Main Street businesses are the fabric of our communities, weaving together charm, friendly service and economic impact. From dinners to hair salons, florists and antique stores, these businesses all play a vital role in creating jobs, attracting new visitors and a sense of local pride.
But what most people don’t realize is that these business owners have to pay property tax on the chairs you sit on, the table you eat at, the counter that calls you, and the window display. glass that contains the jewelry. The repeal of personal property tax has been a bipartisan goal for years, and that is why I recently introduced a bill to eliminate it once and for all.
Over the past several months, I have worked hard with Governor Evers, my colleagues in the state legislature, and the Department of Revenue to craft a comprehensive bill that rids Wisconsin businesses of this hefty tax and protects our local government units.
Personal property tax administration is complicated and costs businesses and local communities valuable time and money. Our Main Street stores should be given more incentive to grow their business by hiring more employees or expanding their inventory without increasing the tax bill. Small businesses shouldn’t be crippled by a 170-year-old tax with more exclusions than a Thanksgiving turkey. I’ve always thought tax breaks should go to the middle class, not the corporate giants. That is why I am defending this bill and voted earlier this year to reduce income taxes for Wisconsin families by $ 2.7 billion.
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This bill also alleviates concerns that municipal governments will lose revenue by repealing the tax. With the money the governor kept in our state budget, we can now compensate local governments for any losses after the tax is eliminated. As a result, cities and towns will not sacrifice their public safety budgets, essential maintenance projects and economic development initiatives. These are decisions that impact our day-to-day lives, and no one is better equipped to meet the needs of the community than the people of Main Street and Town Hall.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for our local businesses. Unfortunately, too many storefronts have had to close or downsize due to economic hardship. It’s time to eliminate personal property tax, because communities succeed when local businesses can thrive and working families have more money to invest in their future.
Senator Brad Pfaff represents the 32nd Senate District, which includes La Crosse, Vernon, Crawford and southern Monroe County.
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