Gov. Scott Walker signs a half-billion dollar property and income tax bill at Horsens Homestead Farms near Cecil, March 24, 2014. (WLUK/Andrew LaCombe)
CECIL - Gov. Scott Walker's plan to cut state income and property taxes is now official.The governor signed the reduction into law Monday morning in Shawano County. The cut totals more than $500 million, but Democrats call it a "campaign gimmick."Walker called for reductions after the state estimated it will have a nearly $1 billion budget surplus by the middle of next year."Taking that surplus and putting it back in the hands of the people," said Walker.Surrounded by hundreds of cows, and a family of farmers, Walker signed his tax cut into law Monday at Horsens Farm.The average homeowner's property tax bill will fall by $131 this year. Income taxes for the average worker will decrease about $46 a year.Governor Walker says he decided to sign his tax cut bill here at a farm because of the amount of tax relief the bill can provide farmers."For a lot of farmers, property tax is some of the biggest things they pay overall, so a typical family will see $100, farmers will see far more, because obviously they have a much bigger portion of property," said Walker.Connie Horsens hasn't figured out how much she'll save on property taxes, but she believes her seven full-time employees will see a benefit from the income tax reduction."When they get that nice check and it's a little bit more money in there to spend on something they want to enjoy," said Horsens.Deb Stover, a member of the Brown County Democratic Party, argues the cut is nothing more than a campaign gimmick."They try to tout this tax cut and say, you know, it's these millions of dollars, but really for the average person, it doesn't mean much at all," said Stover.Governor Walker disagrees. He believes taxpayers will put their extra money back into the state's economy, which will help it grow.Additionally, Walker separately used about $320 million of the surplus to overhaul income tax withholding rates, a move that will put more money into workers' paychecks starting in April. The typical family of four is estimated to see $58 more in their paychecks starting next month, based on estimates by the state Department of Revenue.That will result in smaller income tax returns next year since workers will be paying less in taxes each month.
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