August 20, 2014

Penny for kids – sales tax hike

It’s the $64,000 question: How to fund schools.

One Democratic gubernatorial candidate says property taxes alone aren’t enough, but Secretary of State Doug La Follette says school funding can be done with a penny. “You put a penny sales tax on, and that money goes for schools across the entire state. It amounts to something like $1.5 billion every biennium, which is a lot of money to help education.”

The original proposal was put forth by the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools. La Follette says the 1 percent hike in sales taxes promotes excellence in education; the revenue would be intended for elementary, high school, technical college and universities.

La Follette says studies and people he meets on the campaign trail all point to the importance of funding education as a main priority. “Everyone — Republicans, independents, Democrats — know that educating our children and our university and technical students is critical for Wisconsin’s future. So a penny on every dollar is not a big thing.”

It would exempt necessities and, he says, it would close loops holes in order to get more benefit from the tax. The 1 percent sales tax would be more fair to property tax payers, La Follette says, and it would complement DPI Superintendent Tony Evers’ idea: Fair Funding For Our Future.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:26