August 21, 2014

Walker disclaims plans to hike sales tax

Governor Scott Walker says he won’t jack up the state sales tax in the upcoming budget.

Governors in other states are discussing a sales tax increase to help reduce or eliminate income taxes. Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch on Tuesday said Governor Walker “is considering” raising the sales tax by 8 cents — up to 13 percent from its current rate of 5 percent. Walker told reporters on Wednesday such a proposal is not in the new budget he plans to introduce later this month. “No, it won’t come up in the budget.”

But maybe later. “In terms of going forward, I’m open, going into the next budget and ultimately which means the next election having a wide open discussion about tax reform … but I don’t have a specific plan.”

Walker will keep an eye on progress in other states, saying there are “some interesting ideas being kicked around” in Louisiana, Nevada, and elsewhere; and in a couple of years Wisconsin will have the benefit of seeing the result of those ideas.

Regarding a state sales tax hike in Wisconsin, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) told reporters, “That is not on the table in Wisconsin. So, that is not on the table. It’s just an interesting discussion of what other states are doing.”

Opponents say a sales tax increase would harm low and middle income families.