Gov. Evers Proposes Local Sales Tax Plan 

Gov. Tony Evers today announced his 2021-23 biennial budget proposal will include a proposal that would allow counties, if supported and approved by referendum by local residents, to impose an additional 0.5 percent sales tax in addition to the 0.5 percent allowed under current law. The governor’s plan will also allow, if supported and approved by referendum of residents, municipalities with populations in excess of 30,000 (as determined by the 2020 U.S. Census data or estimated by the Department of Administration) to impose a 0.5 percent sales tax. Any changes to enact the local option sales tax would require a local referendum, allowing each community to decide if this is a tool they want to utilize.

Wisconsin’s sales tax is 5 percent. Under current law, counties have the ability to impose an additional 0.5 percent tax, along with other tools such as the premier resort area tax in certain cases. To date, 68 out of 72 counties have enacted the 0.5 percent county sales tax.

Among states imposing a sales tax, Wisconsin has the second lowest population-weighted combined state and local sales tax rate and has the lowest sales tax among its Midwestern neighbors, with Indiana at 7 percent, Minnesota at 6.875 percent, Illinois at 6.25 percent, and Iowa and Michigan at 6 percent. Among the 36 states allowing local general sales taxes, Wisconsin has the 6th lowest reliance as a percent of personal income.