Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Milwaukee County Sales Tax Baloney

So, you thought I was joking earlier today when I wrote:

Some members of the impotent Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors are suggesting raising the sales tax in Milwaukee County from the current 5.85 percent to a whopping 6.85 percent. That's a 17 percent hike in the local sales tax.

The humorous part about this proposal?

They are going to claim that part of this hike will go toward 'tax relief.'

Yet, that's exactly what County Board Supervisors John Weishan, Gerry Broderick and James White are saying.

From JSOnline's Daywatch:

Three Milwaukee County Board supervisors today proposed an advisory referendum on a 1-percentage-point increase in the county sales tax that they say will shore up shrinking county funding for parks, cultural institutions and the bus system, while lightening the property tax load.
The County's current portion of the sales tax is .5 percent. These three supervisors are proposing a 300 percent increase in the County's portion for an overall sales tax increase of 17 percent.

Raise taxes to provide tax relief? That's Baloney, Man!

The history of this proposed tax hike is almost as funny as the claim that it would provide tax relief.

By incorporating public transit as a beneficiary of the tax, the new 1% proposal attempts to build a broader coalition behind a measure that could force a referendum onto the Nov. 7 ballot over Walker's objections. The new plan could get its first public airing Wednesday morning at the board's Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee.

At one point, Weishan and a second sponsor, Supervisor Gerry Broderick, had structured the measure as a 0.75% sales tax. But the third sponsor, Supervisor James White, said that their proposal would not provide enough revenue for transit needs, even though it would fully fund all parks, recreation and culture needs.

So, in order to gain support for their tax hike, they had to hike the tax even more to cover more spending.

Hell if they proposed a 400 percent hike they may be able to get a veto proof majority to back the idea.

Perhaps Weishan, Broderick and White should consider these facts.

The average state and local tax burden in Wisconsin exceeds 30 percent.

This massive hike would make Milwaukee a sales tax island.

Keep jacking up taxes and there will be no one left here to ride the bus, visit the museum or use the park.

The good news is thanks to Scott Walker and his promised veto, this referendum will not go before the voters. Even if it did, the chance of state law being changed to allow Milwaukee County to hike their sales tax that much is zip, as long as Republicans maintain control of the legislature.

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6 Comments:

At 3:38 PM, Anonymous said...

What is so crazy about finding additional revenue to reduce dependence on property taxes?

Also - how do you propose we pay for county government. And - before you creel "Stop Spending Money!" tell us where the cuts come from.

 
At 3:44 PM, Anonymous said...

i'll take this one up...

you can't provide relief by taking money out of the left pocket instead of the right. milwaukee county's problem is not that we tax too little, it's that we spend too much.

what to cut? eliminate gamp it's not mandated

sell 25 percent of the parks, use 70 percent of that money for a park endowment for future maintenance

lease the golf courses

cut the county board to 11, eliminate the boost in chairman's salary

cut the staff for the executive office in half

eliminate the 2 county-paid lobbyists

stop patroling the interstate. it's the state patrol's responsibility

that's just off the top of my head

 
At 4:08 PM, Anonymous said...

close the deep water pools. lease or sell them.

staffing, the costs associated with salary and benefits and retirement benefits--combined with outrageous retiree obligations are killing the county. We're limited to what we can do with retirees, so must look into cutting staff. the pools and parks require a lot of staff for operation and maintenance.

it is clear the county can not afford to run a park system as large as it currently is. evaluating the assets and selling/leasing some may be the only way to save any of them.

milwaukee co will continue to lose population until the crime, public school and tax problems are solved.

 
At 4:45 PM, Dohnal said...

Where should the cuts come from Anonymous lefty? Draw up a list of priorities for county government, then an estimate of the amount of money to be raised in present system. Start down the list or priorities and when you run out of money, everything under that space gets dropped. That is what state of Washington did and it works.
Everything else has to pay it's way or be funded privately.

 
At 5:13 PM, Anonymous said...

Anonymous left? I'm a lefty because I dare ask the question?

Again, the rightwing strikes a blow against substance and discussion.

 
At 9:37 AM, Anonymous said...

Hey lefty...you conviently ignored all the other comments.

You don't want substance, you just want to bitch.

 

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