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Rebecca Kleefisch

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch listens during a tax reform round table with area business leaders Tuesday at Western Technical College. The event was part of a statewide tax reform tour.

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch stopped in La Crosse on Tuesday morning seeking input on the state’s tax code and ideas for reducing the tax burden on Wisconsin residents.

Part of a statewide tour, Kleefisch and state Department of Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler talked about tax cuts, job creation and governmental reform at a roundtable discussion at Western Technical College.

“We’d like to continue on this pattern of prosperity,” Kleefisch said, citing the state’s $911.9 million surplus that Gov. Scott Walker recently pledged to return to taxpayers. “The way to do that is for people to keep more of their money.”

Those attending Tuesday’s discussion represented a variety of interests, including banking, real estate, health care, business, economic development and education.

Participants cited challenges such skills gaps, supporting workforce training and providing recruitment incentives while fostering growth in both rural and urban municipalities. Attendees offered ideas such as raising the sales tax, and rewarding businesses for job retention as well as job creation.

“My clients are saying taxes are too complex,” said Mary Jo Werner, a CPA and partner with Wipfli in La Crosse.

One option to simplify would be to reduce the number of tax credits in favor of a gradual, long-term rate reduction, Kleefisch said.

Wellness tax credits and programs to keep employees healthy have shown a $3 return for every $1 invested, said Michael Richards, executive director of external affairs at Gundersen Health System.

John Hendricks, superintendent of the Sparta Area School District, voiced concern about the state’s school aid formula, saying the current model — which draws funding in part from property tax credits — creates disparity among districts with differing property wealth.

Wisconsin’s tax profile is defined by individual income and property tax rates among the nation’s highest and lower-than-average sales taxes.

Gov. Scott Walker’s “Blueprint for Prosperity Plan,” unveiled Jan. 22 in his state of the state address, calls for $504 million in property and income tax cuts over the next 17 months, bringing the administration’s total tax cuts up to $2 billion.

Citing tax reform as a key factor in job creation, Chandler highlighted cuts to income tax and deductions for Health Savings Accounts, health insurance premiums, child care and private school tuition as important factors for Wisconsin’s future. Further improvement will come from business tax incentives such as manufacturing and agriculture tax credits, he said.

“When those sectors thrive, all do well,” he said.

“We’d like to continue on this pattern of prosperity. The way to do that is for people to keep more of their money.” Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch

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(7) comments

RINO Cowboy

Badger Barbie got her luv from the business community already. This is just her tease for voters to think they have a chance with her.


She's coming out in front of Walker so she can do Walkers job when he's gone campaigning for two years.


1. Institute an ignorance tax. The tax will be used to fund P&I payments on the additional $1.6 billion in general fund debt and also fund the additional $156 million in interest from Walker's previous $500 million debt restructuring.

This tax would be assessed of Walker and Ms. Smiley's supporters.

2. Restore funding to state school aids and provide a bit better than a CPI increase in school revenue limits. This will provide property tax relief as the state inches closer to paying its share of school funding. It will mitigate the harm that has been done.

3. Make more than a token political investment to restore the rainy day fund.


Wow, craziness gets up early in the morning...

The Veteran

CelticMan Did I miss your opinion on the teachers viewing p*rn at work,them good union members they should all have been fired.On second thought I am sure you think they should stay so long as they pay their dues and vote the way they are told.Maybe you will grow a pair and prove me wrong but i doubt it!!!!!!


The state’s $911.9 million surplus should be returned to the people that were over taxed!!
Example, take the last 5 years tax returns add them up and determine the percentage of the surplus, if it’s say 1%, every one that paid taxes to the state get 1% of their last 5 years state taxes refunded. If your tax returns show you paid $10,000.00 in state taxes in the last 5 years you get a check for $100.00, if you paid $100,000.00 you get $1,000.00, but if you paid $000,000.00 you get $0,000.00, that way the people that created the surplus by being over taxed would receive what they were over charged and the money not wasted on pet projects, welfare people and corporations, or any other wasteful projects these clowns can come up with to spend the working persons hard earned dollars they take from us!
We all know better than that, some dogooder will cry that the dead beats can’t afford to have steak 3 times a week and after spending their welfare checks in bars and buying their drugs they don’t have money left to pay rent, so there goes a couple hundred million of the surplus. Not to be left out you know a bunch of corporations will jump on the surplus money train there goes a couple more hundred million of the surplus. Not to be out done we all know government will feel the need for new buildings and new pet projects so guess what, there goes several more hundred millions of the surplus, and above all lets not forget the children, more free breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and why not feed them supper also so their parents don’t need to do anything to raise their kids, thus giving them more money for their bar bills and the local pusher, and we all know several of the schools are almost half the age of most of the tax-payers homes so we better build the little darlings new schools and give them all new i-pads and laptops so they have something to communicate with one another on because we all know you can’t be expected to walk a few feet to talk to you friend!!!!!

Mr Bluejeans

Time for your morning meds.

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