Monday, January 9, 2012
We sure like to talk about them, but we often leave out a few details.
I’m concerned about how politicians talk about taxes—Republicans and Democrats alike. More specifically, I’m concerned with what they don’t say. Politicians tend to ignore the interdependent cash flow relationships between lower levels of government. And, you often don’t hear about their role in that decision, the tax shifting that continues to impact these budgets and overall increases in state spending. To underscore this point, officials with the Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance (WISTax) reported last month that state spending increased in Wisconsin and exceeded national averages in both 2011 and 2012. Our budget reserves are also among the smallest in the nation. “State spending here rose 5.8 percent in 2011 and was budgeted to grow 4.4 …
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Find out why and by how much.
Caledonia residents received their tax bills yesterday, which increased collectively by 3.4 percent between all of the taxing entities the Village is collecting for in 2012. But some residents saw a total increase of 3.2 percent while others saw a total increase of 3.8 percent, depending on which utility district they live in. The entities include: the State, County, Village, Racine Unified School District, Gateway Technical College, Lake Michigan Storm Water Utility, Root River Storm Water Utility, Caledonia Water and Sewer. The bill also includes charges for refuse and recycling, and offsets the tax bill by giving property owners the First Dollar Credit, and the Lottery and Gaming Credit. State funding to the County, Village, Gateway and…
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
And look at it from a personal view.
They say the only thing that is certain in life is death and taxes. The latter has been source of angst and dismay for many of us. We’re tired of paying them, don’t see the purpose of them and don’t see the value of the services delivered by our Village, state, schools, county and utilities. While I can’t and won’t have anything to say about the politics surrounding our spending habits, I think we have an obligation to understand them. Property taxes (you’ll likely be receiving the bill in the mail tomorrow) are one of the largest sources of angst for us. Rather than writing a formal news story about your tax bill (which I’ll probably end up doing anyway), I thought I’d go another direction and show you my tax bills. I could bore you with …
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Two Democratic legislators want a 1 percent income tax increase on the state's wealthiest tax filers to pay for job training.
Rep. Cory Mason, D-Racine, and State Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, are proposing a tax increase on Wisconsin residents earning over $1 million a year to reinstate technical school funding eliminated from the biennial state budget. The proposed tax rate would increase from 7.75 percent to 8.75 percent and could generate $70 million in its first year if enacted. According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, there are about 2,900 tax filers who would fit this profile. “Middle class families and workers have been asked to make tremendous sacrifices in recent months,” said Mason in a written statement. “This bill asks Wisconsin’s wealthiest individuals to share a small amount of that sacrifice in order to train and educate at least 35,000 …
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Balancing work for veterans with work for the Village
Most people in Caledonia know Tom Weatherston as a trustee for the village, but he says his most important work is the work he does on behalf of other veterans. Weatherston served in the Air Force for four years as a combat engineer, working on construction projects in Vietnam including roads, ramparts and runways. Now, he’s the VFW Post 10301 Service Officer, a liason who helps vets get their VA benefits. One of his biggest success stories was a Gulf War veteran who wasn’t getting all the services he deserved; Weatherston helped him get listed as 100 percent disabled, and then helped get his wife trained to take care of him, so she could be paid to do so. “The proudest thing was when this guy called me and said, ‘My daughter’s graduating…
Friday, September 2, 2011
With unemployment at staggering heights the number one solution is being capped at the knees. Cuts in educaiton and job training could be another nail in the coffin.
Imagine your house on fire. The walls crumbling, smoke fills the hallways and it is becoming more difficult to escape. You see your landlord standing there with a phone and a fire extinguisher but he won’t let you use them. Instead, the home burns to the ground and the landlord kicks you out for not doing enough to save it. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, does it? Economists and employers are reporting with all certainty that a major cause employment in our country and state is not improving is because of “structural unemployment” and an increasingly widening skill gap. Economist Lakshman Achuthan says, “The issue is many workers looking for jobs lack the skills for the positions available. It’s a condition known as ‘structural …
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Even though the program would likely help many low-income students, the program is just too costly to support.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
RUSD School Board to Consider Partnership With Trane Company.
The Racine Unified School District Board of Education will be asked to consider a proposal from the Trane Company that would create a feasibility study to add a science and technology wing to McKinley Middle School that could be shared with Gateway Technical College. The School Board meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 18, at the RUSD Administrative Service Center, 2220 Northwestern Ave. Trane, a provider of HVAC systems, is proposing a partnership between itself, RUSD and Gateway to enhance McKinley’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum. The company has offered to evaluate a new addition and energy-saving enhancements to the building and prepare a district-wide energy audit. There would be no charge to the …
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Video shows them chanting "shame, shame shame" and "recall Walker."
Whil Governor Scott Walker gave a speech at a 100th anniversary celebration for Gateway Technical College, union employees angery about state budget cuts chanted over him. Kevin Mulvenna, a teacher at Milwauke Area Technical College and union member, captured a video. Here's the link: Walker Shouted Down at Gateway Technical College 7/12/11
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
In a written statement, he says he is disappointed by their disruption.
State Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) issued a statement on Tues., July 12, addressing the disruption of Gateway Technical College's centennial celebration by protesters there because of a scheduled appearance by Governor Scott Walker. In short, Wanggaard said he was disappointed that the protesters tried to take anything away from the day's focus of Gateway's 100 years of education and its place in history as the first technical college in the country. Here is the full statement: Today was a celebration of Racine being the birthplace of technical educational system the country. What a wonderful opportunity to remember our history and look towards our bright future. I am extremely disappointed that the perpetual protestors intentionally …