Gubernatorial Candidate Rebecca Kleefisch’s New Tax Plan Will Set Wisconsin on the Path to ‘Eliminating the Income Tax’

by Benjamin Yount


Rebecca Kleefisch can, and will, explain her tax plan in minute detail if you let her.

Wisconsin’s former Lt. Governor isn’t hiding her passion as she runs for governor on the Republican ticket this fall.

“I am not going to apologize for loving Wisconsin and being deeply disappointed with what Gov. Tony Evers has done to our beautiful state,” Kleefisch told The Center Square in a one-on-one interview.

Kleefisch served two terms as Gov. Scott Walker’s lieutenant governor. She was also the first to enter the Republican race for governor this year. She is most known for her time as a reporter on WISN TV in Milwaukee before elected to office as lieutenant governor. She and Gov. Walker lost their bids for a third term back in 2018.

Kleefisch has been hounded by concerns that she cannot beat Gov. Tony Evers in November.

But she says she is the only Republican in the race who can.

“Take a look at where I am with independents. I am plus-14 with independents, far and away from the other candidates. And I am the only candidate who can beat Tony Evers,” Kleefisch said, citing numbers from the latest Marquette Law School Poll. “[In 2016] we started to see a bleed of suburban moms from the WOW (Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington) counties. The good news is that I am a suburban mom, from the WOW counties.”

Kleefisch has tied herself to the Walker years, including Act 10, Right to Work, and the state’s budget changes that have resulted in a record surplus. But the Walker years also include Foxconn.

“I am disappointed that we don’t have those 13,000 new jobs,” Kleefisch admitted. “I was as eager as everybody else, including the governor himself, to see 13,000 new jobs created.”

Kleefisch said her new job creation focus lies with changing Wisconsin’s tax structure.

“We’re going to push everyone through a 3.54% flat income tax, on our way to eliminating the income tax,” Kleefisch said. “We’ve got to compete with all of our surrounding states, and at 3.54% which is our lowest bracket, we will beat everyone around us.”

A number of conservative groups, as well as former Gov. Walker, want to eliminate Wisconsin’s personal income tax. Kleefisch said she wants to get there, but is worried about raising other taxes too high.

She also wants to end Wisconsin’s personal property tax, and usher in a new round of welfare reform that she says will get people back to work.

Kleefisch is also promising to eliminate the Wisconsin Elections Commission. She calls it “a failed agency that is completely lawless.”

She’s also promising to expand school choice in Wisconsin, and reign in what she calls the slide to left in the state’s public schools.

Kleefisch was the frontrunner in the Republican race until the latest Marquette Law School Poll, where she slipped to second. She has 26% of the Republican primary vote, one point behind Tim Michels.

“Tim Michels threw absolutely everything he could at this,” Kleefisch explained. “Spending a million-dollars a week on TV, and a Trump endorsement, and he pulled even.”

Kleefisch said that same poll showed her head-to-head with Gov. Evers within the margin of error, and the only Republican candidate that could beat the governor.

Voters will decide on a Republican candidate to take on Gov. Evers on Election Day, August 9.

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Benjamin Yount  is a contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “Rebecca Kleefisch” by Rebecca Kleefisch. Background Photo “Wisconsin State Capitol” by Vijay Kumar Koulampet. CC BY-SA 3.0.

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