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Evers, Democrats revive plan to kill personal property tax

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers and legislative Democrats are reviving an attempt to eliminate a property tax paid by businesses that Republicans have long supported getting rid of.

Many exemptions have been allowed under the law over the years, even as attempts to do away with it altogether have been unsuccessful. About five years ago, lawmakers passed a bill eliminating personal-property taxes for construction equipment, machined parts and similar property. But, to elimination advocates’ dismay, the tax was left in place for other sorts of property.

Evers in July vetoed a GOP plan to kill the tax on certain property owned by businesses, but kept a provision in the budget that provided $200 million to pay for it.

The proposal backed by Evers and introduced on Wednesday would repeal the personal-property tax and use the money set aside in the state budget to cover lost revenues for local governments, the Wisconsin State Journal reported Thursday. The state would continue to provide funding, adjusted for inflation, each year.

But Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Saukville, said the Democratic proposal includes “poison pill provisions to appease the left and serve as political cover for those not paying attention.”

Stroebel, one of the authors of the Republican bill, said neither its authors nor the members of a coalition advocating the tax’s repeal were consulted ahead of the release of the Democratic proposal.

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