MILWAUKEE – As Governor Scott Walker proclaims this week to be “Marriage Week” in Wisconsin, a Media Trackers review of data from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau shows that eliminating the state’s burdensome marriage tax penalty could save families and small businesses millions of dollars. Walker and legislative leaders have said they are interested in reducing taxes, but so far the only plan publicly on the table would cut taxes by approximately $100 per family per year.
“Cutting taxes by $100 per family per year really pales in comparison to the new Obama payroll tax hike, which will cost the average American worker $832 this year,” said Brian Sikma, communications director for Media Trackers, a conservative watchdog group. “Other states are also looking to lower taxes, some dramatically, and that’s going to create a competition that Wisconsin will be pressured to be a part of. It’s a matter of how bold state leaders want to be in creating a simpler, lower tax system.”
Eliminating the state’s current tax penalty on married couples and reducing the band-aid partial fix known as the married couple credit would equal a $734 million tax cut over two years, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
The current penalty doesn’t just impact married couples, but also family owned farms and small businesses that employ thousands of Wisconsin workers. Many of those employers pay taxes at individual income tax rates. Eliminating the inequalities created by the marriage tax penalty could boost both working families and small businesses trying to grow and expand, proponents argue.
The full Media Trackers report on the marriage tax penalty may be found here.