Flat Tax Warning

Wisconsin residents need to be warned about the flat tax, the latest tax scam proposed by Republicans, which is just another way to give massive tax cuts to the wealthiest taxpayers. The plan is nothing more than another version of "trickle down" schemes that have failed every time. 

Wisconsin currently uses a graduated income tax system that has 4 brackets from 3.50 to 7.65 percent rate. The Republican plan, when fully phased in, would establish a single rate of 3.25 percent for every taxpayer.  Once again, poorer residents might save a few bucks but lose deductions, while millionaires get the huge rewards. 

Studies done by the Institute on Taxes and Economic Policy, a non-partisan group, have questioned the supposed benefits of a flat tax system.  It doesn't seem to promote economic growth and is not particularly kind to small businesses. It is not simpler. There’s not fewer forms. The prime "benefit" of switching is a massive tax reduction for the rich.  

Minnesota and Wisconsin have top income tax rates of 9.85 and 7.65 percent respectively. Their graduated tax systems have produced large budget surpluses and solid economic growth.  

Graduated tax systems aren't chasing millionaires from states that use them. Minnesota, with the highest tax rates of any state in our region, also ranks near the top for producing and keeping millionaires. Those folks would be silly to leave states whose policies have allowed them to do so well. 

We are truly facing an "if it’s not broke, don’t fix it" moment.  Like so many Republican ideas, they want to destroy a system to reward their benefactors.  We simply can’t allow that to happen.