This week, Assembly and Senate Republicans met together as a group with Governor Tony Evers. We stressed during our meeting that increasing taxes and expanding government-run health care are two areas in which we are unlikely to find common ground. However—as we offered in our recent letter to the Governor, which I shared with you in last week’s newsletter—we agree with him that (1) covering preexisting health conditions and (2) addressing our state’s high income tax burden are goals toward which we can work together.
I’ll vote (again) in the Assembly early next week to make sure that preexisting conditions continue to be covered in Wisconsin. And, just yesterday, my colleagues and I offered a way to achieve the Governor’s promised middle-class tax cut without raising anyone’s taxes.
Despite what you may hear, Wisconsin has been running a budget surplus. Our economy has grown and our budgeting practices have been sound over the past eight years; we are ending Fiscal Year 2018 with a nearly $600 million surplus. By definition, the state government has overcharged you; we collected more money than the government needed to fulfill its two-year plan.
So, yes, we can afford to fulfill one of the Governor’s most significant campaign promises—to deliver a $340 million income-tax cut to individuals who earn less than $100,000 and families who earn less than $150,000. We propose to do this by increasing your standard deduction (without having to create yet another complicated tax credit, and without having to write yet another paragraph of instructions on your tax forms). We don’t have to increase taxes on businesses or, of all people, farmers, to do it, as the Governor suggested on TV. It’s going to be meaningful, too: a median-income family would see a $310 reduction annually, which is more than 10 percent of their annual income-tax liability. Our plan will receive consideration in the Assembly and Senate in the next few weeks.
Wisconsinites today endure the lowest overall tax burden they have experienced in 50 years, but the numbers show that we can still do better. As always, I encourage you to follow my updates on social media or contact my office directly with your questions. Best wishes on your weekend!
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary employment estimates for the month of December. The unemployment rate for December remained at 3.0 percent, making it the 11th straight month the rate remained at or below 3.0 percent.
I will be having two listening sessions in Sheboygan and Sheboygan Falls to meet with you about the issues you feel most need to be brought to my attention. These joint listening sessions will be with Rep. Tyler Vorpagel from the 27th Assembly District and Senator Devin LeMahieu.
The times and locations are as follows:
January 28th, 2019
2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Mead Public Library
710 N 8th St, Sheboygan, WI 53081
January 28th, 2019
4:00 p.m.-4:45 p.m.
Sheboygan Falls Memorial Library
330 Buffalo St, Sheboygan Falls, WI 53085
I hope to see as many of you there as possible. If you are unable to attend, please know that you can always contact my office at 608-266-0656 or at Rep.Katsma@legis.wisconsin.gov.