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06-2022

Wisconsin taxes have declined as a share of income compared to most states over the past 20 years.

Taxes in Wisconsin as a share of income have declined more than almost any other state over the past two decades, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum.

In 1999, state and local governments in Wisconsin took $17.4 billion from taxpayers, or about 12.2% of total personal income – the fourth highest percentage in the nation. As of 2019, total state taxes accounted for 10.3% of personal income of $30.6 billion, ranking 23rd in the country.

According to the forum, the 1.87 per cent decline was the biggest shortfall in the country in a 20-year period.

The tax on each resident was the sixth in the country in 1999 after adjusting for inflation, at $3,288, or about $5,045 in 2019 dollars. In 2019, the state’s per capita taxes of $5,275 were ranked 24th in the country.

Taxes as a share of personal income dropped 15.4% over those 20 years, trailing only Florida (-18.5%) and Michigan (-15.5%).

“The drop in Wisconsin’s tax burden of less than two percent may seem modest, but represents a significant change,” the report said. “If the state’s tax burden as a share of income was the same in 2019 as it was in 1999, state taxpayers could end up paying $5.57 billion more in taxes to state and local governments.”

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