February 22, 2011 / 5:50 PM / 9 years ago

Wisconsin governor signs bill to make tax rise tougher

People crowd the rotunda floor at the state Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin February 22, 2011. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law on Tuesday a bill that will make it tougher to approve state tax increases. REUTERS/Darren Hauck

MADISON, Wisconsin (Reuters) - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed into law on Tuesday a bill to make it tougher to approve state tax increases, a measure that is not related to the protests over attempts to curb the power of public unions.

The new law, which was proposed by the Republican governor, requires a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate and Assembly to raise income, sales or franchise tax rates instead of a simple-majority vote.

“I went to work today, met with my cabinet, and signed legislation that will help government operate within its means,” Walker said in a statement. “Wisconsinites can’t turn to raising taxes to balance their own family budgets when times get tough. This bill will ensure that we don’t kick the can down the road for a quick budget fix only to slap a long-term tax hike on the backs of Wisconsin taxpayers.”

The Republican-controlled legislature gave final approval to the measure on February 8, three days before Walker announced his controversial plan to curb public sector union bargaining rights as part of a plan to tackle a $3.74 billion, three-year budget deficit.

Reporting by Karen Pierog, Editing by Greg McCune

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