GOP says no immediate plans to hike sales taxLeading Republicans say there are no immediate plans to raise Wisconsin's sales tax to lower the income tax.
By: By Shawn Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Leading Republicans say there are no immediate plans to raise Wisconsin's sales tax to lower the income tax. Their comments came a day after a top official in the Walker administration discussed the possibility at a forum in Madison.
According to a report on the Wisconsin Radio Network, Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch said the “honest and in-depth discussion” about raising the sales tax was just getting started in Wisconsin. Huebsch told the Wisconsin Counties Association that eliminating the state income tax would require Wisconsin to raise its sales tax by about eight cents, to 13 or 13.5 cents on the dollar.
Asked about Huebsch's comments, Walker told reporters not to expect it in the budget he releases this month.
“No, it won't come up in the budget,” he said. “We'll have an income tax cut, but it will be funded largely based on the surplus.”
Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos sounded a similar note.
“That is not on the table in Wisconsin,” Vos said. “It's just an interesting discussion of what other states are doing.”
But if Walker is elected to a second term, the governor told reporters he'd be open to a “wide open discussion” about tax reform. “There's some interesting ideas being kicked around. You know, we saw in Nebraska, we saw the governor of Louisiana throwing ideas out. I think one of the benefits we'll have a couple years from now as part of that debate and discussion is we'll get to see a year or two into their process whether it's been effective or not.”
This is not the first time a member of the Walker administration has floated the idea of a sales tax hike to lower other taxes. Department of Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler raised the possibility soon after Walker was elected in 2010.