Trump endorsed Republican running for governor, Tim Michels is proposing Wisconsin change its current income tax system and go to a flat tax rate. This would primarily benefit the wealthiest people in the state, including Michels and his family, while hurting the middle class and those who make the least.
“Abolishing the Wisconsin state income tax and increasing state sales tax will overwhelmingly favor Wisconsin’s wealthiest residents. This does not help small businesses. It helps big businesses,” Patrick Depula, owner of the Dark Horse Art Bar and member of the Main Street Alliance leadership team said in a statement.
The non-partisan, Independent Wisconsin Budget Project has panned Michels tax change proposal, saying it "would give extremely large tax breaks to earners with the highest incomes, while shutting out Wisconsin residents with low incomes. Wisconsin’s income tax system as it currently stands is progressive, meaning that taxpayers with higher incomes pay a higher share of their income in taxes. The extremely slanted nature of this proposed income tax cut is a significant drawback. But it is not the only drawback: the tax package also comes with an alarmingly high price tag of $2.7 billion a year once it is fully phased in. To put that amount in context, it is more than the state spends on the University of Wisconsin System, the state’s technical college system, and the state’s prison system, combined. Such a large tax cut, targeted at people who are already doing well, would make it much more difficult for Wisconsin to make the investments in schools, health care, and the state’s workforce that help build a strong economy."
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, a lobbying group for big business, has been pushing for this radical change to Wisconsin’s tax structure — one that would give huge tax cuts to the wealthy and powerful while shifting the responsibility of paying taxes to people with lower incomes. Now Tim Michels, who is funded by wealthy lobbyists, is taking up the call to change the tax system to benefit himself and his donors.
Michels and WMC want Wisconsin to increase the state sales tax to 8%, making it the highest of any state in the nation, and eliminate the state income tax, which is the state’s single biggest source of revenue.
According to Tamarine Cornelius, director of the Wisconsin Budget Project, a network of independent, nonpartisan, nonprofits, this extreme proposal would dramatically reshape who pays taxes, give huge tax cuts to the top 1%, and require people with lower incomes to make up the difference.
WMC’s election spending has helped Republicans and conservatives assume and keep control of all three branches of state government for much of the past two decades. WMC’s election spending helped elect five conservatives to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, helped former Republican Gov. Scott Walker win three elections, including a bitter recall contest in 2012, and fortified the GOP’s large majorities in the Assembly and Senate.
Now the WMC has found another champion for the wealthy in billionaire Tim Michels.
Michels, a billionaire, is pouring many of his own funds into his campaign. But his most recent campaign disclosure shows almost half of his campaign donations came from 10 other wealthy individuals who each donated $20,000, the maximum amount allowed under state law. All of them would stand to benefit from Michel's proposed tax law changes.
And this is not the first time that Michels has proposed a policy that would benefit his personal financial standing in Wisconsin.
Michels also backed attempting to resurrect the failed Foxconn deal that his company earned millions from, and would’ve cost Wisconsin taxpayers $3 billion. Michels previously said that he hoped that Michels Corporation will continue to bid on state contracts.
Michels is a Republican, yet despite that, he is being attacked by the right-wing media outlet Wisconsin Right Now, for the fact that he doesn't actually live in Wisconsin. But he certainly benefits from doing business here. But he's certainly working to make sure he benefits from doing business here and if elected, his self-enrichment will likely continue.