Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
Late last year when I blogged financial data supporting my claim that Franklin is a tax hell, Mayor Tom Taylor in knee jerk reaction had his staff prepare a report in rebuttal that compared Franklin’s city tax rate to tax rates in surrounding communities.
Mayor Taylor distributed this report to Common Council members who, at one of their subsequent meetings, nodded like brainwashed sheep and laughed and snickered at and insulted anyone (like me) that would dare question our obscene taxes.
What Mayor Taylor and the tax and spenders on the Common Council (that would be all except Steve Olson) were banking on was that the general public wouldn’t see the major flaw in the staff report and that is that the tax rate is meaningless. It’s the tax LEVY that’s important.
Some time ago, I asked the Research Director for the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX), Dale Knapp for the latest property tax information for the city of
“Celebrating its 78th year, the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) is the state's oldest and most respected private government research organization. Since 1932, it has been promoting better government and an informed citizenry through its publications, public outreach and extensive school programs.”
Knapp responded to my request:
“The latest numbers for the city of
There are important tables reported by WISTAX.
1) The municipal tax is the total amount levied by the municipality for municipal purposes.
2) The net levy includes all property taxes levied in the municipality. This includes the levy for the local school district(s), technical colleges, county, municipality, special districts, and the state.
3) Per capita, or tax paid by each person.
Let’s look at how the city of
The municipal tax:
The net levy:
Doesn’t seem all that terrible, does it?
But now you look at the per capital rankings.
For the municipal tax,
For the net levy,
These are the latest figures available. I doubt the figures for 2010-11 will show any dramatic improvement.
To repeat, the overwhleming majority of City Hall offiicials including Steve Taylor and Kristen Wilhelm DO NOT believe Franklin is a tax hell. And why wouldn't they?