(From left) Wisconsin Department
of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch answers a question
as Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch looks on Tuesday afternoon at
The Freeman’s office Tuesday afternoon.
Weltzien/Special to The Freeman
Wisconsin Lieutenant Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch on Tuesday touted
Gov. Scott Walker’s decision to use $911 million in increased
revenues largely for income and property tax cuts, saying all
economic indicators were headed in the right direction and “it’s
time to give back the change.”
rose-colored glasses, it’s a really rosy forecast,” Kleefisch
said during a meeting with The Freeman staff, adding that the
governor’s plan would offer people certainty and security.
Blueprint for Prosperity, unveiled during his State of the State
address last month, includes $406 million in property tax cuts,
nearly $100 million in income tax cuts, an adjustment to the
payroll tax withholding tables, a deposit of $100 million to the
rainy day fund and $35 million in investments in workforce
not quick to comment on the possible political advantages of
passing tax cuts in an election year.
“If you say
so,” she said when asked if it was a good thing.
Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca
Kleefisch discusses current state issues at The Freeman’s
office Tuesday afternoon.
Don Weltzien/Special to The Freeman
Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, who joined Kleefisch at
The Freeman’s office, was quick to say that certainly was a
there’s no question, obviously when you’re going to go and face
the voters again, you want to be able to say things are going
right, and Gov. Walker can do that,” Huebsch said, maintaining
the decision to use the surplus for income and property tax cut
was in response to feedback from residents of the state.
acknowledged that when the state passed a property tax cut last
fall and used the school funding formula to deliver it, the
results were a bit uneven, meaning some communities benefited
more than others.
“We want to
make it more even,” she said, noting the cut is being
distributed through the technical colleges this time.
The income tax
cut is focused on the lowest tax bracket, which Kleefisch said
was because the administration “didn’t want to leave anybody
and Huebsch said they were happy with the amount of money
Walker’s plan would put toward workforce development.
infusion we can make into our job creation, our economic
development, our economy, is through tax cuts, through infusing
people’s pocketbooks with more of their own money,” Kleefisch
always places that people can figure out to spend it in
Madison,” Huebsch added. “The state didn’t win the lottery, we
just have more money coming in because the economy is growing.
Let’s make sure it stays with the people who earned it.”
to clear up concerns about using the increased revenues for tax
cuts instead of addressing a projected structural deficit.
“If you have a
mortgage, you have a structural deficit,” Huebsch said, arguing
that both amount to a commitment to pay money without regard to
In the state’s
case, the salary would be projected economic growth. Huebsch
said if the state sees growth equal to the average of the last
10 years, there would actually have a surplus.
“I’ve seen it
politicized so many times,” he said, adding that it is
“disingenuous” to raise concerns about the structural deficit in
opposition to Walker’s plan.
Burke sits down with The Freeman