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.
I admit I’m disappointed, but not terribly. The Milwaukee County Board had the numbers today and voted successfully to override County Executive Scott Walker’s veto of an advisory referendum to increase the county sales tax by one cent. The referendum will be on the November 4 ballot.
The vote to override was 13-6. The bad guys voting in favor of the override were Supervisors Gerry Broderick, Toni Clark, Elizabeth Coggs, Marina Dimitrijevic, Lee Holloway, Willie Johnson Jr., Patricia Jursik, Christopher Larson, Theo Lipscomb, Michael Mayo Sr., John Thomas, John Weishan Jr. and Peggy West.
The good guys voting against the veto override were Mark Borkowski, Paul Cesarz, Lynne De Bruin, Joseph Rice, Joe Sanfelippo and Jim "Luigi" Schmitt.
What does it mean? Milwaukee County voters get to decide if they want their county sales tax TRIPLED, that’s right, TRIPLED, from 0.5% to 1.5%. The county's sales tax is tacked on to the state's 5% sales tax and the 0.1% Miller Park tax.
Supporters say the money will go to the parks, buses and property tax relief. The revenue from targeted taxes, as we all know, often doesn’t go where it’s intended. Property tax relief? You do not raise a tax to lower another tax. It simply doesn’t work.
So why am I not terribly disappointed?
1) This referendum asks voters in Tax Hell, USA to essentially go to the polls with the belief that their taxes aren’t high enough and must go even higher. They won’t do it. I predict this baby goes down in flames. If so, it should send a message to the tone deaf Milwaukee County Board and other local politicians that taxpayers are fed up.
2) If I’m wrong, and the referendum is approved, it is advisory in nature. The Legislature and the Governor would still have to approve the tax increase.
So let me at this referendum question in November. I can’t wait to say NO!
JOHN McCAIN IN HIS OWN WORDS