Constitutional amendment proposed for state taxesMADISON, Wis. -- Backers of a plan that would make it harder to raise income or sales taxes in Wisconsin say they want their proposal written into the state's constitution.
By: Shawn Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
MADISON, Wis. -- Backers of a plan that would make it harder to raise income or sales taxes in Wisconsin say they want their proposal written into the state's constitution.
One of the special session bills proposed by Gov. Scott Walker would require a two-thirds vote by both the Assembly and Senate for any income or sales tax increase. But just as it would only take a simple majority vote by the legislature to put this requirement into law, a simple majority of a future legislature could repeal it.
A constitutional amendment would be a much different story. It would be harder to pass but harder to undo as well.
Wauwatosa Republican Sen. Leah Vukmir says she thinks it's what the public is asking for.
“We have before us an opportunity to finally stop the spending spree, control what we do with the growth of government and provide relief to the people of the state of Wisconsin because that is what they're asking us to do," says Vukmir.
But the income and sales taxes are only a couple ways the state raises revenue, not to mention local governments.
Pleasant Prairie Assembly Democrat John Steinbrink – who is also the village president -- calls this a relatively strict limit on some state taxes.
“It really provides no protection against simply passing along responsibilities for the costs and the cuts to local municipalities and schools,” says Steinbrink. “And that's something we worry about and I worry about. It's kind of a pass-the-buck legislation."
The bill to require a supermajority for tax increases could pass this month or next. A constitutional amendment would require the support of two consecutive sessions of the legislature as well as the approval of a majority of voters.