Tax report to Walker generated after series of statewide meetings offers no recommendations

A report submitted to Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday that came out of nearly two dozen meetings around the state concludes that Wisconsin taxes are too high and too complicated, but makes no specific recommendations about what to do about it.

With an eye on future tax policy changes, Walker had asked Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler to gathered input. They met with business and manufacturing leaders, farmers, elected officials, private citizens and others at 23 meetings this year.

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The most common complaint was over property taxes, followed by income taxes, according to the report.

Walker had promised during his re-election campaign to continue lowering property and income taxes, but hasn't come up with a specific plan. Complicating any tax cut is the fact that Wisconsin faces a $2.2 billion projected budget shortfall and the state Department of Transportation wants to raise taxes and fees by $751 million to pay for roads projects.

Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature cut taxes by about $2 billion during his first term, with a focus on both property and income taxes as well as manufacturing taxes. Walker is set to release his two-year state budget plan early next year.

"The good news is that we're on the right track with the $2 billion in tax relief these past four years, but people feel like we still have more work to do to bring the tax burden down for families and job creators," Kleefisch said in a statement.

Even though Walker isn't saying yet what his tax cut plans are for his second term, others are starting to float ideas.

The state chamber of commerce president said Monday that one of its priorities was eliminating the top income tax bracket that applies a higher rate to individuals earning more than $236,600 a year.


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