Madison – Today Rep. John Jagler (R-Watertown) voted in favor of reducing property taxes by $100 million throughout the state during a special session called by Governor Walker. The legislation, which passed on a bipartisan vote, will accomplish this by increasing general school aids by $100 million over the biennium in order to push down property taxes.
“This tax cut was possible because of the strong leadership of Governor Walker and Republicans in the legislature,” Jagler said. “Through various reforms and smart fiscal decisions we turned our state’s $3.6 billion deficit into a $760 million surplus. Our rainy day fund has reached its highest balance in our state’s history. Now that our economy is improving it’s time to return these funds to taxpayers,” said Jagler.
In the last two budgets, including this year’s historic income tax cut, Republicans have provided $1.5 billion in tax relief to Wisconsin residents. In addition, property taxes are projected to be lower on the median-valued home than when Republicans took the majority in the Legislature four years ago. This comes after a 27 percent increase in property taxes over the previous decade.
In addition to the property tax cut, the Assembly passed legislation that would double Wisconsin’s historic preservation tax credit from 10% to 20%. This would bring the state in line with Indiana, Minnesota, and Illinois, where levels are currently set at 20%.
“Increasing the tax credit to 20% will help Wisconsin compete against neighboring states for federal development funds,” said Jagler. “This bill will help encourage developers to rehab some of the vacant buildings in our downtown areas. This will no doubt lead to a brighter future for these historic properties.”
Mayor John David of Watertown agreed with Rep. Jagler’s assessment. “We have a very historic downtown. This additional tax credit would be huge to help have our buildings rehabbed,” said David. “It would make it so much easier to find developers if this went through.”