As he prepared for his fourth State of the State Address, Gov. Scott Walker, and Republican leaders are mulling several different tax cuts.
That word came as a result of a report from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, which reported late last week that tax collections were up and government spending was lower — resulting in a $911.9 million surplus in state coffers.
Walker, who was set to deliver his annual address Jan. 22, said that the surplus shows that "Wisconsin's economy continues to grow" adding that it is "great news for the hard-working taxpayers."
In a statement, Walker said he believed the additional revenue should be returned to taxpayers "because it's their money, and my administration will work with the Legislature to determine the most prudent course of action."
Advance word on the governor's speech was that it would include ideas on how to cut taxes. His staff said the speech would include "significant" tax cuts.
In recent weeks Walker's office and legislators have talked about various tax cut packages. The idea of eliminating state income taxes has been floated.
Part of that proposal would be raising state sales taxes and removing some exemptions.
In other capitol news last week, the race for governor became clearer. Walker will likely face Madison School Board member and former Trek Bicycle executive Mary Burke in the fall election. She also served in the Doyle Administration as Commerce Secretary.
She now stands as the only major Democrat to challenge Walker as state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout announced she would not seek the Democratic nomination.
Vinehout, who threw her hat in the race for the Democratic nomination during the recall election, said this week that she couldn't devote the energy to another run for governor after having a serious car accident in December.
She shattered her arm in the accident and had to have reconstructive surgery and more surgery is possible.