MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a Republican-authored $250 million income tax bill on Wednesday at an elementary school in Wauwatosa, arguing that the Legislature should instead back his plan to spend more on education.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers speaks with the media at an event Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, in Madison, Wis. Evers says he wants the Legislature to pass a pair of gun safety bills and has concerns with cutting taxes as Republicans have proposed as he detailed his priorities for the fall session speaking at an event organized by WisPolitics.com. (AP Photo/Scott Bauer)
Evers proposed spending $250 million on K-12 schools, with $130 million to reduce property taxes, but Republicans ignored his plan. They said increasing funding for schools will be part of the debate over the next state budget in 2021.
Evers vetoed the tax cut bill, the 12th he's vetoed as governor, in the school library surrounded by Democratic lawmakers.
Evers and the Legislature put forward the two plans in the wake of news that Wisconsin is expected to have a $620 million budget surplus by mid-2021. Republicans pushed for the tax cut, saying the higher-than-expected tax collections should be returned to people who paid them. Evers said the surplus instead should be tapped to help schools and also to cut property taxes.
The entire plan Evers vetoed would have cost $392 million. The nearly $250 million income tax cut would have sent an average of $106 back to every qualifying taxpayer. It also reduced business taxes by nearly $45 million and trimmed state debt by $100 million.