Amid budget crisis, state cuts Social Security tax - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Amid budget crisis, state cuts Social Security tax


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Despite the worst budget deficit in Wisconsin history, many senior citizens are on track to get tax breaks next year worth $118 million.

  Lawmakers agreed to phase out taxes on Social Security income in the 2005 budget.

  Governor Doyle used his partial veto power to eliminate them in tax year 2008.

  The Department of Revenue says an estimated 228,000 senior citizens will get average reductions of $518 on taxes due in April even as lawmakers determine which services to cut and taxes to raise.

  Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance president Todd Berry says the tax cuts are one of many examples of irresponsible budgeting by the governor and lawmakers that helped build the deficit.

  He says nobody asked whether it made sense to give tax breaks to wealthier senior citizens with other sources of income.

  But advocates say the breaks come at a good time for senior citizens, whose savings have taken huge hits as a result of the downturn in the stock market.

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