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Legislative Agenda 2013-14: Taxes & Government Spending

Unfortunately, Wisconsin has consistently ranked among the top 10 highest-taxed states in the nation. High taxes create a competitive disadvantage for Wisconsin employers by increasing the cost of doing business here compared to other states. High income and property taxes also reduce the buying power of Wisconsin families, making it more difficult to grow our economy. Lawmakers should focus on reducing the tax burden in Wisconsin to move our state off the list of highest-taxed states in the country. To accomplish this goal, WMC supports the following initiatives: 
•           Lower personal and corporate income tax rates. Repeal the top 7.75 percent individual income tax bracket created in 2009 and reduce the lower brackets. Reduce the 7.9 percent corporate income tax rate to match the revised top individual income tax bracket. 
•           Maintain property tax controls. Continue meaningful limits on school and local government property taxes, while allowing for reasonable increases from new development. 
•           Enact tax administration reforms. Adopt the federal economic substance statute, repeal the additional penalties adopted in 2009 for producing documents, reaffirm that property tax assessments are based on reasonable principles, and allow the state to waive interest and settle based on the ability of taxpayers to pay. 
•           Encourage balanced budgeting. Balance the budget to avoid unsustainable spending and prevent the need for future tax increases. Our state budget should follow generally accepted accounting principles, avoid raids on dedicated funds, and maintain a healthy reserve/budget stabilization fund. 
•           Phase out the personal property tax. Items that can be removed from real estate without affecting it are considered personal property. As this tax imposed on business is difficult to administer and costly to comply with, begin phasing the tax out. 
•           Reform the treatment of throwback sales. Presently the 100 percent sales factor of the apportionment formula is applied to “throwback sales,” which is a tax assessed on sales in states without an income tax. Repeal this burden on Wisconsin firms that succeed at selling in other parts of the country.




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