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Property Tax Relief:
Walker Myth vs. Northern Wisconsin Reality
Yesterday, the Wisconsin State Assembly passed Governor Walker’s so-called property tax relief bill in a Special Session.  Although the bill reduces property tax by $100 million statewide, taxpayers in the Mercer School District will get $1 in tax relief. 
“That’s not a dollar each, that’s one dollar divided among all the property taxpayers in the school district.  Try taking that to the bank,” said Representative Janet Bewley (D- Ashland), after reluctantly voting in favor of Special Session Senate Bill 1.  “What most people don’t understand is that their property taxes will still rise in both 2013 and 2014.  They shouldn’t be fooled by the Governor’s attempt to convince people that he cares about their property tax burden.  The Legislature’s non-partisan Fiscal Bureau has confirmed that the property taxes will still increase even after this bill becomes law.” 
Taxpayers in the Drummond School District will divvy up 5 dollars in property tax relief, taxpayers in the South Shore School District will split 18 dollars, taxpayers in the Bayfield School District will share 39 dollars and taxpayers in the Chequamegon School District will split 440 dollars, far short of the advertised $14 dollar tax cut that the average homeowner is told to expect.  
“My Republican colleagues have been boasting about giving people a ‘meaningful’ property tax break.  At best someone might be able to go out and buy a pizza,” noted Bewley.  “Sadly, few of my constituents in Northern Wisconsin will get enough to buy a cup of coffee.”
Democrats proposed an amendment that would have resulted in a real property tax cut for middle class families, but it was defeated.  “Our budgets reflect our priorities,” added Bewley.  “Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric.  The reality is that the tax cut most people will see as a result of this bill is a pittance when compared to the tax breaks that the Governor and the Republican controlled legislature gave to their special interest friends in the recently passed state budget.”