Evers vetoes three GOP tax cut bills

MADISON Wis. (CBS 58) -- Key components of Republicans sweeping $2.1 billion plan to cut taxes in Wisconsin was rejected by Gov. Tony Evers.

Evers vetoed three bills he said, if enacted, would have "set Wisconsin on a path towards insolvency."

One of the proposals would have expanded the second income tax bracket to lower taxes on those earning between $19,000 and $150,000 per year.

Another bill would cut retirement income by exempting up to $75,000 retirement income for single filers and $150,000 for joint filers.

The third measure Evers rejected would have increased tax credits for newly married couples.

In his veto message, Evers expressed concerns the proposals could be risky given the state's financial situation.

“When we deliver tax relief for the people of Wisconsin — just as we have — it should be real relief aimed at helping Wisconsin’s working families afford rising costs, and it should be responsible and sustainable, ensuring we can keep taxes low now and into the future without causing devastating cuts to priorities like public schools and public safety down the road," Evers said in a statement. "Republican members of the Wisconsin State Legislature today once again fail to balance these important obligations."

Lawmakers have a project $3.25 billion state surplus, which is about $800 million less than estimates six months ago, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

All three bills passed the GOP-controlled Legislature without Democratic support. Republican authors of the proposals said they crafted them to make the state more attractive.

In 2021, Evers signed a $2 billion tax cut in the state budget, but since then he's rejected a series of tax proposals authored by Republicans because he argued they primarily benefited the wealthiest residents.

“Despite repeated opportunities provided by Legislative Republicans, Governor Evers refuses to support tax cuts that directly benefit the middle class, even when using defined parameters on what he deems as middle class," said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos in a statement.

One bill included in the GOP tax package that could become law includes expanding a child care tax credit, a measure Evers signaled his support for. The governor has not yet acted on the bill.

Under the proposal, the child and dependent expense credit would increase to $10,000 for one child and $20,000 for two or more kids.

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