State Republicans closer to passing middle-class tax cut

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Republicans are inching closer to sending their middle-class tax cut plan to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

The state Assembly passed the bill 61-33 on Tuesday. It now goes to the state Senate, which is expected to take it up Wednesday. Approval would send the bill to Evers' desk, where it appears destined to die.

Evers has said he can't support the bill because it relies on a budget surplus to backfill lost revenue resulting from the cuts.

He hasn't said outright that he'd veto it, but he said Tuesday that he can't understand why the GOP would tap reserves to pay for the tax cut. "I can't understand how we can possibly use up all the surplus for this and then ignore the rest of the budget," he says.

Evers has proposed his own tax cut plan. Half of it would be funded by limiting tax credits manufacturers can receive. He hasn't said how he would fund the rest but on Wednesday said the proposal should be debated as part of the 2019-21 state budget.

Evers tells reporters he remains hopeful that a compromise can be reached but "we believe our proposal is the best one."

Republicans have balked at the thought of capping tax breaks for manufacturers, saying there's no need to raise taxes on them in light of the surplus.