, income, and franchise tax increases
MADISON…Legislation aimed to limit future tax increases passed the Wisconsin State Assembly today.  The bill, Special Session Assembly Bill 5, is authored by Representative Tyler August (R-Walworth) and Senator Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) and is a part of Governor Scott Walker’s agenda to get Wisconsin working again.
Specifically, the bill would require a two-thirds supermajority vote in order to approve increases in the state’s income, sales, or franchise tax.  The bill is seen by many as a measure designed to protect against harmful future tax increases.
“I am encouraged at the progress the State Legislature and Governor Walker have made in our first few weeks in office,” said August.  “Passing this bill is a major step forward toward a better tax climate in our state.”
August also pointed out why the bill was needed, referencing Wisconsin’s poor national tax rankings.  Wisconsin’s still ranks in the top 10 for highest state and local tax burden, as well as having a poor ranking for business tax climate.
The concept of a supermajority requirement is not unique, as 16 other states have similar requirements.  In fact, a recent study showed that requiring a supermajority for tax increases has resulted in those states enjoying an 8 to 23 percent lower tax burden. 
“The only way to get our state on the road to fiscal recovery is to stop the tax and spending increases that our taxpayers can simply not afford,” stated August.  “Our goal is to improve the tax and job creation climate so that we can get Wisconsin back on the right track.”
The legislation passed on a 57 to 36 vote.  August said he has also authored a constitutional amendment with similar language to make the change permanent.