Wisconsin State Capitol by Warren LeMay is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

2023 is almost over but lawmakers in a few state capitals are still busy trying to enact income tax relief before the year comes to a close. Recently, for example, the Wisconsin Senate passed legislation to provide further income tax relief and also considered a constitutional amendment that would make it harder to raise taxes in the future.

The bill passed by the Wisconsin Senate cuts the state’s second highest income tax rate from 5.3% to 4.4%. That rate applies to income between $27,630 and $304,170 for individuals and between $18,420 and $405,550 for joint filers.

The income tax relief passed in the Wisconsin Senate comes less than a month after income tax rate reduction was enacted in Arkansas and North Carolina. In addition to providing income tax relief that would make Wisconsin a more profitable place to work, legislation approved by the Wisconsin Senate would also reduce regulatory impediments that make it more difficult for new workers to relocate to Wisconsin.

The Associated Press reports that the bill recently passed by the Wisconsin Senate would “make professional credentials granted to workers in other states valid in Wisconsin; and prohibit state examining boards from requiring counselors, therapists and pharmacists pass tests on state law and regulations.” The Senate-approved bill “also would enter Wisconsin into multistate agreements that allow physician assistants, social workers and counselors to work in all those states.”

In explaining the need for the tax relief passed, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R) said “we don’t need to grow the size of government or make pandemic-era subsidies permanent… we need to attract talented [workers] from other states, retain the ones we have here.” Enactment of Leader LeMahieu’s bill would have Wisconsin join two policy trends sweeping the nation – income tax rate reduction and universal occupational licensing recognition – and in doing so make the Badger State a more attractive place in which to live, work, and raise a family.