June 2, 2004
Reform education without more money
Governor Doyle's task force on education has "reached consensus that sales taxes should be raised to allow for a 20% statewide decrease in property taxes," according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Sales taxes would rise to 6 percent from the current 5 percent.
Quarles & Brady attorney Mike Spector, chair of the task force on "Educational Excellence," denied that the task force is supporting a tax increase. Well, then, since schools are being forced to cheat on special education funding, cut drama and arts, and charge huge fees for sports, how in the world do they live up to their lofty title "Educational Excellence" unless we do raise taxes?
And, would it be impertinent to ask why the task force limited its search for more money to the two most regressive taxes known to man (or woman)? How about a partial roll-back of the M&E tax exemption or an increase in corporate income taxes? Have we forgotten about taxes based on income?
C'mon, Mike, stop listening to the Realtors Association and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and take the lead. You can make a real statement about education or just play to the special interests. Why not start a dialogue on taxing professional fees? Oops! Too close to home?
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