Walker uses veto power to increase sales tax holiday

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The following comes by way of Dentons50 partner Nick Probst of Capitol Consultants–editor

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has signed the $100 per child tax rebate and sales tax holiday along with a veto change that will increase the sales tax holiday to five days from August 1st through the 5th this fall.

The sales tax holiday was a contentious late session negotiating point between GOP leaders in the Assembly and Senate. The compromise resulted in a scaled back version of the plan; however, Walker has now increased the tax savings available to back to school shoppers this fall.

“This rebate and sales tax holiday will help Wisconsin families with the costs of raising children,” Governor Walker said. “A couple hundred dollars more in the family budget could really make a difference, particularly when getting ready for the next school year. It could mean a new pair of shoes, a winter coat, activity fees at school, or a co-pay at the doctor or dentist. We are giving this money back to the hardworking taxpayers because it is their money to begin with, and we want them to spend it on their priorities, not Madison’s priorities.”

Anyone who is a resident of the State of Wisconsin is eligible to receive $100 for every dependent child living at home under the age of 18 as of December 31, 2017.

Beginning May 15, 2018, through July 2, 2018, eligible citizens can claim their $100-per-child tax rebate on a Department of Revenue website that will be announced prior to May 15. Please note claims cannot be submitted prior to May 15. Those who claim the rebate will receive the money before school starts this fall and have the option to receive it through a check in the mail or direct deposit.

Along with the child tax rebate, the legislation creates a back-to-school sales tax holiday in August. Governor Walker’s partial veto of the legislation expands the duration of the holiday to a total of five days, August 1 – 5, 2018. This means the state sales tax will not be charged for those days on school supplies where each item is $75 or less, clothing where each item is $75 or less, computers where each item is $750 or less, and computer supplies where each item is $250 or less.

“This sales tax holiday will provide additional relief to parents and grandparents as their children go back to school in the fall,” continued Governor Walker. “As the parents of two sons, Tonette and I know these back-to-school items can really add up, and we also know that every little bit helps.”

Governor Walker thanked the Legislature for passing this legislation with bipartisan support. The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 17-15 and was concurred by the Assembly on a vote of 59-31. It is Act 367.

Walker released the following veto message relating to the sales tax holiday:

“I have also exercised the partial veto in Section lf, as it relates to s. 77.54 (67) (b), because I object to limiting the sales tax holiday to only two days, which may deny hardworking taxpayers with children the chance to take advantage of this sales tax holiday. This partial veto would extend the sales tax holiday to the period starting on August 1, 2018, and extend it to the following Sunday, August 5, 2018. By extending the period of the sales tax holiday to these five days instead of two days, more parents and students will have the flexibility to save on critical purchases during the back-to¬ school season. Extending the applicable period by three days is estimated to reduce general fund tax revenues by an additional $3 million relative to the bill’s initial fiscal estimate of $11.8 million

“With these vetoes, all taxpayers with dependent children under age 18 will be able to claim this year’s sales and use tax rebate, providing meaningful tax relief to familieswith children, and taxpayers will have a longer period to benefit from the sales taxholiday this August.”