Marklein talks GOP priorities as he co-chairs powerful budget-writing committee

MADISON, Wis. — While there are still meetings to be held on the horizon, one of the chairs of the state’s powerful budget-writing committee, Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, has something that he certainly wants to see back on the docket for the state’s budget.

“We did eliminate the personal property tax, but that was vetoed last session,” Marklein said. “I’m sure that it’s going to be on the table again.”

That proposal that Republicans included when they wrote the 2021-22 budget did not survive the governor’s veto. The personal property tax refers to a tax on certain business-related property and is something Republicans have long pushed to get rid of.

“We’re one of the only states in the United States that has a personal property tax and nobody has made a good argument to me as to why we should be keeping that,” he added.

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The co-chair of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee said in an interview with News 3 Now that much of the debate over the budget will take place next year once five new Republican senators join the caucus.

“From a personal standpoint,” Marklein said, “I want to make sure that we fund our core priorities our essential services.”

The senator said that increased costs due to inflation have put a strain on the state.

“We need to keep government going first of all, and then hopefully down the road, we’ll be able to talk about a tax cut,” he added.

Marklein said he has not had any conversations yet with Democrats on the budget process. The governor gets to introduce a draft budget that the Legislature gets to edit. The governor ultimately gets the power of the veto over the final budget.

Marklein said the last time he spoke to Gov. Tony Evers was when his Capitol office windows were smashed in the 2020 protests in Madison. He added that he has not spoken to any Democrats on the committee yet either.