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UPDATE: Governor signs tax cut bill at Cecil farm

UPDATED Monday, March 24, 2014 --- 4:08 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker will sign his tax cut bill at a farm in Shawano County.

Walker will sign the legislation Monday at Horsens Homestead Farms in Cecil.

The bill devotes a large chunk of the state's $977 million surplus to property and income tax cuts. It sends $406 million to technical colleges to reduce their property tax hit and cuts income taxes by nearly $99 million.

For taxpayers, the measure amounts to a $131 reduction on a median-valued home's tax bill this December and saves the average worker $46 in annual income taxes.

Democrats criticized the bill as an election year gimmick. Walker faces re-election in November.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 18, 2014 --- 2:32 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Assembly has passed Gov. Scott Walker's $504 million tax cut plan.

The chamber approved the bill 61-35 Tuesday. The Senate passed it earlier this month; Assembly approval sends the bill onto to Walker for his signature.

Walker wants to use a portion of the state's projected $977 million surplus to fund property and income tax cuts. He introduced a bill in January that would send $406 million to technical colleges to reduce their property tax hit and cut income taxes by $98 million by reducing the lowest bracket from 4.4 percent to 4 percent.

The end result would be a $131 reduction a median home's tax bill this December and $46 in annual income tax savings for the average worker.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 4, 2014 --- 3:27 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Senate has approved Republican Gov. Scott Walker's $504 million tax cut plan.

The proposal would send $406 million to technical colleges to reduce their property tax hit and cut income taxes by $98.6 million. The plan would shrink property taxes on a median-valued home by $131 on this December's bills and save the typical taxpayer $46 in income taxes.

The Senate passed the bill 17-15 Tuesday. The Assembly passed the measure last month but the bill has to go back to that house because the Legislature's budget committee tweaked it before the Senate took it up.

The Senate also unanimously approved another Walker proposal Tuesday to create $35 million in job training grants. That bill now goes to Walker for his signature.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 4, 2014 --- 6:20 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Senate is set to vote on Republican Gov. Scott Walker's $504 million tax cut plan.

The proposal would send $406 million to technical colleges to reduce their property tax hit and cut income taxes by $98.6 million. The plan would shrink property taxes on a median-valued home by $131 on this December's bills and save the typical taxpayer $46 in income taxes.

The Senate is scheduled to take up the bill Tuesday along with another Walker proposal to create $35 million in new Department of Workforce Development job training grants. Both bills would be funded through the state's $977 million surplus.

Democrats have argued the tax cuts should be more narrowly focused on the middle class and worker training programs, Medicaid and transportation deserve more money.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Saturday, March 1, 2014 --- 6:54 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin state Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday on Gov. Scott Walker's proposed property and income tax cut plan.

The tax cut bill and one that makes $35 million available for a variety of worker training initiatives are the only proposals before the Senate on Tuesday.

Walker's proposal would reduce property taxes for the owner of a median-valued home by $131 on the bill mailed in December. The income tax cut would reduce the lowest bracket from 4.4 percent to 4 percent, saving the typical taxpayer $46.

Democratic critics have argued that the tax cuts need to be more narrowly focused to benefit the middle class, increase spending on worker training programs, reduce debt and address projected shortfalls in Medicaid and transportation funding.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, February 19, 2014 --- 12:45 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Legislature's budget committee has signed off on a deal to move Gov. Scott Walker's $504 million property and income tax cut bill forward.

Walker wants to use dollars from the state's projected $977 million surplus to fund the cuts. The state Assembly passed the bill earlier this month but Senate Republicans have been hesitant to embrace the proposal. They're worried Walker's plan would increase a projected shortfall in the state's next budget to $807 million.

Republicans reached a deal Tuesday that calls for placing $118 million into the state's general fund rather than in its rainy day account, requiring state agencies to return $38 million to the state's general fund during the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2015.

The Joint Finance Committee approved the changes 12-4 Wednesday.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, February 19, 2014 --- 10:09 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker says he supports a compromise deal worked out among Republican legislative leaders on his half billion dollar tax cut plan.

The deal to be voted on by the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee on Wednesday retains the $406 million property tax cut and $98.6 million income tax cut. It makes other changes to reduce a projected budget shortfall from about $807 million to about $660 million.

Walker said Wednesday that "the tax cuts are what I wanted." He says other changes negotiated by lawmakers were less important to him.

His original plan has already passed the Assembly. The new version will first go to the Senate, then back to the Assembly next month for final passage.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, February 18, 2014 --- 1:04 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says lawmakers are close on a deal that will lead to passage of Gov. Scott Walker's income and property tax package.

Fitzgerald said Tuesday that lawmakers were committed to the $406 million property tax cuts and $98.6 million income tax reductions. He says talks are now focused on whether to cut $35 million that has been collected across state government in fees but not spent.

He says the Senate also wants to move money around to reduce a projected shortfall in the next budget from $807 million to at least $690 million.

The Legislature's budget-writing Joint Finance Committee plans to vote Wednesday on the plan. Fitzgerald says he expects the final parameters of the deal to be worked out by then.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, February 18, 2014 --- 9:15 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican state senators appear to have reached agreement on Gov. Scott Walker's $504 million property and income tax cut plan, scheduling a vote Wednesday in the Legislature's budget committee to approve the bill.

Discussions in the Senate have revolved around whether to keep $100 million in the state's rainy day fund, which is akin to a savings account, or move it into the general fund, or checking account.

Rep. John Nygren, the Republican co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee, says he doesn't know what senators have agreed to. But he said Tuesday that there has been no talk of actually changing the tax cuts as proposed.

Messages left with Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Sen. Alberta Darling, the committee's other co-chair, were not immediately returned.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, February 12, 2014 --- 2:53 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker says he's still open to working with lawmakers on his half billion dollar property and income tax cut proposal that passed the Assembly and is awaiting action in the Senate.

Walker said Wednesday that he doesn't care when the Senate gets to the bill, as long as they pass it before they leave for the year likely sometime in April.

The Assembly passed the bill on a 62-37 vote Tuesday, with all Republicans and two Democrats in support. The Assembly added a $7.5 million sales tax exemption for contractors who do work on projects for certain local governments and certain nonprofits.

Walker shrugged off a question about that change, saying "if we get 99 percent of what we want, we'll declare victory and move forward."

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, February 11, 2014 ---- 5:55 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Assembly has passed Gov. Scott Walker's $504 million property and income tax cut plan on a bipartisan 62-37 vote.

The vote Tuesday now sends the bill to the Senate, where Republicans in control there have said they want to make changes to how much money is put into savings while not significantly altering the tax cuts.

Before passing the bill the Assembly rejected a Democratic alternative that called for spending more on job training and reducing property taxes.

Republicans say they support Walker's plan because it returns much of a $912 million budget surplus.

Walker's proposal would cut property taxes for the owner of a typical home by $131 on the bill mailed in December. It also would reduce income taxes by an average of $46 per taxpayer.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press
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UPDATED Tuesday, February 11, 2014 ---- 5:45 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin state Assembly plans to vote on Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to cut property and income taxes by $504 million.

The scheduled vote Tuesday comes even as Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has been critical of the Assembly moving ahead before the Legislature's budget committee has considered the bill.

Senate Republicans are pursuing changes to the proposal, specifically related to how much money is put in the state's rainy day fund, akin to a savings account, and how much is kept in the state's general fund, which acts like a checking account.

Democrats don't have the votes to stop the bill in the Assembly. They have been critical of how the tax cuts are structured, saying they don't do enough to help the middle class.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 11:20 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A state Assembly committee has passed Gov. Scott Walker's half billion dollar property and income tax cut bill.

Passage of the proposal Thursday clears the way for it to be taken up by the full Assembly on Tuesday. Another committee earlier Thursday also passed Walker's bill to spend $35 million on worker training initiatives.

Democratic opponents say the Assembly is moving too quickly on the proposals. Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has also been critical of the Assembly's approach, saying the measures should first go to the Joint Finance Committee before being debated.

The tax cut proposal would spending $406 million on cutting property taxes and about $98 million to reduce income taxes. It cleared the committee on a party line 8-6 vote.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, February 6, 2014 --- 6:30 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker's half billion property and income tax cut plan is scheduled for a committee vote, clearing the way for the full Assembly to take it up on Tuesday.

Another Walker proposal spending $35 million to bolster worker training programs and put more people with developmental disabilities to work is also scheduled for a committee vote on Thursday.

The votes come as Walker is scheduled to speak before the state chamber of commerce at its annual business day gathering. Walker is expected to tout the tax cut bills, which have found broad support among Republicans in the Assembly but has run into some trouble in the Senate.

Some Senate Republicans have said they're concerned because the proposal would increase the state's projected budget shortfall by $100 million.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, February 5, 2014 --- 10:33 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker says he is open to making "tweaks" to his half-billion dollar tax cut plan, as Senate Republicans continue closed door discussions about changes they want to see to the plan.

Walker said Wednesday he expects the proposal will pass the Legislature largely as introduced, but he's talking with Senate Republicans about possible changes related to how much money is set aside in the state's rainy day fund.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says his caucus discussed the plan at length on Tuesday night and there are still concerns about increasing the size of the state's structural deficit by $100 million.

The Assembly is moving ahead with a public hearing on the plan Wednesday. Fitzgerald says he doesn't feel pressure for the Senate to act.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, February 5, 2014 --- 5:35 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The public will get a chance to speak out on Gov. Scott Walker's proposed $504 million tax cut plan at a hearing before a state Assembly committee.

The Assembly Jobs, Economy and Mining Committee scheduled a hearing Wednesday on the tax cut proposal. The hearing comes as some Senate Republicans have raised concerns about details of Walker's tax cut proposal.

Walker wants to cut property taxes by $406 million and income taxes by $98 million. The average tax reduction this year for a family of four who owns a median-valued home would be $177.

Walker argues the money should be returned to taxpayers because it comes from surplus state tax collections. But some lawmakers have raised concerns because his plan would add about $100 million to the state's structural deficit.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, February 3, 2014 --- 4:24 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A public hearing on Gov. Scott Walker's half billion dollar property and income tax cut plan has been scheduled for Wednesday before a state Assembly committee.

A separate hearing on Walker's proposal to spend $35 million on a program to increase worker training and connect people with high-demand jobs is scheduled for Tuesday.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has said he wants to move quickly on passing Walker's proposals, which the governor unveiled in last month's State of the State address. The full Assembly is expected to take up the bills next week.

But things are not moving as quickly in the Senate. Neither of the proposals has been scheduled for hearings in that chamber.

The bills must pass both the Senate and Assembly in identical form before going to Walker.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, January 28, 2014 --- 3:53 p.m,

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A new analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau says the average taxpayer who owns a home will save $177 under Gov. Scott Walker's property and income tax cut proposal.

The memo released Tuesday comes as lawmakers continue to digest Walker's $504 million tax cut plan he unveiled last week in his State of the State speech.

Some Republicans in the Senate are questioning whether to go along entirely with Walker's plan because it will increase the state's projected budget shortfall by about $100 million to $807 million.

The memo shows that the average income tax cut for all filers would be $46. The owner of a median-valued $151,000 home would save $131 under the plan.

Walker is also updating income tax withholding tables to put more money into paychecks.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, January 23, 2014 --- 1:50 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker says increasing the state's projected budget shortfall will not be a deal breaker, even though some Republican senators have expressed concerns about it.

Walker said Thursday he expects his half billion dollars tax cut plan to receive bipartisan support in the Legislature.

Walker commented after touting his tax cut plan at a meeting of the Wisconsin Grocers Association. He says a growing state economy will help erase any projected shortfall expected for the budget year started in mid-2015.

Walker's property and income tax cuts are expected to increase the state's shortfall from about $700 million to $800 million. But that estimated doesn't account for any increased state tax collections, which Walker is counting on.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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Posted Thursday, January 23, 2014 --- 8:51 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker is taking to the road to make the case for his $504 million property and income tax cut proposal.

Some aspects of his plan are raising alarms among Senate Republicans who worry about how much it increases the state's projected budget shortfall.

Walker started Thursday touring a business in La Crosse. He also planned stops in Madison and De Pere before ending the day speaking to the Hurley Chamber of Commerce.

Walker's tax cuts would increase the state's projected shortfall heading into the 2015 budget by $100 million. Walker says that will more than be erased by future revenue growth, but some Republicans say they are worried about the perception.

Republican Sen. Luther Olsen says some tax cut proposal will pass, but there will be changes.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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