MADISON, Wis. — Reflecting on the budget plan passed by the Republican controlled state legislature, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos last week declared to reporters his preference would have been to include more tax giveaways for the wealthy. According to news reports, Vos said he wanted to cut taxes for upper income brackets, in addition to other special state tax loopholes benefitting the wealthiest and corporations saved under his budget plan.
“From start to finish Robin Vos and his Republican cohorts have shown they were more interested in pandering to special interests than working with Gov. Tony Evers to pass a budget for the people of Wisconsin,” said One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Analiese Eicher. “They started by rejecting investments in health care and help for student loan borrowers while attending a high dollar fundraiser hosted by Washington D.C. lobbyists and ended by keeping open tax loopholes worth nearly $1.4 billion for corporations and the wealthiest.”
As they attended a special interest shakedown at a Washington D.C. lobbying firm in May, Republican leadership in the Wisconsin state legislature released a memo announcing they were axing state budget proposals like those to help student loan borrowers and to increase access to affordable healthcare.
Republican legislators followed up by voting in late June to slash proposed investments in K-12 public education and the University of Wisconsin in the version of the 2019 state budget they adopted last week.
Eicher noted that tax giveaways for the wealthy emerged unscathed in the budget passed by Vos, at great cost to the rest of us. An analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau shows the actions of the Republicans to reject adopting in state tax code federal action to close a number of corporate tax loopholes, including ones for food and beverages and compensation for executives, while maintaining existing giveaways to the wealthy on capital gains and a manufacturing tax exemption total $1.383 billion.
“No one would accuse millionaire Speaker Robin Vos of being sympathetic to the day to day concerns of the vast majority of Wisconsinites. Publicly wishing he could have done more than protecting $1.4 billion in giveaways for wealthy people like himself after cutting health care and education is especially odious, even for him.”