“Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” — Otto Von Bismark.
While Republican infighting and the current stalemate in the state budget process is enough to make one “mildly nauseous,” conservatives should take heart. Two years ago, the Joint Finance Committee took a month-long break before passing a budget. Senate conservatives used the time to push for reform of Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law, ultimately winning a repeal for local governments that will save taxpayers millions.
Instead of pacing and hand-wringing, legislative conservatives should focus their energy on additional reforms to cut government spending and lower the tax burden for Wisconsin families and employers.
Local government units are reaping the cost saving benefits of prevailing wage repeal. Now it’s time to repeal prevailing wage for state government projects. The Wisconsin Taxpayer’s Alliance says the repeal could save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
Governor Walker has pledged to veto any budget that increases property taxes. Frankly, this shouldn’t be a point of contention. Act 10 gave local government the tools they need to dramatically cut costs and operate more efficiently without additional property tax revenue.
Additional Tax Reforms
Conservatives in both houses have promoted a variety of tax cuts. Phasing out or repealing the personal property tax is gaining momentum. The personal property tax poses an unfair burden on industries that have not sought an exemption. This tax is assessed annually on items like furniture and office equipment in addition to local property taxes. Business owners pay a state sales tax when they purchase items and are then subject to an additional annual tax on the same items in perpetuity.
Conservatives need to ignore all the sausage making drama and work with Governor Walker to keep conservative reforms on track.