Not Quite, Wisconsin Governor Doyle

February 1, 2010

In his State of the State address on January 26, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle (D) trumpeted his progress on lowering Wisconsin residents’ state-local tax burden:

Eight years ago, I made a campaign pledge to get us out of the top 10 highest taxed states in the nation. People scoffed, because when I became Governor, we were ranked 4th in the country in state and local taxes. And we had not been out of the Top 10 in 22 years.

But year after year, we worked hard to hold the line. And I’ve lived up to my pledge. Today we rank 15th. And when you look at what we pay in both taxes and fees, we rank 24th. Our tax ranking has improved for six consecutive years – unprecedented in state history.

When Governor Doyle took office, Wisconsin’s state-local tax burden was indeed 4th highest in the country, and it has gone lower since. But it’s 9th, not 15th, and that’s a rise from 10th in 2007. In 2002, state-local taxes consumed 10.5% of income in Wisconsin; in 2008, it was 10.2%. So that is a reduction, just not as much of a reduction as Governor Doyle claims.

Check out the numbers here.

More on Wisconsin here.

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