One lawmaker urges the Assembly Speaker to schedule veto overrides to "stick up for the taxpayers."
State Representative Steve Nass ( pronounce ) (R-Whitewater) says legislators had been told that the 4-month budget impasse would cost taxpayers $80-million. Ironically, he says, the newly-signed budget including Governor Jim Doyle's vetoes will increase property taxes by $87-million.
"If legislative leaders and the governor truly wanted to hold down property taxpayers, it is just simple common sense to go back into session and do a veto override to restore the 2-percent on local governments and the 4-percent on the tech schools."
The Governor's vetoes would allow local governments to raise property taxes by 3.86-percent instead of the 2-percent that was included in the compromise budget. Doyle also vetoed a 4-percent levy limit on technical colleges. Nass is urging Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch ( pronounce ) (R-West Salem) to schedule a veto override vote by November 6th. Huebsch had said that he doesn't expect to schedule any overrides, but Nass says if they start with the Assembly, they just might have enough votes needed for the override.
"Both Democrats and the Republicans are very aware of the aggravation the taxpayers have with higher taxes and higher government spending. And when you're faced with voting to override the governor's vetoes that will allow government to spend more money, it will be very difficult to vote against."
Nass says tech schools can live with a 4-percent increase and many local governments have already budgeted for 2-percent. The governor signed the $57.2-billion spending plan about a week ago. He said the budget would limit property taxes while protecting schools, law enforcement and homeowners.
UPDATE: In his reply to Nass, Huebsch says he's concerned about local property taxes, but under the State Constitution, "veto overrides must be initiated by the house in which the bill originated," meaning the Senate must vote to override first and then send it over to the Assembly.
Nass says, while that's true, the State Constitution doesn't prevent Huebsch from scheduling the Assembly to be in session "ready to receive an override vote" from the Senate.