Gov. Walker admits tax cut proposal may need "tweaks" to get thr - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Gov. Walker admits tax cut proposal may need "tweaks" to get through Senate

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MADISON (WKOW) -- It's starting to look like Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) may have to compromise on the size of his half-billion dollar tax cut proposal if he wants to get it through the Senate.

"I've talked to a number of individual Senators.  I think there's a great interest out there that they want to get their arms around it and maybe have, like you said, a tweak or two," Gov. Walker told reporters on Wednesday morning.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) has said he doesn't have the number of Republican votes he would need to pass the tax cut as is, which would provide $406 million in property tax relief and a income tax reduction of $98 million.

A handful of Senate Republicans, including Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center), have said they want more of the state's projected $977 million surplus used to pay off debt.

"I haven't had any negotiations in terms of numbers, I think more than anything, it's less about the tax relief and more about how to ensure that there's money set aside for the future," said Gov. Walker.

As the Senate holds off on a vote, Assembly leaders are pressing ahead with plans to vote on the tax cut proposal as early as next week.  The Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economy and Mining held a hearing on the tax cuts Wednesday afternoon.

"Assembly Republicans overwhelmingly support the proposed tax cuts.  We want to pass the Governor's plan as soon as possible so as to return these dollars to the taxpayers," Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said in a statement.

But Sen. Fitzgerald blasted Speaker Vos for moving ahead on a plan the Senate may not be able to support.

"The move to schedule Special Session AB1 on the floor is completely unnecessary," said Sen. Fitzgerald in a statement.  "Rather than a rush decision on the utilization of nearly a billion dollars of taxpayer funds, the legislature should take its time and strike the right balance between fiscally responsible budgeting and property and income tax cuts."

But Speaker Vos fired back.

"The last special session bills on property tax relief went before the Joint Finance Committee and the Senate less than a week after the Governor's announcement," Speaker Vos went on to say in his statement.  "We're not going to wait for the Senate when tax cuts are a top priority for Assembly Republicans."
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