Tax talk

(First published in the January 24, 2019 issue of City Pages)

GOP lawmakers announce in Wausau their proposed $340 million middle class tax cut


In Wausau last week: State Rep. Patrick Snyder (center), with other GOP Assembly representatives Scot Krug (left) and Bob Kulp, discuss a new proposal to offer tax cuts to the middle class

Rep. Patrick Snyder of Schofield and three other Republican members of the state Assembly gathered in Wausau last Thursday to announce their plan for a $340 million tax cut to the middle class.

This comes hot on the heels of a recent visit to Wausau by Gov. Tony Evers—one of his first stops after bring inaugurated on Jan. 7.

Discussing the proposal Thursday morning at 2510 Restaurant, Republican lawmakers said the plan borrows from a campaign promise the newly elected governor made during his campaign to slash $340 million in taxes on the middle class. Republican lawmakers hadn’t discussed the proposal specifically with Evers, but have had general discussions with him and said the tax cuts are part of what they hope will signal a willingness to work with the Democratic governor.

“When we met with him, it was more of a listening session,” Snyder says, who says the plan was concocted in the Republican caucus. “We talked about some the things he was looking for when it came to the budget. The main thing he had were the two things in campaign – pre-existing conditions, and getting something into law to protect that, and his middle class tax cuts.”

Snyder was joined by representatives Scott Krug of Wisconsin Rapids, Bob Kulp of Stratford, and John Spiros of Marshfield.

The tax deduction, which taxpayers would see on their 2020 tax return in 2021, would apply to Wisconsin residents earning $100,000 or less, and families earning $150,000 or less. An average median income earner would see a $310 reduction in their tax bill, according to the proposal’s proponents.

Reducing the tax bill for Wisconsin residents is one of two priorities Republican lawmakers say they had in common with Evers during a discussion early into Evers’s first term as governor; The other was protecting Wisconsin residents from being barred from insurance because of pre-existing conditions.

Snyder and Spiros Tuesday evening announced that they had voted in favor of the Assembly bill making it illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. The bill passed 76-19 in the Assembly.