Republicans Promise ‘Bigger and Bolder’ Rural Wisconsin Plan

Republican lawmakers are considering proposals to cut property taxes and insurance costs for farmers as part of a package to help rural Wisconsin that Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Tuesday promised would be “bigger and bolder” than what Democratic Gov. Tony Evers put forward.

Evers called a special session of the Legislature to take up his $8.5 million package, which included a $1 million effort to increase dairy exports and the hiring of more people at the state agriculture department and University of Wisconsin-Madison extension division to work with farmers.

One proposal Assembly Republicans are working on would allow farmers and other sole proprietors to deduct the cost of health insurance from their income taxes. That would be around $9 million, but it’s not known how much of that would directly benefit farmers, Vos said. Another bill would extend a tax credit to farmers for some portion of their property taxes. But how much the credit would be, in total and for the average farmer, remained in flux, Vos said.

Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Republicans who control the Legislature will consider the governor’s ideas while also looking at others.