Wisconsin Republicans kill Evers’ $150 tax rebate plan

March 8, 2022 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Republicans killed Gov. Tony Evers’ election-year $150 refund proposal Tuesday, ending a special session the Democratic governor called before it ever began.

Evers, who faces reelection in November, wants to give every Wisconsin taxpayer $150 from the state’s projected $3.8 billion budget surplus. He called a special legislative session to approve the plan during his State of the State address last month.

Republican leaders in both the Senate and Assembly gaveled the start of the special session and then quickly ended it without debate or any votes.

Evers touted the proposal as a way to help deal with inflation and rapidly rising gas prices. But Republicans dismissed it as an election-year stunt and said they want to hold onto the surplus for the next Legislature, and they hope a Republican governor, to spend.

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“Wisconsinites are feeling the pressure of rising costs, and they need action now—today—not months from now or a year from now,” Evers said in response.

“Republicans are selfishly playing politics by sitting on a projected $3.8 billion surplus until next year while the people of this state watch prices on everyday items go up and gas is almost $4 a gallon,” Evers’ statement said. “This is the people’s money. We should be doing the right thing and getting it back to them.”

Republicans supported a similar refund proposed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2018 when he was running for reelection that Evers opposed. Evers argued that the situation was different this year because of economic stresses caused by the pandemic.

His plan also called for increasing a child care tax credit and sending $750 million toward K-12 schools and higher education.