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Who would Gov. Walker’s proposed tax cut benefit?

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MADISON (WITI) -- Who would benefit from Gov. Walker's proposed tax cut? Some critics argue it's too heavily weighted toward the wealthy, but Gov. Walker says it is designed to benefit the middle class.

Gov. Scott Walker is defending his plan for a $330 million income tax cut. Gov. Walker proposes dropping rates in the state's three lowest tax brackets. That includes couples making more than $300,000 a year.

Joint Finance Committee member Jon Richards, a Milwaukee Democrat, says the Legislature should alter Gov. Walker's proposal.

"I don't understand why we should be giving a tax break to someone who makes more than $315,000 a year, which the governor's budget  does.  I don't think that's right. I think we should be directing that relief to people in the middle and make sure people on the high end pay their fair share," Rep. Richards said.

Republican state Rep. Pat Strachota of West Bend sits on the Budget Writing Committee. She says the highest earners get the biggest piece of the tax cut because they pay a larger share of their incomes in taxes.

"I don't look at it as an unfair advantage. They're paying a much larger share of that and on a percentage basis, they're going to get a much smaller share of this income tax cut," Rep. Strachota said.

Gov. Walker says the fact that the debate is about a tax cut and not an increase shows he's won the argument over state spending.

"People like Rep. Richards and others have voted for a multi-billion dollar tax increase in the past. The fact that they're focused on our income tax cuts is a good sign that we went from a deficit to a surplus, from tax increases to tax cuts. That's a great debate for the taxpayers," Gov. Walker said.

Gov. Walker's budget is the outline, but now, the Joint Finance Committee will review the document, then go on what some lawmakers call the "budget road show" -- holding town hall meetings across the state.

The budget they came up with will likely be voted on in June.