K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Wisconsin’s per person State taxes were $4,661, below the US average of $4,875 in 2014


Wisconsin is now 22nd highest in the country when measuring taxes against income. Because high-tax states such as New York can skew the national average upward, it’s possible for a state to fall below the national average in taxes but still rank higher than 25th.

State and local taxes in 2014 added up to $4,661 per person in Wisconsin, $214 below the national average of $4,875. On this per-capita measure, Wisconsin ranks 20th in the country, according to Jon Peacock, the research director of Kids Forward, which advocates for needy children and families.

Peacock noted that the state’s falling tax ranking hasn’t kept Wisconsin from lagging in job creation compared to other states in recent years.

“In light of the new tax ranking, I hope legislators will be less obsessed with additional tax cuts will focus instead on making the investments in education, health care and infrastructure that are critical for our state’s future economic prosperity,” Peacock said.

There’s no sign that conservative lawmakers like Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) are going to drop talk of tax cuts, however. In a statement, Stroebel said he still wanted to lower taxes on businesses and flatten the state income taxes to have the rich and the poor pay taxes at more similar rates.

Locally, the K-12 spending and tax burden continue to grow, significantly.