Evers budget to include 10% middle-class tax cut

Gov. Tony Evers announced provisions in his 2023–25 biennial budget that will deliver on his promise made last August to fight for a 10% middle-class tax cut. The plan aims to build upon income tax cuts signed by Gov. Evers since taking office that have returned $1.4 billion annually to taxpayers by delivering more than $1.2 billion in targeted tax relief to working families, parents, veterans, caregivers, seniors, and student loan borrowers, among others, while limiting tax giveaways to wealthy earners.

Among the governor’s proposals are a plan to create a fairer tax code, provide tax relief to working families, provide targeted tax relief for seniors and veterans, protect student loan borrowers, and provide tax relief for businesses in the state.

Small businesses make up more than 99% of Wisconsin businesses, employ nearly half of Wisconsin workers, and are more likely to hire locally, buy supplies locally, and reinvest in local communities, the governor’s announcement said.

In his 2023–25 budget, Evers is providing small businesses with additional tax relief by:

  • Fully repealing Wisconsin’s personal property tax and providing more than $200 million in tax relief for businesses.
    • Because this provision also provides $202.4 million in fiscal year 2024–25 to compensate all local taxing jurisdictions for the reduction in their property tax bases, homeowners will be protected from any shift in property tax burden; and
    • Payments to local governments to offset the reduction in property taxes will continue and increase with inflation;
  • Increasing the refundable share of the research credit for businesses from 15% under current law to 50% beginning in tax year 2024.
    • This increase will provide $16.1 million in tax relief to businesses in fiscal year 2023–24 and $64.4 million annually beginning in fiscal year 2024–25, further incentivizing critical research and development spending by Wisconsin businesses and improving their competitiveness in developing new products; and

Refundability of the research credit is important because many of the most innovative startup companies do not have the tax liability to offset with a nonrefundable credit. Providing enhanced refundability gives new firms a meaningful incentive to conduct research in Wisconsin.