No Surprise: Scott Walker Tries to Distance Himself From His Nearly $1 Billion Tax Hike

Nov 18, 2014

As he attempts to garner support for his presidential campaign at the Republican Governors Association retreat in Florida, Scott Walker is coming to the realization that his nearly $1 billion tax hike might play well with the wealthy special interests it rewards, but it’s going to go over like a lead balloon with voters in Wisconsin — and nationally.

Speaking to reporters from Boca Raton, Walker is trying to back away from his administration’s transportation budget proposal saying it will need “significant changes.” The proposal addresses the transportation fund’s $680 million deficit with one of the largest proposed tax increases in Wisconsin history, nearly a billion dollars in new taxes and fees imposed on drivers, hundreds of millions in new debt, and transfers from the general revenue fund that will add to the state’s structural deficit.

The Associated Press reports that “Walker has refused to rule out anything in the department’s budget, including a gas tax increase that he previously opposed,” but he has yet to propose an alternative plan or suggest what kind of changes he would make to his administration’s proposal.

“The Walker administration’s proposal to impose on taxpayers one of the biggest tax increases in Wisconsin history was clearly orchestrated to come after the election, but it is beyond any reasonable belief to think Scott Walker didn’t personally sign off on this plan,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Wednesday. “Despite his transparent attempts to keep his hands clean of a nearly billion dollar tax hike this plan is classic Scott Walker and he’s got to own it. Unless Walker has already completely checked out of governing Wisconsin to run for president.”