Friday, March 05, 2010

The Tax-Takers' New Clothes

Wisconsin Way, again.

...The group's "blueprint for change" suggests a variety of business-growth incentives and a plan to wean the university system from volatile state funding through a delayed-tuition payment plan tied to graduates' incomes.

The Wisconsin Way includes the state's largest teachers union and associations representing real estate agents, road builders, transportation advocates, cities, villages and counties. Members come from different political perspectives but all have a big stake in the health of government services.

The Realtors are interested in reducing home carrying-costs, making RE sales easier.

We first noticed this "Wisconsin Way" bunch in late '07, when their flak hit a radio show. The pertinent excerpt from that blog entry is this:

In 30 solid minutes, I NEVER heard the phrase "cut spending." What I DID hear was "increase investment" and "re-align taxation."

And we all know what "increase investment" really means, right?

Well, if you don't, let James Wood (same flak) help you understand!!

Among the coalition's recommended options:

Higher education: Try to stabilize University of Wisconsin System funding by phasing out state support and asking students to pay reduced tuition over a 25-year period at levels based on their income and whether they stay in the state. An accelerated three-year degree program would be more closely tied to career development.

That's a progressive income tax based partly on residency.

Cut property taxes at least 25% through a combination of tax shifts, government efficiencies and other measures. Boost the 5% state sales tax to 6%, and let counties double local sales taxes to 1%. Pay for public safety through user fees so currently exempt property owners contribute.

Charge tolls on the interstate system. Consider expanding sales taxes to current exempt services. Cut capital gains taxes.

The key term is "tax shifts." Rob Peter, pay Paul.

Or, better yet, rob BOTH of them to pay teachers and roadbuilders!

K-12 schools: Save money by letting state government control school construction and funding.

Sure. Who needs "local control" when cheese-eating/wine-drinking lobbyists can get what the tax-takers want in Madison?

Now the soothing Soma-coated foofoodust:

The coalition does not estimate the overall tax impact of its proposals. Its goal is a sustainable tax base that is "reasonable and affordable." The tax base is threatened in part because older fixed-income residents will make up a much larger share of the population in the decades ahead, the report says.

*Cough* Sure.

By the way: proptaxes are Federally deductible, remember?

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