State and local tax burden reaches new low after $1 billion cut

Wisconsin’s state and local tax burden fell again in 2022 to its lowest level on record, due to a $1 billion income tax cut, tight limits on property taxes, and strong growth in residents’ incomes, a new Wisconsin Policy Forum report finds.

The tax burden is the total tax revenues collected in Wisconsin, measured as a share of statewide personal income. This percentage has been in a steady long-term decline in Wisconsin and fell again in the 12-month state fiscal year that ended June 30, 2022. The state’s local tax burden has never been lower in more than a half century of data, the report finds, and state and federal tax burdens on families and businesses are also near historic lows.

Total state and local tax collections in Wisconsin rose to $35.36 billion in fiscal year 2022, up 4.1% from $33.97 billion the previous year. But since that was markedly lower than the growth in personal income, the overall tax burden fell.

In fiscal 2022, state and local tax revenues fell as a share of personal income to just under 10.1% — down from 10.3% in 2021 and from 11.4% a decade ago. It was the lowest level in Forum records going back to 1970.