Click To Refresh and See Other Posts
Finger People - Universal Language - Honduras

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Is Walker 's WI Property Tax Reduction another "Hidden Agenda?"

Governor Walker has recently touted how he plans on lowering property taxes.

How can he do this? And as usual the the devil may be in the details!

  • By "general revenue" increases, either from sales tax, income tax or special use taxes.  The largesse could be redistributed to cities, counties as property tax relief.
  • If "general revenue" does not increase then the relief has to come from cutting programs and using "revenue sharing statutes."  There are other tricks with changing "incident" dates.
In the first case property taxes are actually being lowered.  In the latter case you are actually "robbing Peter to pay Paul."  

The "revenue sharing" mechanics are most likely changed with each budget and the details also lost on most of us to understand "the policy" implications.  You can be certain however that both political parties try to favor their "constituencies" otherwise know as "lobbyists"

In the last go round there was a lot of local government and school district grumbling as the "revenue sharing" and other enactments restricted how and what local governments could actually do with property tax levies.

That brings us to the general point that we need to understand who really benefits from tax increases or tax cuts, whether they are property tax or general revenue.  There is almost always a "hidden agenda" and an attempt to present actions in a positive light and not disclose other implications.

  • Who really gets the most from "property tax relief" - families or businesses?  Renters or large real estate holders?
  • Does limiting local control over property taxes enhance the "communities" well being or does it materially diminish the differently expressed preferences of one community over another.
  • Does limiting or restricting "school boards" from either access to more monies or interfering with what they can spend the monies on help some other "policy objective" - make "charter schools" appear more attractive.
It's complicated but still very important to try and understand the details.

I added this blog reference after reading Jake's comment -


Scott Walker touts property tax relief throughout Wisconsin

Read more:

... and more unrealistic games by the GOP on the National level

In practice, these models are political statements. They show the biggest economic effects by assuming that tax cuts are financed by unspecified future spending cuts. The smaller size of government, not the tax cuts by themselves, largely drives the models’ results.

Jake's Economic TA Funhouse: Walker's Wisconsin borrows just like they do in DC

While he adds $2 Billion (on purpose to create a crisis at UW) to the deficit and $1 Billion more in bonds.

#1% benefit: Is #Walker 's WI #Property #Tax Reduction another "Hidden Agenda?  Property Tax >  Are #wealthy people overburdened by #propertytax ? -WI 1848 Forward


Jake formerly of the LP said...

Actually, this "property tax relief" is being done through another manner. Walker and WisGOP gave away $406 million to Technical Colleges, but it could not be used for services, and instead had to go to cutting property taxes going to the schools.

The problem? It wasn't paid for with extra taxes. So this has added $406 million to this year's budget deficit, and $812 million in deficit to the next budget.

But it does give an excuse for a "budget crisis" that requires further cuts or some other gimmick that leads to more "Shock Doctrine" policies. And yes, that's a positive in right-wing world.

Bill Gates said...

Thank you... I am not on top of the practices. I did work at the LFB doing tax policy simulation a long time ago. It is really nice to have good examples of the immediate games being played. How on earth did your see my post ... I almost did not write it. It seemed simple but esoteric for most.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

It was cross listed at another site (I think Democurmudgeon), and I had written a couple of items in the topic, but it was as part of a bigger thing on the deficit.

It's a good post, and I figured I'd add context, given that the tax cut was not paid for

Lou Kaye said...

Good post and Jake hit pay dirt with Walker's tech college reduction gimmick. Without tech colleges cutting back massively or winning huge local tax increase referendums next time and next time, etc., Walker has laid the stage for alternating rolling deficits and service cut-backs.