Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tax Ranking Spin

There was lots of ballyhoo!! and shouting!!! yesterday as a story from the Wisconsin Taxpayers' Alliance showed that Wisconsin's State/Local tax burden was 11th in the country.

That is, Wisconsin is out of the Top 10 Bloodsucking States.

But if you think you paid a lot of taxes, you're right--because:

...Wisconsin's taxes actually rose slightly in the fiscal year ended in June 2006 but those of other states rose more quickly

Yup. Some other States out-taxed Wisconsin last year.

Another news-editing quirk: while most reports stated that Wisconsin had only been in the "Big 10" since 1980, that does NOT tell the whole story.

Berry said the last time the state ranked 11th in the nation or better on taxes was in 1980, the year in which then Republican Gov. Lee Sherman Dreyfus and state lawmakers made a one-time cut in income taxes of $942 million.

Aside from that single year anomaly, the state has been in the top 10 since 1969, Berry said

Uh huh. That should make our Legislative Democrats feel better...

The actualities?

...all state and local taxes amounted to $22.3 billion, or 12.3 percent of personal income in Wisconsin in 2006. That was up slightly from the previous year, when taxes accounted for 12.1 percent of personal income.

The national average in 2006 for state and local taxes was 11.6 percent of personal income

In other words, you're still screwed more than most US citizens.

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