(News Release) -- New Census Bureau figures just released for 2014 show Wisconsin’s state-local tax burden declining from 15th highest among the states in 2013 to 16th in 2014. Taxes here fell from 10.9% of personal income in 2013 to 10.8% in 2014. Nationally, taxes relative to income rose from 10.4% in 2013 to 10.6% in 2014. Census figures always lag two years. WISTAX is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to public policy research and citizen education.

After reaching 11.8% of income in 2011, Wisconsin’s state-local tax burden declined for three consecutive years, due largely to a drop in local taxes as a share of personal income. During 2011-14, Wisconsin’s local tax burden fell from 4.8% to 4.1% of income. By comparison, state taxes as a share of personal income dropped less—0.3 percentage points, from 7.0% to 6.7%. A tightening of property tax limits imposed by the state on local governments explain the drop in local tax burden.

The newly-released Census figures also show that, among Wisconsin’s major taxes:

  • Property taxes claimed 3.9% of income, 11th highest among the states;
  • Individual income taxes claimed 2.8% of income, 12th highest nationally;
  • Sales taxes took 2.0% of income, 34th highest; and
  • Corporate income taxes claimed 0.4% of income, 15th highest.

A broader measure of state-local revenue adds to taxes fees charged by state or local governments. Combined, taxes and fees in Wisconsin claimed 13.8% of income in 2014, down from 14.0% in 2013. The state’s rank on this tax-and-fee measure declined from 18th to 22nd.

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The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, founded in 1932, is the state’s oldest and most respected private government-research organization. Through its research, publications, civic lectures, and school talks, WISTAX aims to improve Wisconsin government through citizen education. Nonprofit, nonpartisan, and independently funded, WISTAX is not affiliated with any group—national, state, or local—and receives no government support.


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