Wisconsin Senate to vote on $250 million tax cut

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An $250 million income tax proposal authored by Republicans was up for approval in the Wisconsin Senate on Wednesday, although Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has not yet said whether he would sign the measure into law.

Republicans were moving swiftly to pass the tax cut. The Assembly planned to vote on Thursday, its final planned session day of the year. That wound send the election-year proposal to Evers.

While Evers has not promised a veto, he has criticized the Legislature for cutting taxes rather than taking up his plan to bolster school funding. He also previously vetoed a similar income tax cut last year.

Republicans don’t have enough votes to override a veto without Democratic support. Democrats were expected to vote against the tax cut.

The bill would increase the standard deduction for income tax filers, resulting in an average reduction of $106 for most filers who would qualify. Married couples filing jointly would see an average cut of $145. All other filers would see an average reduction of $81. The cut would affect about 64% of all filers, or about 2 million people. The plan would also reduce taxes for manufacturers by nearly $45 million by exempting their machinery and tools from property taxes and would trim general state debt by $100 million.

Republicans would cover the lost revenue by tapping the state’s projected $620 million budget surplus.

Evers wants the surplus to be used to pay for a $250 million boost in funding for K-12 schools. His plan would include spending $130 million to reduce property taxes, but Republicans who control the Legislature have not taken up the proposal.

They argue that schools did well under the state budget approved last year, which boosted their funding $565 million. Republicans say taxpayers should benefit from the projected budget surplus and receive a tax cut.