Monday, July 27, 2015

Was $3 worth destroying the state over?

You know that property tax cut Scott Walker and the Wisconsin GOP promised would be part of the state budget? The Legislative Fiscal Bureau gave a look into projections for the average Wisconsinite's tax bill, and let's just say I wouldn't plan on getting a nice Christmas bonus off your December tax bill. Not surprisingly, a main culprit is the funneling of tens of millions of dollars from public school districts to vouchers.
The Legislature made several changes to SB 21 [the state budget bill] that affected the estimated property tax levels for school districts. Under Act 55, districts will be able to count incoming pupils who begin participating in the Racine or statewide private school choice programs in the 2015-16 school year or thereafter for revenue limit and general aid purposes. Act 55 also provides a revenue limit adjustment for consolidated school districts. Modifications were also made to per pupil payments and estimated participation in the independent charter school program and private school choice programs, which would affect the backfill levy associated with those programs. Compared to the Governor, these modifications are estimated to increase property tax levels by $21.0 million in 2015(16) and $23.5 million in 2016(17) for school districts and by $0.7 million in 2015(16) and $0.9 million in 2016(17) for tax incremental districts.

As a result of the preceding changes, gross property tax levies are estimated to increase on a statewide basis by 1.9% in 2015(16) and 0.8% in 2016(17), and net tax levies would increase by an estimated 1.1% in 2015(16) and 0.9% in 2016(17). These tax changes would translate into tax bills for a median-valued home estimated at $2,830 in 2015(16) and $2,828 in 2016(17). These represent decreases of $1 (-0.04%) in 2015(16) and $2 (-0.07%) in 2016(17).
THREE WHOLE DOLLARS OVER TWO YEARS???! That won't even buy a gallon of milk.

Hope THAT was worth fucking over public education, local government services, and having our roads become more likely to be filled with potholes. Oh, and because of (right-to) work-for-less, the repeal of some prevailing wage provisions, and higher co-pays for insurance (if you're a public employee), you'll be likely taking home a lot less than the $3 in property tax you MAY save. I'd much rather have my taxes go up and live in a state and community that's growing and caring about its citizens than getting this insulting pittance of a tax break. And if you don't feel the same, you are one pathetic dead-ender.

Had enough, yet?

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