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State taxes

Wisconsin’s Property Tax Code, Which Never Mentions Race, is Slanted in Favor of White Wisconsinites

November 12, 2020 — Our state and local tax code does not mention race. And yet it systematically demands that people of color pay a higher share of their income in taxes than white residents, showing that policies don’t have to explicitly mention race in order to have racially discriminatory consequences. The myth that the tax code “doesn’t see color” allows us to dismiss the role that tax policies have played in creating Wisconsin’s enormous racial disparities. 

Wisconsin’s Tax Code Includes Loopholes that Let the Wealthy Dodge Taxes, as Trump Did at the Federal Level

October 1, 2020 — The disclosure that President Trump pays next to nothing in income taxes has highlighted the fact that the federal tax system is stuffed full of loopholes that are only available to the ultra-wealthy. But you don’t have to look to the federal system to find a tax code tilted in favor of the rich and powerful. Wisconsin’s own state and local tax system is also loaded up with a collection of special-interest tax breaks that siphons revenue away from where it is needed most. The Wisconsin tax code is a major driver of economic inequality, and contributes to the increasing concentration of income and wealth in a few hands — hands that are most likely to be white, due to a long history of racial discrimination.

Despite Growing Concerns about Opportunity Zones, Wisconsin Legislators Rush to Pass a Bill Doubling the State Tax Break

February 18, 2020 — As the 2020 legislative session winds down, the Wisconsin Legislature is rushing to pass a bill this week (SB 440)/AB 532) that would double a current state tax break for very wealthy investors who reinvest money in “Opportunity Zones.” A new Budget Project issue brief explains why the existing tax breaks for the rich are not having the intended effects and why it’s premature to increase those tax breaks.

The Top Ten Problems with Increasing Opportunity Zone Tax Breaks

February 18, 2020 — Wisconsin legislators are considering a bill that would double a capital gains tax break approved two years ago, which was intended to encourage very wealthy people to invest in “distressed” areas.  Although that strategy for incentivizing investments in “Opportunity Zones” was well intended, commentators across the political spectrum have noted that implementation of the recently enacted tax incentives has gone off course and will primarily benefit rich Americans, rather than the residents of low-income communities.

Missing Out: Residents with Low Incomes Pay More Under New Budget

July 24, 2019 — State tax policies can be a powerful tool for expanding opportunity and enhancing racial and ethnic equity. But right now, Wisconsin’s tax system calls on the richest residents to pay the smallest share of their income in taxes and requires residents with low and moderate incomes to pay more than their fair share. The legislature rejected Governor Evers’ proposed tax changes in his 2019-21 budget plan that would have reshaped Wisconsin’s tax code to give less of an advantage to the wealthy, by reining in tax breaks for the rich and redirecting the benefits to the middle class and people with low incomes.

A Blueprint for Stronger Growth and Shared Prosperity

March 5, 2019 – Everyone in Wisconsin deserves the opportunity to fully benefit from the state’s economic growth. Our economy, our communities, our schools, and our families will fare better when every person in the state has full access to opportunity. This document outlines four key strategies for enabling Wisconsin to move forward on a path to shared prosperity.

Five Key Things to Know about the Foxconn Contract

February 21, 2019 — Mounting evidence creates serious doubts that Foxconn will build a factory in Racine County that comes anywhere close to the consider employment levels that Foxconn promised. As policymakers and the public consider what to do next, here are five key things that people need to understand about the contract.

Creating a More Equitable Tax Code

February 1, 2019 — Wisconsin’s tax system is a major driver of economic inequality and contributes to the increasing concentration of income and wealth in a few hands—hands that are most likely to be white, due to a long history of racial discrimination. This short report outlines options for using tax policy to help expand opportunity and enhance racial equity.

Building Revenue for Shared Priorities

February 1, 2019 — For Wisconsin’s economy to work for everyone, our state needs to invest in healthy and well-educated workers and communities, public infrastructure, and working families.