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.
Two weeks ago, December 8 to be exact, a friend of mine from
“Kevin, do you think my property taxes went up, stayed the same, or went down?”
Not knowing what his locals did, I guessed that because of his school board, his taxes went up slightly. Nope.
“They went down dramatically!” he proclaimed. “What about yours?”
My tax news took about another ten days to arrive in my mailbox but the news was good. Mine went down slightly. Imagine if the Franklin Common Council hadn’t increased spending by 24%.
Thank you, Scott Walker. If not for his state budget action that essentially imposed a property tax freeze, my taxes probably would have gone up 3-4% or more. So again, thank you, Governor.
Yes, we’re a tax hell. Some folks don’t like hearing or reading that, but it’s true. The data is simply overwhelming and this messenger emphatically made that point in 2011.
Toward the end of 2009 when I posted more evidence of how ridiculous our taxes are, Mayor Tom Taylor, instead of making a public admission and promise to do something about it, commissioned his staff to prepare a report in rebuttal that compared
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. The hope was that the general public wouldn’t see the major flaw in the staff report, that the tax rate is meaningless. It’s the tax LEVY that’s important.
Earlier this year, 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 capita rankings.
For the municipal tax,
In October I reported more information, this time from the non-partisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. The WTA listed the 2010-11 Municipal and Net Levies by Cities and Villages. At that time in October, those were the current levies. Municipalities were working on the 2011-12 levies.
There are 594 cities and villages in
The city of
OK. The above is what
Now, the per capita based on the Net Levy is $2,571. That, to me, is a laugher. I’d give an appendage to receive an annual tax bill like that. That ranks us at #46, or in the top 8% statewide.
This year we got a huge break because Scott Walker’s budget, approved by legislative Republicans, basically mandates real honest to goodness property tax relief. Your locals had nothing to do with it. If they dare to grab credit, shame on them.
Despite the lower taxes, we in
1) Are too negative
2) Aren’t as smart as they are
3) Don’t know what they’re talking about
4) Are mean and nasty
5) Don’t have a degree in accounting
6) Just want people to read their blog
With no disrespect, anytime the mayor or aldermen would like to trade tax bills with me, I’m wide open to that.
7) GOV. WALKER TURNS THE HEAT DOWN IN TAX HELL
8) APATHY AILS FRANKLIN
9) NO EXCUSE FOR THEIR BEHAVIOR
10) TORNADO WARNING SIRENS INSTALLED IN