As that report sunk into the media and the public awareness, the GOP lobbying group of “Wisconsin Property Taxpayers, Inc.” complaining about the Commission’s findings.
“Our group applauds the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding for their work on one of the most complicated policy objectives in our state- school funding,” said Mike Marsch, the organization’s president. “Schools are a source of pride for every local community in Wisconsin, and a strong education is undoubtedly the key to future success.
“But telling families, small businesses, and farmers that they are not contributing enough is not the way to go,” he added. “While historic dollar levels were invested in education in the last budget, we believe that the state’s schools would be better served by additional increases in state aid while allowing property tax caps to remain intact, freeing up more local revenues for infrastructure and other priorities.
“Some have argued that communities having a say in whether or not to raise their property taxes is a bad thing. But do the residents of every Wisconsin community not know their communities’ needs best? We believe they do, and urge caution when considering any type of automatic tax increase that remove residents’ voices from the process.”
Are these guys saying that they'd rather have numerous referendums and have schools be put in peril as a result instead of allowing locally-elected school boards have more latitude to make decisions on how their schools should be funded? That's how I'm reading that absurdity.
Look righties - allowing for revenue limits to rise gives local communities more of a chance to “know their communities’ needs best”. Because then the local school board have more of a chance to choose the level of funding and taxation that they deem appropriate, and that could be above OR BELOW what they have now. I thought you guys were all about
(Quick aside- the whole "Republicans are the only people who work and pay property taxes” meme needs to be taken out and buried. This liberal (and many other liberals like me) work and pay more than most of you “real Wisconsinites," because we choose to locate in places that are worth a damn. Get over yourselves.)
Let me back up and re-show this chart, which shows that dollars for property tax relief rose significantly in the Age of Fitzwalkerstan, while funding for the classroom and school services didn't. In particular, the Blue Ribbon Commission mirrored now-Gov Tony Evers budget request which asked that further state tax dollars for K-12 not go to the School Levy property tax credit, and instead go to the districts themselves.
Also complaining about the Blue Ribbon Commission's call for higher revenue limits are the oligarchs at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. WMC voiced concerns over the prospect of actually having to spending more money on schools that develop the work force that they are counting on in the future.
Last week, a bipartisan commission of legislators – led by Republicans Sen. Luther Olsen and Rep. Joel Kitchens – released a report calling for significant increases in government spending and automatic annual property tax increases on Wisconsinites. The recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding would increase already high costs for Wisconsin taxpayers.This isn’t anywhere close to true. Do the WMC dimwits know that the revenue limits that the Blue Ribbon Commission wants to raise reflect the combined state aids and property taxes involved? And the “increases in government spending” that WMC whines about is done IN ORDER TO TAKE PRESSURE OFF OF THE PROPERTY TAX as a means of funding schools. There’s no “automatic increase” in property taxes, and as I've mentioned, if state aids are sufficient, property taxes would be the same or lower in many places around Wisconsin.
After the report was released, WMC Senior Vice President of Government Relations Scott Manley released the following statement:
“The proposal to weaken property tax caps with automatic annual increases is a bad idea that will hurt Wisconsin families and businesses. Despite the progress made holding the line on property taxes over the last eight years, Wisconsinites continue to face the fifth-highest property tax burden in the nation.
“This proposal will make a difficult situation even worse by returning to the days of automatic property tax increases. The current system protects taxpayers by requiring government to obtain taxpayer approval before raising taxes. Lawmakers must continue to ensure this vital taxpayer protection remains in place, and reject the proposal for guaranteed annual property tax hikes.”
Does WMC really think that continuing the failing system that strangles public schools by keeping revenue limits at the same levels they were 5 years ago is a good strategy? You know, the one that currently forces many districts into a cycle of referendum and/or school closings every 2-3 years? And that’s in times without a recession that would further limit available funds.
Side note, what kind of “Chamber of Commerce” actively campaigns against investing in local public schools? Who wants to live in a place with declining/crappy schools? And who would locate their business in an area where the work force is less-educated and skilled?
No, what WMC fears is that their free ride of WEDC handouts and corporate tax cuts are coming to an end under Governor Evers, who will instead choose to invest in schools and other initiatives that improve quality of life in Wisconsin. They care more about rent-seeking and rigging our state’s economy in their favor than they do about making Wisconsin a great place for business and everyday life. They would rather spend millions to put right-wing judges on our Supreme Court than spend a dime on making their (and our) communities better.
Anyone who supports these greedheads should be mocked and shunned. They do have a list of the newly-elected officials from the Chamber of Commerce side, but WMC continues to hide the names of the CEOs that make up their Board of Directors. Fortuantely, the Internet is forever, and now seems like a good time to bring back the WMC LIST OF SHAME.
JAY L. SMITH, Chairman & CEO
Teel Plastics, Inc., Baraboo
STEPHEN D. LOEHR, Vice President
Kwik Trip, Inc., La Crosse
KURT R. BAUER
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), Madison
TOD B. LINSTROTH, Senior Partner & Past Member & Chair of Management Committee
Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, Madison
GINA A. PETER, Executive Vice President, Commercial Banking Division Manager
Wells Fargo Bank, Milwaukee
WMC BOARD OF DIRECTORS
DARYL ADEL, Business President
SIDNEY H. BLISS, President & CEO
Bliss Communications, Inc., Janesville
DAMOND WILLIAMS BOATWRIGHT, Regional President – Operations
SSM Health Care of Wisconsin, Madison
STEVEN G. BOOTH, President/CEO
Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc., Milwaukee
DAVID H. BRETTING, President & CEO
C.G. Bretting Manufacturing Company, Inc., Ashland
THOMAS A. BURKE, President & CEO
Modine Manufacturing Company, Racine
NATE CUNNIFF, Senior Vice President – Business Banking
BMO Harris Bank, Brookfield
DANIEL DEFNET, Executive Vice President, Commercial Banking
Johnson Financial Group, Racine
BRAD W. DENOYER, CPA, Partner
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, Madison
JOHN N. DYKEMA, President/Owner
Campbell Wrapper Corporation; Circle Packaging Machinery, Inc., De Pere
PHILIP B. FLYNN, President & CEO
Associated Banc-Corp, Green Bay
JEFF T. FRENCH, National Managing Partner, Consumer & Industrial Products
Grant Thornton, LLP, Appleton
PHILIP C. FRITSCHE, SR., President
Beaver Dam Area Chamber of Commerce, Beaver Dam
LOUIS P. GENTINE II, CEO
Sargento Foods Inc., Plymouth
ROBERT GERBITZ, President & CEO
Hendricks Commercial Properties, Beloit
MICHAEL F. HAMERLIK, President & CEO
WPS Health Solutions, Madison
STEVEN H. JOHNSON, Factory Manager
John Deere Horicon Works, Horicon
WILSON R. JONES, President & CEO
Oshkosh Corporation, Oshkosh
PATRICIA LEONARD KAMPLING, Chairman & CEO
Alliant Energy Corporation, Madison
ROBERT L. KELLER, Chairman
J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc., Neenah
SUZANNE KELLEY, President & CEO
Waukesha County Business Alliance, Waukesha
CLIFFORD J. KING, CEO
Skyward, Inc., Stevens Point
JAMES M. LEEF, President & CEO
ITU AbsorbTech, Inc., New Berlin
ALLEN L. LEVERETT, President
WEC Energy Group, Milwaukee
SCOTT A. MAYER, Chairman & CEO
QPS Employment Group, Brookfield
JAMES J. McINTYRE, President and CEO
The Greenheck Group, Schofield
J. R. MENARD, Executive Vice President & Treasurer
Menard, Inc., Eau Claire
ROSALIE F. MORGAN, President
EMCS, Inc., Milwaukee
ROBERT MOSES, President & CEO
Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce, Prairie du Chien
BARBARA NICK, President & CEO
Dairyland Power Cooperative, La Crosse
MICHAEL NIKOLAI, President, COO & CEO
Waupaca Foundry Inc., Waupaca
JAMES J. OSTROM, President & CEO
Milk Source LLC, Kaukauna
These guys have gotten deregulation and tax cuts at the state and federal levels several times over the last 8 years. And they always want more, and never want to do anything to pay back the society that they take so much from. ENOUGH!