In Wisconsin, Taxes are a Purple Issue

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 10:06 PM by

Wisconsin state and local taxes have been marching downward for years, regardless of which political party is in power. The most recent figures from the Census Bureau on state and local taxes are from 2009, so there is no information yet as to how the Republican domination of the Governor’s office and legislature have affected state and local taxes.

But if history repeats itself, the change in political parties won’t make much difference in the amount of state and local taxes Wisconsin residents pay. That’s because for the years 2006 through 2009, the share of income devoted to taxes in Wisconsin dropped steadily, even as political control of the state legislature flipped from red to blue.


In 2004, Wisconsin residents paid $11.80 in state and local taxes out of every $100 in personal income, ranking 7th among the states. That year, Democratic Governor Jim Doyle faced a Republican-controlled legislature.

The amount of income paid in state and local taxes dropped to $11.21 by 2009, ranking Wisconsin 16th among the states. In 2009 Doyle was still governor, and Democrats controlled both houses of the legislature by small margins.

Even before the recent round of tax-cutting by the recent Legislature, Wisconsin residents were paying less in state and local taxes than in previous years. Most of the recent drop occurred under a Democratic Governor and a legislature controlled by Republicans. It seems that in Wisconsin, at least, taxes are a purple issue.

Tamarine Cornelius

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