Property taxes on the median-value home in Wisconsin would increase by the same amount under the spending plans put forward by Gov. Tony Evers and the GOP-controlled Legislature.
The figures released Tuesday by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau come a week before lawmakers vote on a two-year state budget plan that will need to survive Evers’ veto pen.
Evers has the ability to use his partial veto authority to make revisions to the budget — or throw out the entire document, something a Wisconsin governor has never done.
The fiscal bureau estimates the tax bills on a $174,000, median-value home would be $2,927, a 2% increase, and $2,975, a 1.6% increase, under both Evers’ and the Republican budgets.
Those are upticks from the current budget, under which property taxes increased by 1.1% a year ago and are estimated to have decreased by 0.2% on the most recent tax bill.
Evers’ $83.8 billion plan would also have given the average middle-class taxpayer an annual income tax cut of $217, while the $81.4 billion Republican plan, coupled with a separate tax-cut bill, would provide a total income tax cut of about $136 by 2020.
Evers would raise up to $518 million in taxes on large manufacturers to help pay for his income tax cut.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, defended the GOP budget on Tuesday, arguing it focuses on Republican priorities while not raising net taxes.
Vos’ comments come a day after Evers chided the plan Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee put forward for transportation; it would more than double vehicle title fees and raise car registration fees, currently $75, by $10 to generate $484 million in new revenue for the state’s roads.
Evers wants to raise the gas tax by 8 cents per gallon and increase heavy truck fees, changes he said would be a more equitable solution for funding Wisconsin’s road system because they would account for out-of-state drivers and miles driven.
Republicans argue gas taxes have declining value because they do not account for more fuel-efficient cars and electric vehicles, which are becoming more popular. Vos added gas taxes may end up costing the average Wisconsin driver more than the GOP proposal to increase fees.
The Republican transportation plan, which the budget committee passed earlier this month, is part of a broader two-year state budget that would increase school funding by $500 million and University of Wisconsin System funding by about $45 million; cut income taxes for middle class filers by about $136 by 2020; and set aside $1.9 billion for large construction projects.