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Gov. Walker, lawmakers unveil property tax cut

Governor wants approval before tax bills are printed

MADISON, Wis. - Gov. Walker, lawmakers unveil property tax cut

Gov. Scott Walker is proposing a $100 million property tax cut.

Walker has called a special session for the Legislature to consider the idea next week. Walker announced the plan Thursday. He was joined by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Sen. Alberta Darling.

Walker said wants the proposal approved by early November so the tax cut would be effective this year.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he hopes to take up the bill by next week and enacted by next weekend. The bill would be introduced Friday, according to Vos.

Walker said the tax cut would come from higher than anticipated state tax collections.

"We're proud to take the surplus that was generated through a strong economy, through more jobs and opportunity, through prudent management of the resources the taxpayers have indebted us and putting it all into one place where we can provide significant property tax relief on this year's bill," Walker said.

According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the tax cut would result in a cut of $13 in 2013 and $20 in 2014 for the owner of a median value home.

Republican Senate President Mike Ellis said, "I don't know why anybody would be opposed to this."

Ellis said Walker plans to tap additional state revenue that's come in above projections to offset projected increases in property taxes statewide. Ellis said the effect statewide will be no net property tax increase.

"The more we looked at it and the size of the surplus, we said, "if we're going to do it, let's go big and go bold, and have a dramatic impact on the people of this state when they're paying their property tax bill," Walker said.

Ellis said the last time something was done like this was in 1993.

But Democratic Rep. Sandy Pasch said no Democrats were included in the drafting of the proposal. Walker did not discuss the plan during a meeting on Wednesday with Democratic leaders of the Senate and Assembly.

Pasch told News 3 a tax cut of $33 over two years is insulting to taxpayers when officials are trumpeting big tax cuts.

"Of course, no one wants to pay more in taxes, but I think the devil has to be in the details and what is going to be the outcome long term," Pasch said. "$33 over two years, I think you'll have to ask the average taxpayer if that will really have an impact on them."

Walker is announcing the plan just days after Democrat Mary Burke said she will be challenging him for re-election next year.

Burke was at her first campaign stop in Green Bay Thursday said she needs more information before deciding if the plan is in the state's best interest.

"I'm all in favor of lower taxes and supporting our schools, but I'd have to make sure that it really is doing just that and it is doing it in a way that is fiscally responsible and balancing the budget," Burke said.

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