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Wisconsin Governor Walker signs $504 million tax cut

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker speaks after witnessing a signing memorandum of understanding of the commercial deals between U.S. and China
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker speaks after witnessing a signing memorandum of understanding of the commercial deals between U.S. and China

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a Republican, on Monday signed into law a measure that uses the state's projected surplus to give a tax break of more than $500 million to workers and property owners.

The law puts into place $504 million in tax cuts, consisting of $406 million in property tax relief and a $98 million state income tax break for those in the lowest tax bracket.

A typical state homeowner will see a $100 reduction in property taxes and a worker who makes $40,000 will save about $58 annually, according to the governor's office.

"This is a great day for the hardworking taxpayers of Wisconsin," Walker said in a statement.

The Republican-led state Assembly voted 61-35 along party lines to approve the measure last Tuesday, two weeks after it was approved by the state Senate.

Critics of the legislation have said the surplus should be used to create jobs, offset spending cuts to public education and to pay down debt.

Walker, who is running for re-election this year, has vowed to funnel most of Wisconsin's projected surplus to residents through tax breaks.

The state was estimated to have a $911 million surplus at the end of its biennial budget in June of 2015, according to fiscal documents.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; editing by Scott Malone and Matthew Lewis)

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