Meeting on Tax Loopholes Monday...

Press release from the Institute for Wisconsin's Future:

June 15, 2007
CONTACT: Joe Fahey 414-731-4789

County Forum On Closing Tax Loophole
To Prevent tax increases for homeowners and businesses

Leaders from city and county government, community organizations and labor unions leaders from Winnebago County are encouraging voters to meet their state legislators and urge them to close a new corporate tax loophole that causes higher property taxes for homeowners and small businesses. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 18 at 7:00pm at the Coughlin Center in Oshkosh.

This loophole was opened by a recent court ruling. A New Jersey-based paper company argued that a 1953 law that exempted sewage treatment facilities from property tax should exempt them also (because they use re-cycled cardboard in their manufacturing process). A state court allowed this company, Newark Paper, to stop paying taxes on its paper mill property in Milwaukee County. This court decision turned a small and specific tax exemption into a giant tax loophole. Currently, hundreds of manufacturers throughout Wisconsin use recycled materials and dozens of companies have applied for this new tax loophole.

Any property tax decrease received by a corporation results in a property tax increase for everyone else owning property in the same city or county. This property tax break is a windfall for corporations who will continue operating as before, benefiting from the same fire and police protection, the same road repairs, snow removal and other services vital to their businesses. But these normal costs of doing business will no longer be borne by that business. Instead, the costs for the public services used by the corporation will be paid through increased property taxes by other businesses and all homeowners.

A group of Democratic and Republican legislators have sponsored a bill to close this new loophole and protect families and businesses from property tax increases. This bill – Senate Bill 122 – was introduced in April. Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce opposes the bill and Assembly leaders in the state legislature have delayed it.

The June 18 meeting is open to the public and is an opportunity for the public to discuss the issue with their elected state legislators and ask them to close this loophole immediately.
Institute for Wisconsin’s Future Press Release

Why a Conservative America is a Myth...

Read the report here.


NYTimes Bob Herbert Comments on the Deamonte Driver Case

I posted about Deamonte here.

Bob Herbert adds this:

What we need is a national commitment to provide basic health care to all children, not just the children of the well-to-do. This should be a no-brainer. You’re a child in the United States? You’ve got health care. We’re not going to let you die from a toothache. We’re better than that. We’re not going to let your family go bankrupt because you’ve got cancer or some other disease, or because you’ve been in a terrible accident.

The cost? Don’t fall for that bogyman.

There’s plenty of give in America’s glittering $13 trillion economy. What’s the sense of being the richest nation on the planet if you can’t even afford to keep your children healthy and alive?


Fox Valley Metro Police Captain Compares Gays and Pedophiles

Chief David Peterson's quote from the Appleton Post-Crescent:

“You put a pedophile across the street from a day care center. He just sits there and looks out his living room window all day while they are playing outside in that little fence. You’re telling me he’s not going to have the urge? You can’t change a pedophile,” he said. “I compare it to someone (who) might be gay — and I have friends who are gay so I’m not anti. But a gay person is gay. You’re not going to change them. ... Same with a pedophile.”

Well, at least he admits that sexual orientation is genetic... But it is incredibly offensive to include references to our gay friends and neighbors along with references to pedophiles.

I would hope he would clarify his statements and offer an apology. If you would like to help encourage him to, he can be contacted here. Click on his picture to get a pop-up to send an email.

It is funny that he finds himself so interested in this subject. At the Fox Valley Metro Police Department Website, this dandy is under their Frequently Asked Questions:

Is it true that if a guy is driving a car with an underage girl in it that is barefoot, he can be arrested for statutory rape?
Huh? No... her mom just spread that rumor so that she’s not showing off her toes.

Maybe it's an inside joke, but, I sure wonder why it needs to be on a municiple website?

Taxes vs Services Provided

The Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter has a great editorial here.


Local and state taxes as a percent of personal income are not really the issue. A more important issue is the value received for tax dollars spent.

Taxpayers are consumers of government goods and services. The question they must always be asking and answering is: are we getting value for the tax dollars we spend?

Here are some questions taxpayers may want to consider about taxes from any governmental source:

•If we want lower taxes, what are we willing to give up? What can the government do less of or not do at all that will reduce the amount of money it needs to operate?

•If a service is important to us, are we willing to pay higher taxes or sustain the current rates?

•Are the services being delivered in a reasonably efficient manner? Can operating efficiencies reduce the money required to maintain the same level of service? Could the service be done less expensively in the private sector?

•Is the tax burden shared in an equitable manner? Are all segments, residents and businesses, paying their fair share and how is that share determined?

•Are exorbitant fees replacing tax increases? Should some government services be funded strictly by user fees?


Quote of the Day - Libby Lies Edition

Like the child who has killed his parents and demands mercy for being an orphan, Libby tried to murder the truth and then got dozens of people to plead for leniency based on his good character.
A neoconservative is a Bush administration official who has mugged reality and claims he's the victim. Neoconservatism has now been reduced to a clemency plea.


Republican State Chair Hopes for Another Sept 11

The Arkansas Republican Party Chair had this to say:

“At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [Sept. 11, 2001 ], and the naysayers will come around very quickly to appreciate not only the commitment for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been made by men and women to protect this country,” Milligan said.

It is sad that that is the only hope they have left.