Tax reform


Tax options for promoting recovery and economic growth in Wisconsin

Several structural tax changes are worth considering to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained economic growth in Wisconsin.


 Reviving Wisconsin's Economy Through Tax Reform

In this Tax Day webinar, Tax Foundation Senior Policy Analyst Katherine Loughead and Badger Institute President Mike Nichols discuss reforms that can stimulate growth, revive businesses and refill government coffers.


 Wisconsin’s economic landscape and options for promoting growth

Tax Foundation Senior Policy Analyst Katherine Loughead's slide presentation from the Tax Day webinar (see above).


Leaving Illinois for Wisconsin

An analysis of the accelerating outbound migration across the border to the Badger State. A policy brief by Mark J. Perry of the American Enterprise Institute.



Overall tax reform in Wisconsin depends on the sales tax

Department of Revenue's guidelines on taxing ice cream cakes illustrate the absurd complexity of state's sales tax system.


Tax Foundation analyzes tax proposals in Gov. Evers' budget

Income tax credits paired with numerous tax increases.



Wisconsin's ideal pro-growth tax structure

Wisconsin’s overall tax structure remains behind competitor states in simplicity, tax rates and business climate for residents and investment. How can we reform the tax structure so that the state reaches its full potential? In this video, Joe Bishop-Henchman and Katherine Loughead of the Tax Foundation discuss suggested reforms at the Badger Institute’s Policy Symposium in February 2019.
View their PowerPoint.

The Foxconn lesson: State should level the playing field, not offer firm-specific incentives

Wisconsin's deal should be scrapped for reasons far beyond the possible switch from factory jobs to research jobs.



How Wisconsin policy punishes low-income families for getting married

Policy brief says state should make common-sense changes to Wisconsin Earned Income Tax Credit to mitigate the marriage penalty.


Wisconsin Tax Options: A Guide to Fair, Simple, Pro-Growth Reform

New Badger Institute and Tax Foundation report offers menu of reforms to foster opportunity and make Wisconsin more competitive.


Illinois’ loss could be Wisconsin’s gain

The fiscal calamity looming for our neighbor to the south could help lure businesses and workers to the Badger State.



Wisconsin should reform process for commercial property assessments

As with manufacturing property, valuations should be done by the state, with owners being able to appeal to a panel of tax experts rather than a local review board.

Online Sales Tax Revenue Presents Opportunity for Permanent, Comprehensive Tax Reform in Wisconsin

A policy brief from the Tax Foundation and the Badger Institute.


Another reason new federal law should prompt Wisconsin tax reform

A whole lot more Wisconsinites are about to feel the sting of high state and local taxes (SALT) in ways they never have before — a fact that will lead either to a whole lot more dissatisfaction with elected officials or to substantive tax reform in Madison. 


Give the state treasurer a job

An empowered treasurer could be an independent voice for fiscal sanity. If state lawmakers heed the voters’ unmistakable message, the Legislature can take meaningful steps toward fiscal responsibility.



Arbitrary tax breaks neither good policy nor good economics

Broad-based Wisconsin tax reform should be the goal, not short-term targeted breaks that benefit only a narrow class of taxpayers.



Tax incremental financing: Valuable tool or crony capitalism?

The funding mechanism — originally created to alleviate urban blight — has become a gravy train for developers and distorts the free market, critics say. There were 1,238 active tax incremental districts in 456 Wisconsin municipalities in 2017.


Jay Miller on Opportunity Zones

Wisconsin Public Radio interview with visiting fellow Jay Miller on Opportunity Zones, new federal tax incentives for economic investment in impoverished communities.



New tax law offers chance to infuse private capital into distressed areas

Gov. Walker says he'll decide on Opportunity Zone designations by March 21 federal deadline.


New federal tax law should prod Wisconsin to enact tax reform

Residents in high-tax states like ours are stung harder by cap on state/local tax deduction. There has never been a more opportune moment for tax reform in Wisconsin.

Tax attorney Jay Miller named Badger Institute Visiting Fellow

Miller, an attorney from Whitefish Bay who is also an adjunct professor at UWM, says  'there has never been more opportune moment' for Wisconsin tax reform. He will focus primarily on tax policy.


Resolutions for Wisconsin policy-makers

Priorities for 2018 should include, among other things, tax reform. Despite recent improvements, the Badger State continues to suffer from high income taxes and a very poor tax mix. Our individual and corporate income taxes are still among the highest in the Midwest. Federal tax reform adds another layer of urgency.


It's time to look at Wisconsin tax reform

Many taxpayers in the Badger State could take a hit under changes proposed in the House Republican tax bill. The consequence of capping property tax deductions, along with eliminating the state income tax deduction, would effectively punish a large swath of Wisconsin residents just for living where they do.


Badger Institute press release on tax reform

The institute welcomes the state Assembly's commitment to comprehensive tax reform. The institute and the Tax Foundation are moving forward with an analysis of the state tax structure and policy recommendations for the 2019 budget.


State legislators should focus on these tax numbers

Badger State residents still pay a mother lode of taxes — way more, given how little the average Wisconsinite makes, than almost anyone else in America. Our total state-local tax burden per capita as a percentage of income, 11 percent, is the fourth-highest in the United States.


Are high taxes driving away workers from Wisconsin?

Claiming to have a workforce strategy without a real strategy to attract and retain people makes little sense. Other states have cut taxes across the board. Wisconsin has not focused on individual tax cuts but rather on business tax cuts.    


Why Wisconsin remains a tax hell

New findings trumpeted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel fail to break down Wisconsin’s tax burden by income categories or on a regional basis. Not only do middle- and upper-income taxpayers pay disproportionately higher taxes by living in Wisconsin, those who live in the Milwaukee area pay an even steeper price due to the property taxes levied there.


What Wisconsin can learn from Illinois' fiscal predicament

Wisconsin should not assume that it will gain from Illinois’ predicament unless it takes steps to improve its own income tax competitiveness. As one might expect, Wisconsin’s fiscal house is in much better order than Illinois’. Yet, the income tax disparity between the two states, one whose government is mostly blue and the other mostly red, creates a picture that is the opposite of what one would expect.


Can state pull its punches? New tax policy needed to help Wisconsin prosper

Report: Economists from Suffolk University’s Beacon Hill Institute for Public Policy have determined through economic modeling that Wisconsin would benefit long-term from further tax cuts. Yet, they’ve found, Wisconsin doesn’t just suffer from high taxes. It suffers from the wrong tax mix. While our sales taxes are lower than those in two-thirds of other states, our income and property tax burdens remain significantly higher. There is a clear need for Wisconsin to step back on firm ground and consider a new tax mix that lowers more harmful income and property taxes and broadens the sales tax base.