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 July 16, 2021



The people of Wisconsin have a new state budget law, in effect now, that is once again responsible and reasonable and realistic.  It looks nothing like the radical left turn that Governor Tony Evers proposed only a few months ago.


Governor Evers hopes that you will forget that his proposal would have increased your taxes by more than $1 billion over just two years.  His plan included hundreds of divisive provisions that would have returned us to Doyle-era levels of borrowing and overspending.  He proposed repealing Act 10, ending school choice, legalizing recreational marijuana, adding tens of thousands of people to the welfare rolls, creating hundreds of new taxpayer-funded employees, and much, much more.


That vision is the direct opposite of what has been working well in our state and what the people of Wisconsin have rightly come to expect from their government.  Even the Wisconsin State Journal called it a "liberal wish list" and a "fantasy."




Legislators held dozens of in-person and virtual public meetings around the state in the wake of the Governor's pitch.  We threw the liberal wish list away and started the budget over.


Instead, we continued the responsible decisions that have turned Wisconsin around over the past decade.  We turned the proposed tax hike into a tax cut for working families; a typical family of four is going to save roughly $1,200.  In the end, even Governor Evers couldn't say "no" to the $3 billion tax cuts that Republicans authored without him.


The Republican budget funded Wisconsin's priorities such as education, roads and healthcare.  For instance, two-thirds of K-12 education funding will once again be supplied by the state.  There are significant increases for highway maintenance (more than what the Governor proposed) and local road construction.  Even so, this budget is already being widely hailed as the most conservative budget Wisconsin has seen in a generation.  Overall, I'm very pleased with the final product; it passed with historic bipartisan votes in both the Assembly and Senate, receiving the most "yes" votes of any state budget bill in a generation as well.


But the new law could have been even better.  In 50 places, Governor Evers exercised his powerful veto to delete parts he didn't like.  For instance:


  • As I reported in a recent newsletter, the Legislature intended to fully repeal the Personal Property Tax and all its associated paperwork that is universally dreaded by businesses everywhere.  We set aside money to make sure that local governments wouldn't receive any less funding as a result.  But the Governor vetoed the repeal; the Personal Property Tax will continue.



  • The Governor couldn't just accept the historic income tax cuts that we authored; he delayed them, for the benefit of government finances over your own.  Specifically: our plan included reducing the amounts of tax being withheld from wages; in other words, you would receive your tax cut in the form of higher take-home pay on every paycheck.  Instead, thanks to Governor Evers' veto, the government will keep collecting income tax from you all year long at the higher/old tax rate; you'll have to wait until tax filing time to receive your money back.


  • The Legislature intended to make another historic deposit into the state's "Rainy Day Fund" in case of sudden economic downturn.  The Governor vetoed that deposit.  No doubt he will soon try to put pressure on Republicans to agree to new government spending.


Those three examples sound like three new opportunities for tax cuts!  Stay tuned.


Best wishes, and enjoy your sunny weekend!


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Office of Representative Terry Katsma
State Capitol, Room 306 East
P.O. Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

(608) 266-0656
Rep.Katsma@legis.wisconsin.gov|  |