CHICAGO -- Gov. Tommy Thompson used his line-item veto power 457 times yesterday to slash $535 million in new taxes and appropriations from the two-year budget sent him last month by the Wisconsin Legislature.
As signed by the governor, the all-funds budget for the fiscal 1992-93 biennium is about $26 billion, according to the governor's office.
The revenue increases passed by the Democrat-controlled Legislature for the two-year budget period that began July 1 had been used to fund a property tax relief plan in which the first $30,000 of the market value of a principal residence would have been exempt from assessment for the purposes of levying property taxes.
In his veto message, Gov. Thompson said the plan was a sham because it would be funded by raising other taxes.
Michael Haas, an aide to Assembly Speaker Walter Kunicki, D-Milwaukee, said the Legislature probably will try to override some the governor's vetoes when it returns in October. He added, however, that lawmakers have not been able to muster the votes to override a veto since Gov. Thompson took office in 1987.
It takes a two-thirds vote of both houses of the Legislature to override a veto. Democrats have a 19-to-14 majority in the Senate, but 22 votes are needed to override a veto. The Democrats' majority is 56-to-43 in the Assembly, where 66 votes are needed for override.
Major budget actions taken by the governor included:
* Vetoing an increase in the corporate income tax to 8.4% from 7.9%. The increase would have raised $74 million for the state's general fund.
* Vetoing an increase in the cigarette tax to 40 cents from 30 cents per package that would have raised $68 million. Gov. Thompson said in his veto message that he would consider signing a 5-cent increase in the tax when the Legislature returns in October.
* Restoring a $200 individual income tax break for home owners. Eliminating the break would have added $295 million to state coffers.
* Vetoing new restrictions on capital gains tax breaks that would have added $72 million to the general fund.
* Vetoing an increase in the real estate transfer fee to $5 from $4, which would have raised $28 million.
The budget signed by the governor contains authorization for $568.4 million of revenue bonds and $63.2 million of general obligation bonds to finance a revolving-loan program for municipalities to fund the construction of wastewater treatment facilities.
Also included is authorization for the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority to issue $35 million of taxable bonds to provide a loan to the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team to assist in building a new $140 million stadium.
The state's $2.4 billion of outstanding general obligation debt is rated Aa by Moody's Investors Service and AA by Standard & Poor's Corp.