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Assembly speaker willing to consider tax changes

MADISON (WRN)  There are a lot of rumblings about income tax cuts as we head into the new year.Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) says he would love to implement additional tax relief. “I’ve always been a big proponent of income tax reform. I like simplification. I wanna try to make it as ‘uncomplex’ as possible. I think that helps economic growth and it certainly helps small businesses create jobs.”

Though, he says, any tax cut would depend on the total amount of state tax collections.Vos expects another surplus in the spring. He also would like a system that’s “fair to everybody,” he says, “Which is why I’m definitely open to the idea of eliminating, if at all possible, or reducing the income tax.”

The current two-year state budget includes income tax cuts of almost $650 million. Governor Scott Walker has floated the idea of eliminating the income tax altogether. That lost revenue could be picked up by increasing the sales tax. Critics say that regressive move would hurt poor and low-income folks.

Vos is still weighing the options as they get ready for the next budget in 2015. “The only concern that I have, however, is I don’t want our sales tax to go up by a dime and have one of the highest sales taxes in the entire country. So you gotta find a balance.”

Vos has indicated interest in a sales tax holiday for buying back-to-school items late in the summer. Lawmakers return to the Capitol in mid-January; the current two-year state legislative session ends in April. Though Vos hopes to get everything done sooner than that.