What Say You?

What would a fairer tax system look like?

The Wisconsin legislature is discussing changes in our tax system. To support our public services, Wisconsinites pay property, income, sales, excise, and other taxes. But everyone should look at all taxes as income taxes because for most families that's where the money comes from.

What would a fairer tax system look like?

The Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy published a report, Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States in 2018, based on 2017 property, sales, and income taxes. Taxes as percent of family income, from UrbanMilwaukee.com:

Poorest Badgers pay more than the richest and more than half as sales tax, so that is the place to cut. That benefits all taxpayers, lowers inflation, and may bring some shoppers from neighboring, higher sales tax, states.

This produces a fairer tax system until we get to the richest 5%

A fairer system must change income taxes, since the richest pay a small percentage of their income in property or sales taxes. This could be solved by adding another income tax bracket for the richest 5%, increasing it around 2%, and another bracket increase around 0.6% for the richest 1%, 24,700 tax payers, for rates of around 10%.

This is just an estimate of a fairer Wisconsin tax system. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau needs to add up all 2022 Wisconsin taxes in the system as a percent of household income, in brackets similar to those above, and make estimates of possible fairer tax systems before the legislature begins discussion of any changes in tax laws.

Bill Dagnon, Baraboo


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Susan Knower, chair
Dan Holzman, treasurer
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