Gov.-elect Walker: Unveils tax deductible Health Savings Account plan

Contact: Cullen Werwie, 608-261-9200

“Wisconsin Is Open for Business Special Session” Preview

PEWAUKEE–Wisconsin residents will see lower health care costs under a proposal from Governor-elect Scott Walker to end taxation of health savings accounts.

Walker will introduce the HSA tax cut as part of the “Wisconsin is Open for Business Special Session” in January. Wisconsin is one of the last states in the nation to tax HSAs.

“Employees and small businesses need to have the flexibility provided by HSAs, and there’s no reason they should be taxed,” Walker said. “This will make health care more affordable for folks who use HSAs.”

Walker will call the Legislature into a special session in January. The “Wisconsin is Open for Business Special Session” will see a series of pro-growth policies introduced in the Legislature aimed at improving the business climate. Walker said tax relief, regulation reform, common sense legal reforms, government reorganization, and other measures will be part of the special session.

“We need to send a message from Main Street to Wall Street that Wisconsin is Open for Business,” Walker said. “Wisconsin will be prosperous if we have more folks working in manufacturing than we do in government. We need to be a state that creates 250,000 jobs in the next four years.”

The HSA tax deductibility legislation is modeled on a proposal that passed the Legislature twice in 2005, but was vetoed. Consumers are expected to save between $4 million and $8 million if HSAs are tax exempt.

Walker unveiled the plan at the annual management conference of the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association in Pewaukee.

Past legislative authors of HSA deductibility are:

Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills)

Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon)

Rep. Dean Kaufert (R-Neenah)

Rep. Bob Ziegelbauer (I-Manitowoc)

“I thank Senators Darling and Olsen and Representatives Kaufert and Ziegelbauer for their leadership on this issue,” Walker said. “I hope to forge a bipartisan consensus to pass this common sense reform to lower health care costs for our families.”