May 12, 2017                                                                                                                                                                     Volume 3 Issue 11

State Representative Janel Brandtjen

                                             Wisconsin IS Open for Business

Since Governor Walker has taken office the business climate in Wisconsin has dramatically improved.  According to, Wisconsin used to be ranked in the top ten worst states to do business in 2010, but under the Governor's policies that position has improved to the point we're in the top ten best states for business climate.  We all know there is still a lot to be done, but it's safe to say that Wisconsin is open for business.


The Road Map to a Flat Tax

I have been a consistent backer of Governor Walker's stance on not raising the gas tax to meet the transportation needs of Wisconsin. Wisconsin's families are already taxed at exorbitant rate. This week my colleague State Representative Dale Kooyenga unveiled a plan to provide a fix to Wisconsin's road funding and move Wisconsin to a flat tax. It is a comprehensive proposal that has many moving parts. It is bold and provocative. Although a move to a 3.95% flat income tax would be a major step in tax relief, there are some improvements to be made before the proposal is ready for prime time.

  • Minimum Mark-up - the plan calls for a reduction in the minimum mark-up requirement from 9.18% to 3% on gasoline. I believe this does not go far enough. The minimum mark-up law is antiquated and needs to be repealed in it's entirety.

  • The Flat Tax provision takes 11 years to enact - the proposal needs to be modified to give the middle class a more substantial tax break sooner in the 11 year process.

  • Toll Roads - the proposal either solves the transportation funding issue or it does not.  If it does there is no need to inject toll roads into the conversation, if it doesn't  then the plan needs to be modified until it does or scrapped altogether.

  • Roundabouts- the proposal calls for a two-year moratorium on roundabouts, requiring public input into the designing process. I believe the two year sunset should be eliminated and public input should be a permanent part of the planning process.

There are many provisions included in the package that make it very appealing for the conservative taxpayer. Those provisions include:

  • Full repeal of prevailing wage.

  • Elimination of 180 DOT engineers.

  • Federal swap - which would change the way we fund road project to avoid many expensive and unnecessary federal mandates.

  • Elimination of $300 million in bonding - currently 22 cents for every $1 spent on the budget is to pay for bonding. We need to lower that number.

  • Elimination of state property tax - A $180 million tax break.

  • Elimination of the internet tax - this tax will disappear in 2020 regardless.

My support for the final package will depend upon the total aggregate tax reduction it offers for the average Wisconsin taxpayer. I will have more to say as new numbers and analysis becomes available. In the end, the final budget will need to lower the overall tax burden on Wisconsin's families.


God Bless Wisconsin!


          Happy Mother's Day





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