News

Wanggaard Points to Irresponsible State Budgeting as Reason for Property Tax Hikes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 18, 2009

Contact: Van Wanggaard

(262) 930-6503

Wanggaard Points to Irresponsible State Budgeting as Reason for Property Tax Hikes

Criticizes his opponent’s decision to cut municipal and school aids

RACINE - State Senate candidate Van Wanggaard issued the following statement regarding the property tax increases that Racine County residents should expect upon receiving their bills inthe coming weeks:

“Municipal and school district officials faced tough budgeting decisions this year, and in most cases had to decide between cutting essential services or increasing property tax levies. While several economic factors contributed to the budget shortfalls, cuts made to municipal and school aid payments by the state legislature were the most detrimental.”

“My opponent Senator Lehman voted for these cuts. RUSD, for example, will receive $3 million less from the state than it did last year, and BASD will lose roughly $1 million. Racine County and its local governments will collectively see a $1 million reduction in state assistance. And virtually all of the villages and towns in the county saw their aid slashed by 15 percent.”

“Increasing the property tax levies was the most effective way to ensure that constituents’ needs would be met, even though local officials were wary of placing even more hardship on taxpayers. My colleagues and I on the Racine County Board worked with County Executive McReynolds to hold the county’s levy increase to just 5 cents per $1,000 of property value. But we would have been able to minimize the increase even further if it weren’t for Senator Lehman’s reckless budgeting practices.”

“This is yet another display of Senator Lehman’s irresponsible representation. Citizens of the 21st Senate District should be outraged at the property tax increases that have been imposed on them, which were directly caused by careless budgeting in Madison.”

“How can Senator Lehman justify voting for a state budget that strips schools, towns, villages, and cities of critical funds, while at the same time imposing $3.6 billion in tax increases on families and businesses? How he can vote against removing $39 million in pork spending from the budget, which would have been more than enough to maintain aid payments to dozens of communities and school districts in southeastern Wisconsin? Taxpayers in the 21st Senate District should hold Senator Lehman accountable.”

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Wisconsin residents are burdened with the ninth highest property tax rates in the country. Senator Lehman currently sit on Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance, which plays a direct role in crafting the state budget.

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Paid for by Friends of Van Wanggaard • Sandra Keeran, Treasurer • (262)930-6503