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Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher May 2, 2016

Will progress early in second term hold? Stay tuned

Gov. Scott Walker made a number of significant income tax cuts during his first term in office.

And while campaigning for re-election, he promised more, saying he would "reduce income taxes so that they are lower in 2018 than they are today."

It remains to be seen, of course, whether income taxes then will be lower than when Walker made the pledge in July 2014.

But he's on his way.

Among the reductions, according to Bob Lang, director of the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, and an August 2015 fiscal bureau memo cited by Walker's office:

  • A 2014 law reduced the bottom income tax rate to 4 percent from 4.4 percent. That was something taxpayers started seeing when they filed their 2014 taxes in 2015.

  • A manufacturing and agricultural tax credit benefits corporations, but also many business owners who file their income taxes as individuals. The credit was estimated to be worth $79 million in 2014-'15, increasing to $284 million in 2016-'17.

  • Softening the so-called marriage penalty, in which married couples filing their tax return jointly end up paying more in state taxes than they would if they filed as individuals. The changes effective in 2016 are estimated to reduce taxes by $21 million.

At this stage, we rate Walker's promise as In the Works.

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