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Report: Walker would veto new mine tax

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A worker drives a skip loader while working at the site of a rare earth metals mine at Nancheng county
A worker drives a skip loader while working at the site of a rare earth metals mine at Nancheng county

MADISON (WSAU)   The governor’s office has indicated that Scott Walker would veto a proposed tax on minerals taken by mining companies. Spokesman Cullen Werwie remains opposed to tax hikes. But according to Senate Democrat Tim Cullen of Janesville, Wisconsin mines would still get a better tax deal than similar sites in neighboring Minnesota – even with the so-called “tonnage tax.”

The tax was part of Cullen’s alternative mining bill, which he introduced after he objected to the package introduced by majority Republicans. Senate G-O-P leader Scott Fitzgerald told a business conference in Madison yesterday that some of his fellow Republicans have supported the tonnage tax – but he’s against it, and he’s sure that Walker would veto it.

The G-O-P package would tax mining companies on their income, as opposed to starting a brand new tax on what’s taken out of the ground. Cullen said Republicans are ignoring the law they passed a year ago, in which miners and other companies will have no corporate income tax liability by 2015.

Meanwhile, the Americans for Tax Reform sent an e-mail to Walker and certain legislators, saying the tonnage tax would violate their pledge not to raise any taxes. The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee will be the next to consider the mining package. No date has been set for that.

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