Governor Scott Walker used his State of the State address Wednesday night to lay out a blueprint for Wisconsin. As expected, Walker focused on tax relief and his assertion that the state is moving forward. “The state of our state is strong and improving every day,” Walker said during a joint session of the Legislature in the Assembly chamber. “The economy is dramatically better and our finances are in great shape. Still, there is more work to be done.”
With that in mind, Walker laid out a package of tax cuts which he said would serve to further improve the state’s economic outlook. “To take on the economic and fiscal crisis of the past, we came in and made some pretty bold moves. Now, three years later, we see a dramatic turnaround in our state,” said Walker. “These are historic times.”
Walker wants to return the state’s surplus – the result of higher than anticipated tax collections of some $911 million – to the taxpayers.
“They don’t tell me that taxes are too low, or even that taxes are just right,” the Republican governor said of his conversations with taxpayers. “Overwhelmingly, people across the state tell me that one of the best ways to fuel the economic recovery is to reduce their tax burden.
Walker called on members of the legislature to enact his “Blueprint for Prosperity,” which he says will put more than $800 million dollars back in the hands of taxpayers through tax cuts and withholding changes. Walker said a typical homeowner will see a reduction of $101 dollars on their next property tax bill, while a family of four making $40,000 will see an income tax savings of $58 dollars.
Walker’s nearly hour-long speech also highlighted efforts to employ people with disabilities and develop the work force, the UW tuition freeze, entitlement reform and access to health care. Walker is positioning himself for another term in office. Democrat Mary Burke, a former Trek Bicycle executive, is challenging him in the governor’s race.
READ: 2014 State of the State Address