14 June 2013

Tax Cuts and You: Wisconsin's Failed State Policy

Rather than investing WI's so-called "budget surplus," which happens to be an arbitrary amount not based on sustained growth, in something that matters, such as infrastructure investment, public education funding, stem cell research, environmental clean-up initiatives, or alternative energy sources, WI's conservatives have voted to cut taxes, defund public schools, fund private schools with public dollars, and ignore clean water / alternative energy concerns.

And do you know what kind of tax reductions Wisconsinites will receive?   

For taxpayers with a tax reduction, the average reduction would be $83, or -2.23%.  On average, taxpayers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) between $25,000 and $30,000 would experience the largest percentage reduction in net tax liability (3.3%), but that percentage decreases as AGI increases. The percentage reduction for taxpayers with $300,000 or more of AGI would be 0.6%. However, the average tax decrease for those taxpayers is estimated at $294, slightly less than the $298 average decrease that would be received by taxpayers with AGI between $250,000 and $300,000. The average tax decrease would increase as income rises.  Reminiscent of the recent property tax reductions that netted an average of $25 reductions.

When you just stop to think about this even for a second, it's a real struggle to come up with any logical reason for making these reductions except for politicians to be able to claim a better tax-rate ranking by state.  While some taxpayers will see a few hundred dollar reduction in taxes, tens of thousands will lose Medicaid coverage, public schools in urban and rural districts will see funding depleted, and the state will now finance two competing school districts,  

And all of this was done in the wee hours of the night on Tuesday/Wednesday and then rushed through the legislature.  It's politics at its worst.  

Then there's the vindictive vote to boot the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism off the UW campus and forbid them from hiring any employees of the UW system.  Many observers realized right away, including Charlie Sykes, that this late omnibus settled personal vendettas.  Conservatives in the state have been gunning for the WCIJ ever since it received funding from George Soros, and sprung the story of the Prosser assault.

Alberta Darling and her fellow Republicans are a disgrace to our state.  Darling receives tens of thousands of bucks from Ted Kellner, who dad must know from his time as a member of the GMC.  This guy's got his hands in so many pots and has been a staunch proponent of voucher schools and Republican causes for a long time.  So we know where the policies are coming from.

The only guy I heard making any sense on that side of the fence was Dale Schultz.  I would guess he's now in danger of losing his seat to some right-wing whack-job.

The committee chaired by Ms. Darling is called the Joint Finance Committee but the Rep majority has made it abundantly clear there is no Joint in this committee neither by way of compromise nor ganja.  We'd have been better off if these knuckleheads would have turned this late night session into a late night smoking session replete with corn nuts and SNL reruns while stoking up their hash in these cracked budget papers.

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