Walker and GOP Pull Bait and Switch on Taxpayers
Despite their recent tax gimmick, their failure to close Dark Stores Loophole and cost of Foxconn deal will drive up costs for Wisconsin families
(Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) said today that Governor Walker and Senate Republicans are pulling a classic bait and switch on state taxpayers by trumpeting a one-time tax rebate that leaves thousands of Wisconsin taxpayers out in the cold and does little if anything to reduce the cost to taxpayers related to their passage of Foxconn and failure to close the Dark Stores loophole.
“The Foxconn deal alone is reportedly going to cost every man, woman and child in this state a minimum of $500. And that’s not counting the higher electric rates customers of WE Energies will pay to subsidize a new power line to Foxconn or the cost they’ll pay for the $90 million that is being diverted from helping fix local roads to expand I-94 in southeast Wisconsin,” said Hansen.
But, Hansen said it gets worse for Wisconsin homeowners and small business owners in places like Green Bay, Ashwaubenon and Howard who will likely see their property taxes go up because of Governor Walker’s and Senate Republicans’ failure to close the Dark Store Loophole.
The loophole in state law has made it possible for giant retail chains to go to court and challenge local assessments on their stores and reduce the property taxes they pay on those stores. As a result any lost revenue from these giant, mostly out-of-state, retailers will be passed along to homeowners and other businesses either in the form of higher property taxes or cuts in critical services.
According to research by the League of Municipalities, property taxpayers in comparable communities could see their taxes go up from $200 $800 or more as big box retailers take advantage of the loophole in state law to argue for their own lower property taxes.
“It must be an election year because this is a classic bait and switch. Give away billions of people’s hard-earned money to a foreign billionaire and out-of-state corporations and hope people will forget about it all when they receive a few crumbs around election time.”