No new taxes. That’s the subject at the state capitol.
State lawmakers would need a super majority to raise taxes. At the Assembly Ways and Means committee, Whitewater Republican Steve Nass says the legislature hasn’t had the backbone to make spending cuts. “I believe what this will do, by putting a ceiling on the spending with the two thirds vote, this legislation, and the constitutional one, will give legislators the spine they need to say no to increase taxes and spending and it will actually force them to go back and make the cuts.”
Under the bill (AB-5), a two thirds vote in the legislature would be needed to raise taxes. Wauwatosa Republican Leah Vukmir says government spending, especially during the recession, has really taken a toll on taxpayers. However, Middleton Democrat Jon Erpenbach is concerned about tying the hands of future legislatures. Also, he worries that the limit on tax increases doesn’t apply to fees, which Republicans can easily hike. Milwaukee Democrat Barbara Toles reiterates that sentiment.
Vukmir says if they raise fees, it will be justified, unlike those other fees she calls “sneaky taxes.” The proposal is part of Governor Scott Walker’s plan to boost Wisconsin’s economy.
Committee members will vote on the bill Thursday.