County Supervisors Pushing for Sales Tax
This has been a huge issue in Milwaukee, and we’ve let other bloggers (and conservative talk radio) cover it, but the blatant electioneering of the flyer was something we couldn’t overlook.
The flyer skirts rules against electioneering by stopping just short of a “call to action” in favor of the tax. But the language is intentionally misleading.
It promises readers a 27% reduction in property taxes.
Just who believes that? Let’s see the hands? Oh . . . there is a liberal blogger over in the corner with his hand raised? Hey . . . guy, I want to talk to you about some beachfront property in Arizona that I can sell you.
County Supervisor Joe Rice has been the driving force behind opposition to the tax increase, leading a group that includes Mark Borkowski, Paul Cesarz, and Joe Sanfelippo. The rest of the Supervisors are either supporting it, or wanting a signal that their constituents will let them get away with voting for it.
We reached Supervisor Rice, and he pointed out that any actual decrease in property taxes is unlikely, as the experience with the last sales tax increase in 1991 shows.
The wording of the referendum is quite simply dishonest. It asks whether Milwaukee County will have the “authority to provide tax relief of at least sixty-seven million dollars.” Nothing requires the Supervisors to do that. And of course, we all know how these games are played. If you currently pay $1,200 in County property tax, and all the spending the bureaucrats and politicians want would bring your bill to $1,400, and the budget is “slashed” such that you end up paying $1,300, voilà, you have gotten $100 in tax relief!
Rice has sent us a Powerpoint presentation that we have turned into a PDF file, which you can see here.
One of Rice’s most interesting points: the sales tax is regressive, falling most heavily on the poor. The liberals are supposed to opposed that sort of thing. But give them a choice between taxing the poor, and not taxing at all, they will tax the poor.