Income growth puts Wisconsin tax burden at lowest level since at least 1970

Published Thursday, January 9, 2020
by BizTimes Milwaukee

Growth in personal income helped push the share of income Wisconsinites pay in state and local taxes down to 10.3%, according to a new report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum.

The drop from 10.4% in 2018 marks the eighth straight year the state’s tax burden has declined. It is the lowest tax burden in Wisconsin Policy Forum records that go back to 1970.

“This extends a long-running trend that is attributed both to limited growth in taxes and relatively strong growth in income,” the report says.

While total state and local tax revenues increased by 4.5% in fiscal 2019, total personal income, which includes wages, salaries, investment income and government benefits, increased 5.1% to nearly $300 billion, according to the report.

Tax revenue growth was primarily driven by an increase in state collections, up 6%. Corporate income tax revenue grew almost 50%, largely because of changes to federal tax law. Individual income taxes increased 6.1%

Local taxes grew 1.8%, a drop from the 1.9% increase in local tax revenues in 2018.


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