At an event intended to show fiscal cooperation between Wisconsin and Minnesota, the states' governors agreed to disagree on a topic that could affect thousands of taxpayers. It was supposed to be a quick news conference and a little summer joyride on the St. Croix River but in Hudson Friday, the governors were asked about a soon-to-expire taxation reciprocity agreement affecting taxpayers who work on one side of the border but live on the other.
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has informed Wisconsin officials he wants to speed up the payments owed to Minnesota. He sent a letter last month to his Wisconsin counterpart suggesting the Badger State pay the current more than $100 million it owes Minnesota right now rather than wait the customary 17 months. Pawlenty says would help balance his state's budget. The Republican says if Wisconsin doesn't speed up its payments, he wouldn't be averse to ending the 40-year-old reciprocity agreement.
Doyle took issue with the term "delaying" on payments. He says Wisconsin has always paid on time and that state has been paying interest on those payments. The Democrat hopes an agreement can reached so both states' citizens can have the convenience of filing a single tax return.
However, Pawlenty is not as concerned noting modern methods of tax filing such as electronic options make the process easier and more efficient than decades ago when reciprocity was established.
Doyle adds the two states had a similar disagreement when Tommy Thompson was governor and both states had budget troubles not unlike they've been going through lately.