In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, Wisconsin collected $25.6 billion in state and local taxes. While this is an impressive sum of money, it tells us little about whether or not the average Wisconsin taxpayer can afford this level of taxation.
As shown in the charts below, Wisconsin’s state and local tax burden (tax collections divided by personal income) was the eleventh highest in the nation for FY 2011 at 11.3 percent—or 8.2 percent above the national average of 10.5 percent. Wisconsin’s tax burden has grown significantly over time by 42.7 percent to 11.3 percent in FY 2011 from 7.9 percent in FY 1950.
Wisconsin’s high tax burden is driven by a high property tax burden (4.3 percent, 11th highest), individual income tax burden (2.8 percent, 12th highest), and a high corporate income tax burden (0.38 percent, 18th highest). A lower than average sales tax burden is the only bright spot (2 percent, 36th highest).
J. Scott Moody has over 18 years as a public policy economist with a specialty in tax policy and has over 180 publications. He has worked for numerous national and state-based think tanks such as Federalism In Action, Tax Foundation, Heritage Foundation, and The Maine Heritage Policy Center.