WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) - Governor Scott Walker is promoting the recently-passed budget proposal from the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee.
Walker says this budget has a considerably large amount of tax relief for the people of Wisconsin. “In total, in the budget that the Legislature has before them right now that I’m looking forward to signing when they send it to me, there’s almost one billion dollars worth of tax relief. 986-million, so almost a billion dollars.”
Walker says the nearly 1 billion in relief is going to help Wisconsin’s middle class taxpayers. “More than 80% is targeted towards middle class hard-working taxpayers in this state. That’s money that will go right back into the economy, right back into paying off bills and making purchases, really driving consumer confidence up in the state of Wisconsin.”
He says this budget gives a big break to a couple of Wisconsin’s biggest job creating businesses. “We fully fund the beginning of the manufacturing and agricultural based tax credit in this budget, and it starts this year and through 2016. It effectively wipes nearly out all of the taxable liability on manufacturing and agricultural in the state of Wisconsin, thus creating even a bigger boom in terms of those two key industries and the jobs that they create.”
The Governor knew about the additional tax cut proposal from Representative Dale Kooyenga, and he liked what he heard... especially after hearing projections of increased revenue. “I said we wanted more money for public schools, we wanted more money for tax relief for the hard-working taxpayers of this state. That’s exactly what they gave us in the budget that passed out of the Finance Committee. Had we not identified that, had we not made it a priority, I think you could have seen a thousand different ways that people would have liked to have spent that, but the vast majority of it got spent in those two areas.”
Walker has been criticized by nearly every Democrat for not expanding Medicaid and BadgerCare with additional federal dollars offered through President Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act. The Governor says there is no such thing as “free money” and he has no faith in Washington paying what they promise. “Everybody acknowledges in that city (Washington D.C.) there’s a deficit. They can’t afford what they have now, let alone adding it, so there’s going to be a lot of states that bet on the expansion that I think aren’t going to see the money. I’m not going to expose my taxpayers to have them pick up that when the bottom falls out (because) of the lack of the federal government to be able to make their commitment.”
The Governor was asked about the Joint Finance Committee’s action to defund the Department of Public Instruction’s single-vendor for school software and if he would sign or veto that provision, he only said he will consider the vetoes after he receives the complete budget. “We’ll do all of our vetoes some time, probably within six to seven days after they pass the budget. The goal, I believe, is by the third week of June to have the budget passed, so by the end of the month. My goal is to have it signed by July 1, which is the start of the next fiscal year.”
Governor Walker met with several business representatives who had questions about the budget.
His Tax Relief for Wisconsin promotional tour includes a stop in La Crosse Wednesday.