Will Walker Finally Say How He Will Pay for $3 Billion in Tax Cuts, Loopholes, Shift for Rich, Big Business?

In June, Walker Promised to Say 'In Coming Weeks,' Three Months Later Still No Answer about Cuts to Education, Health Care, Police, Firefighters

MADISON, Wis. — Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker remains unwilling to identify the cuts to education, health care, police and fire protection he would make to pay for nearly $3 billion in tax cuts, loopholes and shifts he has proposed, which overwhelmingly benefit the rich and big business. The $3 billion tab is in addition to the $2.7 billion projected state budget deficit.

“For nearly a year Scott Walker has unveiled a steady stream of tax cuts, shifts and loopholes to benefit the rich and big business,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Scott Walker’s continuing refusal to list the cuts to education, health care and police and fire he will make to pay for them is insulting to the middle class Wisconsinites who will pay for it.”

Walker has refused to provide any specifics on what he would cut to pay for his proposed tax cuts, loopholes and shifts totaling nearly $3 billion, including his plans to:

  • Slash income taxes for the top one percent of income earners who make more than $225,000 a year — two-year budget cost: $287 million.
  • Reopen the “Las Vegas Loophole” which allows Wisconsin businesses to shelter their tax obligations to Wisconsin families through phantom “offices” in states without corporate income tax — two-year budget cost: $187 million.
  • Repeal changes made to the capital gains tax deduction, despite the fact 70 percent of capital gains filings are from those earning more than $200,000 a year — two-year budget cost: $243 million.
  • Shelter the assets of the wealthiest Wisconsinites even more by a radical end to tax paid on retirement income, regardless of income — two-year budget cost: $920 million.
  • Shift tax revenue from new car sales into the transportation fund — two-year budget cost: $1 billion.

[Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 2/23/09, 7/8/09, 1/25/10; “Upfront,” WISN-TV, 11/8/09; La Crosse Tribune, 11/24/09; Wisconsin State Journal, 6/20/10]

According to one news story, “Walker hasn’t made clear how many of those tax cuts or shifts he would deliver in the 2011-‘13 budget, making it difficult to judge how much in added cuts or other measures he would have to take to balance the budget.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/12/10]

Walker first started rolling out his tax cuts for the rich and big business plan in November 2009. In June, one news outlet reported, “Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, has yet to state publicly what cuts he would make, though his campaign says he will in the coming weeks.” [Appleton Post-Crescent, 6/13/10]

“Scott Walker wants to raid our education, health care and police and fire protection funds to finance tax cuts for the rich and big business,” said Ross. “How long is going to get away without having to provide specific details of just how deep these cuts will be?”

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.