June 2nd, 2017

Volume 3 Issue 13

State Representative Janel Brandtjen

                                        Budget Update

The beginning of June has arrived and the Joint Committee on Finance is now making the final changes to the budget. The budget is rapidly changing from what Governor Walker originally handed to the Legislature, and in just a few weeks will be back on his desk to sign. Still, the number one contentious subject is the Transportation Budget, which just a few years ago was raided by Governor Doyle. After amending the State Constitution to keep all transportation funds going towards transportation, we're now facing a one billion dollar shortfall. This is due to cars becoming more efficient and paying less in the gas tax, multiple mega-projects throughout the state, as well as DOT inefficiencies.

                                                   State Portion of Property Tax

The Governor has proposed eliminating the the "Forestry Mill Tax" from the property tax roles.  The services that are funded by the tax will still be funded, but by General Purpose Revenue (GPR) dollars instead.  It is a great idea. We eliminate a tax on Wisconsin's families and fund the programs with other funds. We can all agree that having extra money lying around is a dangerous proposition in Madison. 

                                                       Plenty of Taxes to Cut

The legislature is having an in-depth conversation about taxes, and that's a good thing. It should come as no surprise that there are many different opinions about which taxes to cut. Personal property tax is a tax on various business equipment such as kitchen equipment in restaurants. Not only is the tax a double tax on businesses it is not assessed fairly. Industries with high powered lobbyists have succeeded in attaining exemptions for their property while small businesses pay.

A reduction in the Corporate Tax Rate would be my suggestion. A reduction from 7.9% to 5.9% would make Wisconsin's tax rate the lowest in the region. Growing jobs and the economy is the optimal outcome.

Of course, the flat tax discussed in earlier up-dates would also positive step. 

                                                         UW System Funding

Earlier this week, the Joint Committee on Finance voted to continue freezing UW tuition, ensuring college remains affordable for the average Wisconsin family. The Governor proposed lowering tuition by 5%. It is my opinion that the UW System is no longer efficiently serving Wisconsin's hard working families or the taxpayers. Government officials in Madison have not provided one incentive for the UW System to cut costs, eliminate unnecessary frills and get back to providing courses that college students need to be productive. The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) decision to not eliminate 4 million dollars for "White Privilege" classes is a perfect example. 

              Ladies and Gentleman.... Start your Ovens! 

This week a Wisconsin judge overturned a ban on selling baking goods at fundraisers! Majority Leader Jim Steinke tweeted his wishes to let the ruling stand.  I agree... Chalk one up for the good guys.  

God Bless Wisconsin   *********************************  


Governor Walker has proposed funding education at the highest levels ever. Walker and the State Legislature have increased k12 education funding every year since 2011, and this year is no different with historically high investment. The chart below demonstrates that education is and has been, our top priority.

    Where did your state tax dollars go in the last budget?



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Rep.Brandtjen@legis.wisconsin.gov State Capitol Room 221 North- PO Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708 Toll Free: (888) 534-0022 or (608) 267-2367