Wisconsin Gov. Doyle's One-Two Tax Hike Punch


Posted by Kelly William Cobb on Wednesday, April 8th, 2009, 9:11 AM PERMALINK


In mid-February, a $1.2 billion tax hike labeled as a "state economic stimulus bill" snuck through the Wisconsin legislature.  The bill was introduced and passed by the legislature within 36 hours - perhaps modeled after the Pelosi-Obama-Reid "stimulus."

By “economic stimulus,” Gov. Doyle meant taxing music, movie, and book downloads; making it easier to collect sales tax on Wisconsinites' online purchases; and taxing businesses that invest and operate in multiple states.

If you're wondering why you never heard of Wisconsin's tax hike "stimulus", it's because the bill was strategically overshadowed by Gov. Doyle's timely announcement of a proposed executive budget with another $1.7 billion in tax and fee increases.  Talk about a one-two punch.
 
Gov. Doyle's budget includes:
  • Raising the individual income tax to 7.75% - $312 million
  • Higher capital gains tax on savings and investment - $181 million
  • A series of tax hikes on Wisconsin businesses - over $208 million
  • A huge targeted tax hike on smokers - another $344 million

But if you don't fall into one of those catagories, don't worry.  The budget includes other tax and fee hikes that will hit virtually every Wisconsin resident.  For example:

  • A $272 million tax on oil companies that means higher energy prices and prices at the pump
  • A $1.5 million fee increase on processing poultry and beef that means higher prices for groceries
  • A new coverage mandate for auto insurance that means higher prices for drivers
The state’s Joint Committee on Finance has just wrapped up a series of gimmicky boondoggle public hearings and will now begin editing the executive budget.  If you're from Wisconsin, now is the time to tell your legislator that the $1.7 billion in tax increases should be off the table.
 
TAKE ACTION: Wisconsin residents, Click here to write your legislator and urge them to oppose any tax hikes in the budget.

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