As MacIver Institute President Brett Healy noted, taxpayers across Wisconsin should brace themselves for massive property tax hikes over the next two years.
The recently-concluded State Budget process was a secretive, trust-eroding endeavor. The end result of the backroom dealing was a document that jacks up state spending, raises taxes by more than two billion dollars, borrows billions more, leaves us in a two billion dollar hole and sets the stage for the return of massive property tax hikes.
The Legislature also passed the buck onto local government, including school districts. As those units of government adjust their budgets, look out!
As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports this morning:
Nearly two dozen school districts in the Milwaukee area expect to see their general state aid drop by more than 10% next school year, setting the stage for potential large property tax increases later this year.
The fallout of the Budget is still being analyzed and we’ll be finding out more and more about how bad things are for months to come. Sure, the Legislature “got the budget done on time” but in their rush to cram this document down the throats of Wisconsin taxpayers, a full analysis of plan was not available to lawmakers before they cast their votes. In fact, we at the MacIver Institute are confident in predicting none of the lawmakers who voted for the final Conference Committee Report last week read the entire Budget.
The Budget was done on time.
But, at what cost?
The legislature violated the public trust. The Governor violated the Constitution. Spending, taxes and borrowing spiked. We’re still operating under a structural deficit and now property taxes are set to skyrocket.
We’d have preferred, and Wisconsin would have been better served by, a more deliberative, open and frugal process.
Even if it meant a missed deadline or two.