GOP proposes $3 billion in tax cuts, finalize state budget

NOW: GOP proposes $3 billion in tax cuts, finalize state budget

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MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Republican lawmakers introduced their plan to cut taxes by more than $3 billion, a proposal inserted into the next state budget as lawmakers wrapped up their work Thursday evening.  

Republicans touted the plan as "historic" which would cut income, property and personal property taxes, but there's no guarantee Gov. Tony Evers would support it.  

"We know getting more money into the hands of Wisconsin families is incredibly important," said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester). 

The GOP tax cut plan would save a typical family $1,200 a year, which applies to those earning an adjusted gross income of $100,000 or more, according to a memo by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.  

A tax break, approved by Republicans on the budget committee, was made possible by lowering the income tax rate from 6.27% to 5.3% for those making anywhere from $24,000 - $263,000.  

"It's hard to imagine the amount of tax relief we're providing today," said Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg).  

Personal property taxes that businesses pay on their equipment and furnishings would also be eliminated under the GOP proposal, setting aside $202 million. But Democrats warned it's premature since Republicans will have to draft separate legislation -- putting that portion of the plan in limbo. 

"It's a little deceptive to say we are eliminating the personal property tax, cause we're not," said Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point). "It is a little disingenuous to not see a draft of legislation." 

Democrats also criticized the tax cuts since many low and middle-income families wouldn't see any benefits and instead wanted to put more money towards schools.  

"There are over 1 million filers let out of this tax break," said Sen. LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee). "Individuals making $24,000 or less get nothing, not a damn thing." 

The tax cut plan was made possible after the state is now expected to take in $4.4 billion more in tax revenues over the next three years, much more than anticipated.  

Education Funding  

The GOP budget also now meets federal guidelines to secure more $2.3 billion in federal stimulus aid. The state will meet that commitment now by cutting local property taxes levied by schools and technical colleges by $647 million and replace that will state funding.  

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