Eliminating income tax discussed at EC roundtable with Lt. Gov. Kleefisch

By: Joe Nelson Email
By: Joe Nelson Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) Governor Scott Walker has talked about eliminating state income tax, but it's unclear if higher sales or property taxes would replace it.

“The governor really wants to lower the overall tax burden in Wisconsin. And the way you do that is by asking the frontlines of taxpaying in Wisconsin what they would like to see,” Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (R) said after a roundtable discussion on tax reform in Eau Claire Wednesday.

UW Stout associate professor David Seim, who teaches a course on the history of economics, said doing raising sales tax and eliminating income tax could hurt the lower class.

"If you increase sales taxes you really impact people who are less able to pay these higher sales taxes and withstand it,” Seim said. "The tax burden shifts away from those who are wealthier to those who have less income and less wealth."

“We need to study the feasibility of enacting some of the great changes that have been suggested today and in the past and hopefully will be suggested in the future,” Kleefisch said.

"I would like to think that those planning the policy have done calculations would like to think that they've done some research and do the calculations to figure out the impact," Seim said. "My worry is that short term negatives on certain groups will never be compensated by longer term economic growth."

“We want the best ideas. The way we get the best ideas is by casting a very wide net,” Kleefisch said.

Kleefisch's staff said it expects to do about 15 more roundtable discussions on tax reform throughout the state into the new year.


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