data from Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance December 2011 Wisconsin Taxes up 5.4%
State and local taxes claimed 11.9% of personal income in fiscal year 2011. That is up from 11.7% in 2010 and 11.3% in 2009. Total taxes and fees collected by state and local governments was $25.9 billion in 2011, a 5.4% increase from the $24.6 billion collected in 2010.
Following are the sources of these taxes and fees:
Property Tax 36.0% Individual Inc. Tax25.9% Sales Tax15.9% Corporate Inc. & UC7.2% Motor Vehicle6.0% Tobacco, Beer, Wine2.3% Hospital & Insurance2.2% Local Sales Tax1.6% Utilities1.4% All Other1.5%
Wisconsin relies heavily on property tax and individual income tax to fund state-local governments and is more than 25% above the national average. Sales tax is 12% below the national average.
Wisconsin population growth from 2000 to 2010 was 6% compared to national average of 9.7%. The median age was 3.5% higher than national average ranking Wisconsin as the 16th oldest state. Wisconsin home ownership is 71% compared to 66.9% nationally. An estimated 58.8% of U.S. residents live in the state in which they were born.In Wisconsin the number is 72.1%.
Population age 25+ with college degree is 28.1% nationally and 26.4%. in Wisconsin. The state’s median household income of $50,522 was 2.2% above national average. Wisconsin has a higher number of two earner households. The state’s poverty rate among families was 9.1% compared to national average of 11.3%. Single parent households accounted for more than two-thirds of all Wisconsin families in poverty. Wisconsin is growing at a slower pace and aging more quickly than the nation. This creates an imbalance of retirees and need for senior services with a slower growth of the working-age population. Private sector job creation and the migration of younger working families to Wisconsin is a must.
Public want a "Fair" Superintendent to Lead Unified
But business management skills and "no new plan or vision" important too
The Superintendent Search Committee has selected Ray and Associates, McPherseron & Jacobson LLC and Cascade Consulting Group as final candidates. The committee will interview these three firms after the holiday break.
Community input to the RUSD “Search Survey” identified the following: Most important issues facing district: budget, poverty, fiscal responsibility and facilities. Four most critical characteristics for new superintendent: Deals fairly & effectively, values accountability, demonstrates strength in finance & facility maintenance, success in closing achievement gaps. Most common additional comments for new superintendent: #1) needs business management skills & experience, #4) build on current programs, no new plan/vision. #8) have an educational background, experience. Current and former RUSD employees were 59% of survey respondents. The majority view was in line with RTA’S goal of a business, finance and results oriented chief executive.
The Board asked District administrators to begin a preliminary conversation about redistricting. Chief Financial Officer Dave Hazen explained that the two major issues facing the District are: 1) The looming deficit next year, 2) Vouchers and how the District can maintain a competitive edge. Some very preliminary ideas were presented to the Board. These ideas focused around Wind Point Elementary School since Wind Point has low student enrollment. Four options were presented and No decisions were made. In early February, the Board will have a study session to continue exploring options. It looks like the board might be getting serious about the loss of students and the resulting need for consolidation.
Stacy Tapp, Director, Communications and Public Information presented a legislative advocacy program that would be available through the RUSD website. The purpose is to engage community members in becoming political advocates for the District and to keep participants informed about education issues that impact Racine. The cost to operate will be the time of District staff members (communications and IT departments). A handout described : How legislative issue alerts work. The importance of voting. How you can make a difference. Best practice for successful contact and communication with your legislator. Writing a letter to the editor. The Wisconsin and federal legislative process. It was recommended that the board approve the development of the advocacy website.
A WELL THAT NEVER RUNS DRY
It has been said that the political use of “Income Inequality” is a well that never runs dry. When reason and facts do not support your position you can always stir the emotions with class warfare. In 2009, 140.3 million tax returns were filed with a total AGI of $7.63 trillion. If all income above $1 million is taxed at 100%, that would cover the current federal deficit spending for 5 months.
BUS Goes to Bigger Buses
A $4.76 million federal grant will be applied to the purchase of 14 new 35 foot low floor buses. This will be a no bid contract to Gillig Corp., Haywood, CA not to exceed $5.95 million. This may well be the most economical use of these funds, but it should still be questioned when comparing it to the original purchase plan prior to the federal grant. The preliminary 2012 budget identified the purchase of 5 large buses at an average cost of $325,000 each, 5 small buses at an average cost of $82,000 each and 2 downtown trollies at $264,000 each. The 14 new buses will all be the same size with an average cost of $425,000. This is a significant change from original plan
Many of us in the Taxpayers Association and others we talk to find it hard to understand why many individuals seem uniformed when it comes to politics, taxes and government. Maybe the answer lies in the Nielsen T.V. ratings.
Anyone watching the FOX networks #1 rated cable news show hosted by the #1 ego, Bill O’Reilly, would think everyone is informed. He keeps telling us how he beats all other cable news shows combined and his viewers are the smartest.
Unfortunately with the Factors average viewership at 3.0 million, it is behind WWE RAW at 4.4 million and Pawn Stars at 5.1 million.
The second highest rated cable news show is also on FOX, Special Report with Bret Baier. This show averages 2.0 million viewers but is dwarfed by the other 3 major networks with a combined evening news viewership of 22.7 million.
The ratings say that on any given weekday, news viewership is about 30 million. There are 116 million households with televisions and 130+ million people vote in presidential elections. It may be that a large number of the public form their opinions from negative advertising and comedians such as Jay Leno and Jon Stewart and not from any real factual information.
The following letter was submitted to our website by William Riley, Soap Lake, WA Environmental Protection Agency out of Control
I cannot pick up any newspaper without a story about the federal EPA trying to shut down an industry, or regulating private land use, or collaborating with some environmental group to introduce a new regulation regarding some endangered species.
The net result is always the same: fewer private jobs, more government jobs, and huge budget increases for this federal agency. A recent bizarre example is the raid on Gibson Guitar Co, and seizure of imported wood used on the guitars.
In a federal court the judge told Gibson; ” If you move your manufacturing plant overseas, use the same wood, then import the guitars, it would be legal.”
Talk to any manager of a business, ranch, plant, hospital, school, and they will tell you they are spending an ever increasing amount of time and money complying with federal EPA regulations. These bizarre laws that even attorneys do not comprehend, are destroying the economic base of the United States.
RECALL TRIVIA 31 states do not allow recall of state officials. 8 states allow recall on specific grounds, e.g. felony conviction. 11 states, including Wisconsin, allow recall for any reason.