Wisconsinites’ taxes still too high

September 3, 2015

by Nick Novak

This column was orginially published by the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.

Do Wisconsinites pay too much in taxes or should we be paying even more? The likely answer to this question for a vast number of us is that taxes should, of course, be lower.

That wasn’t the tone taken by the editorial in the Aug. 16 Leader-Telegram, however. In a round-about way, it advocated for higher taxes because of a claim that the state is no longer one of the 10 worst states for tax burdens.

According to the Leader-Telegram, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch said in a recent interview that she and the Republican leadership are striving to get Wisconsin out of the top 10 highest-taxed states.

But Dale Knapp of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance says the lieutenant governor’s top 10 claim is no longer true. He cites the latest data available from the U.S. Census Bureau that shows Wisconsin is actually the 12th highest-taxed state in the country.

Wisconsin has done a tremendous job of late on tax reform, but there is still a long way to go. Even if Knapp’s data was the be-all and end-all, the state is still in a pretty bad situation. But, according to the data, Wisconsin is actually in much worse shape than Knapp alludes to.

Wisconsin’s top individual income tax rate is the eighth highest in the country at 7.65 percent. On property taxes, the Badger State is fifth highest.

When the Tax Foundation added up how much residents pay in state and local taxes, Wisconsin was fifth highest. The Badger State is also the eighth worst on the Foundation’s Business Tax Climate Index.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t even stop there.

Continue reading at LeaderTelegram.com.