Monday, October 15, 2007

Zipperer updates the latest on the budget fight in Madison

Assembly Majority Defeats Governor’s Billion Dollar Tax Increase
Zipperer stands up for taxpayers, says no to largest spending plan in state history.

Madison— Late Monday, the State Assembly voted to reject Governor Doyle’s second proposed budget, a budget that would have set a record spending level of over $58 billion dollars and increased taxes by $1 billion. Rep. Rich Zipperer (R-Pewaukee) voted with the majority to defeat the Governor’s plan, a proposal Zipperer called an extreme tax hike on working families across Wisconsin. The proposal would have increased taxes by $700 for a family of four.

“Tonight we took a vote on taxes, and the taxpayers of Wisconsin won,” said Zipperer. “Now that this side-show is over, the leaders of the Assembly and Senate can get back to real negotiations and develop a budget that funds our priorities without raising taxes.”

While he was pleased that the Assembly defeated the Governor’s tax-increases, Zipperer was disappointed that the Senate Democrats failed to pass a separate education funding package. Monday was the statutory deadline for the Department of Public Instruction to tell local school districts how much funding they will be receiving from the state. Without new education funding information, property tax payers could be on the hook for a property tax increase as large as $600 million.

“The Assembly voted weeks ago to pass an education appropriation at the level requested by Governor Doyle. There is simply no reason why the Senate Democrats could not have finished the job for schools and property taxpayers tonight,” said Zipperer. “By failing to approve the education package, Senate Democrats have proven that political talking points are more important to them than actually getting the job done.”

Zipperer noted that besides the billion dollar tax increase, the Governor’s latest budget deserved to be rejected due to many other provisions as well. These provisions include:

· $175 million raid from the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund
· $52 nursing home bed tax
· Eliminates tax deductions for Health Savings Accounts
· Eliminates 285,000 seniors’ eligibility for retirement income tax exemptions
· Allows 4% property tax increase annually
· Provides in-state tuition for illegal aliens
· Eliminates proof of citizenship requirements for public assistance
· Removes oversight of the stewardship program while spending record levels of taxpayer dollars
· Gives raises to Governor Doyle’s cabinet secretaries

“The massive tax increase would be reason enough to reject this budget proposal, but when you add in hand outs to illegal aliens and raises for Doyle’s cabinet while at the same time eliminating tax relief for 285,000 seniors, this budget was nothing but a media spectacle by the Governor. Now we can get back to figuring out a budget plan that funds Wisconsin’s priorities without raising the already high tax burden,” said Zipperer.

Note: Jessica McBride reports only one Republican broke ranks, Brett Davis of Oregon. Three Democrats broke ranks, Bob Ziegelbauer (not surprising), Sheldon Wasserman (running against Alberta Darling for state senate) and Amy Sue Vruwink of Milladore.

Local Republicans all voted against Governor Doyle's budget, including Bill Kramer, Scott Newcomer, Mark Gundrum, Leah Vukmir, Joel Kleefisch...

Governor Doyle and the Democrats are stuck. They need a budget much more than the Republicans. The Republicans in the Assembly have passed a partial budget that funds state primary education at the level the governor requested. The Democrats could have what they want in education spending right now. Instead they've tried to hold out for more money to fund their pet causes.

Meanwhile for most Wisconsinites life goes on without even a blip in their routine.

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