Tax burden continues to grow for WisconsinitesNearly 35 cents of every dollar earned in Wisconsin last year was paid to federal, state and local tax coffers.
By: FORUM COMMUNICATIONS, The Daily Telegram
Nearly 35 cents of every dollar earned in Wisconsin last year was paid to federal, state and local tax coffers.
Residents also paid more in taxes in 2007 than in 2006 — the fourth consecutive year the tax burden increased, according to a report by the non-partisan Wisconsin Taxpayer’s Alliance. The report, called “Wisconsin's Total Taxes: 2007,” showed the burden rose from 33.7 percent in 2006.
“The trend we are seeing is an increase in Wisconsin's tax burden every year since 2003, when the tax burden was at 30.7 percent,” said Penny Durham, one of the report’s authors.
The largest amount was in 2000, when taxes claimed 36.8 percent of an individual’s income.
In 2007, federal taxes jumped the most, going up 10.8 percent and claiming 65 percent of state residents’ tax burden. Findings also showed:
• State taxes and fees jumped 3.9 percent, down from 7.9 percent in 2006.
• Local taxes grew at just 3 percent. Local taxes are the least volatile, the report said.
• The biggest tax paid by Wisconsinites is property tax, which grew by 4.6 percent in 2007.
“Property taxes grew less than in previous years because of increases in the school levy credit (state aid to schools) and the lottery credit,” Durham said. She added that without the increases in those two credits, the property tax burden would have jumped 4.9 percent.
It’s not just individual state residents paying more, according to the report.
Corporate income taxes grew 14.1 percent in 2007 to $890.1 million, which established a record and was the fifth consecutive year of an increase.
“In general, corporate income taxes mirror the health of the economy. When there are increases, it tends to show healthy economic times, because when corporations earn more, they pay more in taxes,” Durham said.
Not all revenues from taxes increased in 2007. The report found that less money was generated from real estate transfer fees because of slower home sales. Cigarette tax revenues also declined, dropping 1.8 percent to $296.1 million due to reduced smoking.