State Representative Janel
Wisconsin IS Open for Business
Since Governor Walker
has taken office the business climate in Wisconsin has
dramatically improved. According to
WisBusiness.com, 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
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
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is antiquated and needs to be repealed in it's
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
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
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
God Bless Wisconsin!