By Gov. Tony Evers
Here in Wisconsin, our economy is booming.
We’ve achieved the lowest unemployment rate in state history and we have one of the highest labor force participation rates in the nation. Thousands of new small businesses have opened on our Main Streets and I’m proud to have delivered a 15% tax cut for families.
There have been unprecedented challenges that we’ve overcome together, but our state and our economy are stronger and better than they were three years ago.
On top of all the other good news, right now, the State of Wisconsin has the largest projected budget surplus in state history — $3.8 billion.
While our economy is booming, Wisconsin families are feeling the effects of rising costs, and businesses are working to fill job openings. That’s why I introduced my common sense surplus plan, which will help families and businesses by investing a portion of Wisconsin’s budget surplus into delivering tax cuts for families, increasing child care opportunities so folks can fill jobs, expanding caregiving, and improving education quality — all while keeping property taxes down.
My surplus plan is what Wisconsin needs now.
From the checkout line to the gas pump, prices have been rising and families are feeling the effects. Under my surplus plan, each Wisconsin tax filer will get a $150 tax rebate this year — meaning a family of four will get $600. These tax cuts will give families a little more wiggle room in their budget and help make ends meet.
But not only will my surplus plan deliver tax cuts, it will also help fill jobs by investing in child care and caregiving — because for too long, Wisconsinites have faced burdens when it comes to caring for kids or family members. My surplus plan will help increase child care opportunities for more than 100,000 Wisconsinites by expanding the Child and Dependent Care Credit — meaning folks can stress less about child care and fill jobs in Wisconsin’s booming economy.
My surplus plan will also create a new Caregiver Tax Credit — meaning the state will actually save money by investing in Wisconsin’s nearly 600,000 unpaid family caregivers.
AARP Wisconsin has urged support of my surplus plan because it does what’s right for caregivers.
During my time in office, I have restored the state’s two-thirds public school funding commitment for the first time in more than two decades and signed the first special education funding increase in over a decade. But as a lifelong educator, I’m always committed to improving education quality and doing what’s best for our kids.
That’s why my surplus plan will invest nearly $750 million towards improving our kids’ education quality — all while providing property tax relief for parents.
Unfortunately, at a special session earlier this month, Republican leaders considered the plan for only seconds and quickly left the chamber without even taking a vote. They signaled they’d rather sit and wait until 2023 or beyond to do anything with our budget surplus. This is ludicrous.
Folks, I believe that Wisconsin’s historic budget surplus shouldn’t be collecting dust in a big marble building in Madison — it should be going towards what Wisconsinites need now. Whether it’s addressing rising costs or filling jobs, my surplus plan will help solve some of the issues that Wisconsin is facing today while also ensuring our state is stronger for tomorrow.
While Republicans won’t take any action, I’m still fighting to combat rising costs for families. In addition to my plan for the surplus, I joined several neighboring governors to urge
Congress to suspend the federal gas tax, which is 18.4 cents a gallon, until next year.
Because as your governor, it’s my responsibility to continue doing what’s right for Wisconsin. My common sense surplus plan will deliver for Wisconsin by tackling rising costs, expanding child care and caregiving, and improving education quality — because that’s what Wisconsin needs now.
Tony Evers is the governor of the State of Wisconsin. Learn more about him and his plans for the state at www.TonyEvers.com