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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

No taxpayer tea party, at least not in Elmbrook

Elmbrook, TAXES

Here I was all set to blog something about your city, school district, state, and nation rationalizing a tax increase by saying,"It's only a such-in-such% increase in your tax bill?" and that it was time for a Boston Tea Party.

But this morning I am pleasantly surprised to learn that the Elmbrook School board actually voted to NOT increase their tax levy!

The short Community Watch post stated that because the state budget "did not provide the expected $79.3 million in equalization aid but instead shifted the funds to the school tax levy credit" this would result in our Elmbrook School District receiving "an additional $1.4 million, or a 13 percent increase in the school levy credit."

Did you understand why Elmbrook was graced with the extra funds this year? It was because the state was not going to redistribute our wealth as much as usual: the state budget "did not provide the expected $79.3 million in equalization aid".

Do you know where the state would have gotten that "equalization aid"? From wealthier communities like Brookfield and Elm Grove. (Contrary to some people's opinion, this is redistribution of wealth. There is no other way to explain it.)

This practice of "equalization aid" on the school district level and tax relief on the local city level (sorry, the term for this escapes me) is nothing but redistributing the wealth from the affluent to the less well off school districts and cities. This is one of the reasons all our development starts to cost us instead of helping us.

I don't understand exactly how they formulate this, but I am not alone. I don't think all of our elected officials understand it either. This past summer, I received a letter from my State Senator Jim Sullivan. In it he stated how he was trying to get some tax relief for West Allis. He concluded his letter with a statement like, I think these are issues the 5th district taxpayers want. (Those issues he assumed I was in favor of also included Healthy Wisconsin and all those other taxes such as the hospital bed tax and oil company taxes in the governor's budget.) Here Jim Sullivan was telling me how he was trying to help West Allis at my expense, and I should be happy about that!

I do keep wondering when the taxpayers in this country will have enough of all of our taxing bodies continually increasing their spending and taxing, redistributing our  wealth, and finally revolt as our early Boston colonists did with the tea party. 

Granted, today's victory is a tiny victory, but it is a step in the right direction. Maybe the board voted in favor of us because they sensed we were getting our tea bags ready?

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