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.
If you have been following Governor Doyle's proposed budget at all, you know that it is filled with tax increases, unwanted new government programs, new fees, and a whole host of other overreaching legislation.
According to a JSOnline article, all of these spending measures will result in a $91 dollar or 3.2% property tax increase on the median home in Wisconsin. Since the median home assessment in the state is around $167,000, that means most of Brookfield will see tax increases greater than $91.
Republican legislators called the property tax increases irresponsible, saying they would pinch homeowners struggling to pay bills and keep their jobs while their homes lose value.
"People shouldn't have to worry over whether they can afford to live in their own homes," said Republican Sen. Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau. "Governor Doyle's budget makes it more difficult for families to afford to live in Wisconsin."
I attended the public hearing on Doyle's budget on March 25th. It was very crowded! People were lining up to address the budget committee. (At the rate they were going, they would be lucky to be finished by 9pm!) I found one familiar face though, fellow conservative blogger Randy Melchert was there video taping.
I struck up a conversation with a group of people who were independent gas station owners. They were wearing red T-shirts that said, WE ARE NOT BIG OIL. The new 3% tax would not stick it to the BIG OIL men as Gov. Doyle suggests, but harm the little guys like these--the independent gas station and convenience store owners.
They explained that the Governor's proposed 3% oil profits tax would be detrimental to station owners near the state borders because Wisconsin gas would need to be 3% higher in cost than at the neighboring out of state station. Unlike the similar tax proposed last year, this one was NOT to be passed onto the customer. If that was true, they said there was not enough profit margin to absorb a 3% cost increase for them. They would be forced out of business. According to Rep. Petersen's The Inside Scoop:
Regardless of your opinion about oil companies and profits, one must realize they sell and compete on a worldwide market. If the state charges a tax which is forbidden from being passed on to consumers, what is an oil company’s incentive to do business in Wisconsin?
The fee will only serve to discourage the wholesale distribution of fuel into the state. When supplies are short, Wisconsin will be last on a distributor’s list when surrounding states do not impose an “Oil Franchise Tax.” Due to the law of supply and demand, prices will definitely increase as the supply decreases.
By the way, our transportation fund wouldn't need shoring up if Doyle didn't keep raiding it to plug unrelated holes in the budget in the past...
Since he [Doyle] was first elected six years ago, Governor Doyle has raided more than $1.1 billion of the money you’ve paid in gas taxes and Department of Motor Vehicle fees to spend on programs other than roads. In this budget he pledges to raid another $77.5 million.
...and the future:
Governor Doyle balanced his budget in part with $271 million in revenue generated from the [his] "oil profits" tax on big oil.
The Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association group, or WPMCA have been running radio ads and sending out postcards urging residents to call their legislators at 1-800-632-9472. Their postcard features this stereotypical oil man and states: "They say Big Oil will pay, but experts agree Wisconsin families will get stuck with the bill."
On another front, Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke Jr. spoke at the public hearing urging the Joint Finance Committee to "Remove the early release provision" for prisoners. He says Doyle is not taking into consideration the recidivist factor. He also wanted to dispel the myth of the non-violent offender, saying these people who are locked up for drug offenses are mostly drug dealers from major street gangs. "It might save $24 million," but it doesn't take in consideration the expense to local communities and the 90% re-offending rate.
But Gov. Doyle isn't concerned about local community expense or what effect a tax or a raiding of funds will have down the road; all he wants to do is prop up his budget and extravagant spending now. Stealing from funds and shifting expense to others are just 2 of his methods of funding his plans.
This one is of concern to me, possibly because I am now more familiar with the needs of the elderly and infirmed. It's the mandatory unionization of home care workers. State Senator Michael Ellis spoke about this fact on Mark Belling's show in February. He also wrote about it in a press release, The Wheel Report: (My emphasis)
A little-known provision in Governor Doyle’s proposed budget would make the state a union organizer for personal care workers and would require most people who hire personal care workers to hire only those in the union, a requirement that will certainly increase health care costs...
“This provision is shocking in its scope,” Ellis said. “The state is becoming a coercive union organizer....
“The state is requiring all home care providers to become members of the union or they won’t get hired, because the state is requiring all people who hire home care workers to hire only those workers who are on the registry and members of the union.
This law will affect any person hiring a home care worker. It is rather like Doyle saying all baby sitters must be unionized. Certainly it will impact senior citizens or anyone who depends on home care workers to help a loved one stay in their home longer. It also negatively impacts the service provider company--many of which are just mom and pop type businesses. With unionization, firing an inferior worker becomes much more difficult.
How about Gov. Doyle's backdooring gay marriage by providing Domestic Partner benefits despite 59% of the voters in our state voting to ban gay marriage in 2006?
Same-sex couples could form domestic partnerships and receive dozens of the same legal benefits as married people under a proposal by Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle.
So Doyle's budget sticks its nose into the Domestic Partner issue but does nothing to prohibit using the state funded Madison Surgery Center to perform 2nd trimester abortions. His motives are pretty clear.
Rep. Vukmir informed me, "The first executive (voting) session for JFC is on the 16th and only a small part of the budget will be considered." So at the very least, contact the Democrat co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee with your concerns: Senator Mark Miller and Representative Mark Pocan
Here are the email addresses of all the Joint Finance Committee members if you wish to send a group email (The last 4 addresses are Republican members of the committee): Rep.Pocan@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.Miller@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.Hansen@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.Lassa@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.Lehman@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.Robson@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.Taylor@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Colon@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Grigsby@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Mason@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Sherman@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Shilling@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.Darling@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.Olsen@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Vos@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Montgomery@legis.wisconsin.gov
If you wish to call the Joint Finance Committee members, they can be found on Leah Vukmir's State Budget Hearing page.
Please register your comments with your representatives in Madison too. Both of Brookfield's Assembly Representatives Leah Vukmir and Rich Zipperer and Senator Ted Kanavas are against Doyle's tax increases.
(D) Senator Jim Sullivan (608) 266-2512, (866) 817-6061, email: Sen.Sullivan@legis.wisconsin.gov
There are of course many, many more spending measures that are just a huge waste of taxpayer dollars. "High Speed Rail" to Madison's airport anyone? Raising sin taxes again? Hospital Bed/nursing home tax? Just take a look at his plan: 2009-2011 Executive Budget These and many of the other tax increases will be discussed by the legislature in the upcoming weeks, but since Republicans are in the minority in both houses, don't expect much cutting.
Fight Back Wisconsin! Remember, The Wisconsin Tea Party Tax Rally is April 15th, 11:30 am on the steps of the Capitol on the King Street side, in Madison. You do NOT need to register to attend. There is a shuttle service if you are driving, or you can opt to take a bus, which you MUST register for, check the locations then click here for Bus Registration
CORRECTION: Can't get to Madison on tax day? How about Downtown Milwaukee
at the Federal Building, 517 East Wisconsin Ave. (east of US Bank) at RED ARROW PARK at noon? (920 N. Water Street) Johnathan emailed me to say this is where he will be on April 15th instead of the Fed. Building.