Badger Institute on tax reform

Badger Institute welcomes state Assembly commitment
to comprehensive tax reform

Institute and Tax Foundation moving forward with analysis of state tax structure and policy recommendations for 2019 budget

CONTACT: Badger Institute President Mike Nichols, 262-389-8239 or

Nov. 2, 2017 — The Badger Institute today welcomed a new effort in the Wisconsin Legislature to study the state’s tax structure and pursue a comprehensive tax overhaul as part of the 2019 state budget. The Wisconsin State Journal quotes Assembly Ways and Means Chairman Rep. John Macco as saying that the study of tax reform will be the committee’s mission for the remainder of the session.

“We are encouraged that state lawmakers recognize Wisconsin’s status as a high-tax state and that they are committed to serious reform,” said Mike Nichols, president of the Badger Institute (formerly WPRI). “While there have been targeted improvements over the past few years, the state desperately needs a comprehensive plan that will more effectively promote statewide economic growth. That's why we announced a few weeks ago that we're moving forward with a multifaceted analysis of Wisconsin's tax regime.”

Wisconsin continues to suffer from high taxes and a poor tax mix, according to a study conducted by the institute in 2014. The total state-local tax burden per capita as a percentage of income, 11 percent, is the fourth-highest in the United States, according to the Tax Foundation’s 2017 Facts and Figures report.

An objective analysis of Wisconsin’s tax structure and policy recommendations for improving it will be the Badger Institute’s top priority going into 2018, according to Nichols. The institute will partner with the Tax Foundation and other experts to provide a detailed and in-depth study and a list of reforms designed to make Wisconsin more prosperous and competitive.