When the news came out that Wisconsin residents were classified as "stingy" in regards to charitable giving, my first thought was "No!" followed by "Well, the tax burden plays a part in this"--particularly when one reads that Massachusetts is also ranked "stingy."
Along comes Professor Bainbridge, a UCLA Law prof, with Tax Foundation's Tax Freedom Day analysis, which measures the burden of taxation on a state by state basic. I've quickly eyeballed the two lists and it looks like "generous" states tend to have low tax burdens, which in turn suggests that taxation may tend to squeeze out charitable giving. (Thereby proving Edmund Burke's point about how the Leviathan state tramples the little platoons of society?)
We are painfully aware that Wisconsin's state/local per capita tax burden is 4th in the USA. Further, Wisconsin residents' per capita income is LESS than the US average--meaning that we are overtaxed (in relation to the US average) by about 25%.
This creates a problem with 'disposable income' which is reflected in charitable giving.
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Until Wisconsin has term limits and elimination of full time pay and benefits for state legislators, we will continue to be a big spending overtaxed state. TABOR is just a convenient distraction from what really needs to be done. If you think teacher benefits are over the top, take a look at the benefits state legislators have given themselves. Is it true that after 6 years of employment, legislators receive lifetime benefits.
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