At the Capitol, Assembly Republicans are moving forward with plans to assist the state’s farmers. It’s something Democratic Governor Tony Evers called for, during his recent State of the State Address.
“We really appreciate that the governor is finally paying attention to rural Wisconsin and those issues, after being in office for over a year, focusing seemingly only on the Madison and Milwaukee areas,” said Assembly Speaker Pro-Tem Tyler August (R-Lake Geneva).
During a Monday press conference, Republicans provided details on the bills they’ll take up. They plan to expand of some of what Evers requested in a special session, as well as introducing measures of their own. A bill from Representative Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City) would provide an income tax credit for the property taxes paid on agricultural buildings.
“The reality is when you farm, even though income is down 15 percent from 2013, the bills just keep coming in,” Tranel said. He said the $7500 credit would get farmers some immediate short-term help. “Their number one issue is cash flow.”
Another proposed tax break would allow farmers and other “sole proprietors” to deduct the cost of health insurance from their income taxes. Representative Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton) said that would carry a cost of some $9 million. She wasn’t able to say how many farmers would qualify for the tax break.
Anything that passes the Assembly would also need Senate approval in the final weeks of the current legislative session. Senators were expected to caucus on measures on Tuesday.