Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance

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The tax watchdog organization Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance is out with a pamphlet that explains to the public just how the state's K-12 schools are financed.

As WTA spokesperson Dale Knapp explains, K-12 funding is about $11 billion dollars, but few people can easily figure out how that funding happens....

"...we thought it would be helpful to put out an 'explainer' of how some schools in Wisconsin are financed. How all of those pieces fit together, and where school districts spend their money. Helping people understand how all these pieces fit together...."

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The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance has posed the question whether the long-standing relationship between the State of Wisconsin and its counties are changing.

Called "County Government in Wisconsin: An Overview of Organization, Responsibilities, and Funding", the report shows the growing tensions.

Alliance spokesperson David Callender says the main source of tension is the counties are an arm of state government and at the same time are responsible for raising revenue on their own....

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A recent study by the tax watchdog group Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance finds just nine counties in Wisconsin had property values that were flat or declined, all of them in northern Wisconsin.

The WTA analysis is from preliminary equalized value figures collected by the state. The total taxable Wisconsin properties rose 3 percent last year. But as the Alliance's Dale Knapp reports, that's still below the pre-recession levels. He says the positive is that it's three consecutive years of growth. 10 of the state's 72 counties showed increases of 4 percent.

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The tax watchdog group Wisconsin Taypayers Alliance is out with a new report with what they say appears to be a decline in state lottery and tribal gaming revenues.

In 1987, voters amended the state Constitution to allow a state lottery, and court decisions after the vote allowed tribal gaming operations. The lottery is intended to provide property tax relief for residential properties. A WTA analysis found during the 1990's, credits to homeowners averaged about 3.5 percent. Last year that number held at 2.1 percent.

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A Northwoods C.P.A. says the recently signed PATH Act will enable people who have been getting tax breaks to continue them.

Last week Congress passed and President Obama signed the Protecting Americans fromTax Hikes Act of 2015. Northland CPA's Director of Tax Services Brian Wild says taking care of this matter now gives taxpayers a chance to plan..

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Following a five-year decline, the current market value of all taxable property in Wisconsin rose for the second consecutive year, rising 2.4 percent  in 2015. However, at $490 billion, values remain almost $25 bil­lion below the 2008 market peak, according to a soon-to-be-released report from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

While southern Wisconsin appears to be recovering, Alliance spokesperson Dale Knapp says northern Wisconsin values are lagging. He thinks the demographics in the Northwoods are playing a part in the lower property values..

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Ten years ago the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance warned of a shift in Wisconsin's demographics and the negative impact it could have on the economy....

"....none of this is surprising, I guess the problem is none of us want to pay attention to it..."

...that's Todd Berry, president of the tax watchdog group, Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. They're out with an update on the shift, some of which is already coming true.

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Wisconsin municipalities spend more than the national average on policing, a new report finds.  The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance finds communities spent an average of $288 dollars per person in 2011 – the 12th highest rate in the nation. 

Stephanie Rubin, policy research analyst for the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, says that spending went up more than 18 percent between 2007 and 2011. 

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The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance in Madison looked over 12 years of data beginning in 2000. The county sales taxes came into vogue in the 1980's as a way to offset rising property tax rates.

Spokesperson Dale Knapp says the collections did little to offset property taxes. He said some counties found a reliable revenue stream, but for most others, it wasn't that good...

 

Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance

2013 state and local taxes fell slightly and federal taxes rose according to a tax watchdog group.

The non-partisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance has a new report on 2013 tax collections.

Stephanie Rubin is a WISTAX research analyst...

 

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Numbers compiled by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance show per school student spending rose just over one percent during the last school year.

A new report by the Madison-based non-profit finds per student school spending rose 1.1 percent.

WISTAX spokesperson Dale Knapp says the latest numbers reflect the legislature's move in 2012 that cut district revenue limits by more than 5 percent then increased them modestly last year. Knapp says school districts used the changes brought about in the controversial ACT 10 legislation...

 

Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance

New state budget plans to borrow almost $1 billion to pay for proposed transportation programs is sending a fiscal warning.

The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance President Todd Berry says borrowing to pay for transportation projects accounts for 16 percent of road revenues compared to 6 percent ten years ago. He says Governors and legislators transferred money to the general fund when the transportation fund was flush, leaving the state needing to borrow to finish projects...