Wisconsin has been drunk on taxing and spending for a long time. We easily rank in the top ten (or higher) states when it comes to the tax burden. There is no tax our politicians don’t love.
There are three reasons why it’s so easy to increase taxes and create new taxes here:
- Portray those who must pay the new or higher tax as evil. Think oil companies, smokers, naughty rich people and the like. If they’re villains, then it must be okay to tax them.
- Lie about the taxes. For example, oil companies are going to be “prohibited” from passing on their new tax to consumers. That’s not really going to happen. Whenever a higher cost goes into making or selling an item, that cost is always passed onto the purchasers of that item. That’s how business work. If it costs me more to make it, I’m going to charge more to those who buy it. If I don’t, I won’t be in business long.
- Nickel and dime the taxpayers. So many of these increased fees and taxes are portrayed as tiny. After all, what does another 1% sales tax cost a consumer? Only a penny for ever dollar spent. Who would be against just one little penny? The problem is that those pennies add up quickly, and in this budget cycle, we’re going to have thousands of dollars of tax and fee increases for each household.
Check out all the increased taxing that is going to be happening in Wisconsin. (And don’t forget that the media is constantly lamenting the loss of jobs in the state and the fact that companies are not setting up shop here. Can you blame them?)
This is only a partial list of costs to come:
- Higher cost of auto insurance (But if you don’t have insurance, don’t worry. There’s nothing here to hurt you. This rule only applies if you’re responsible enough to actually have insurance. You’ll have to buy more.)
- Cigarette tax up $0.75 to $2.52 per pack
- Telephone tax (land lines) of $0.75 per month
- Higher tax on capital gains
- Milwaukee County sales tax (already the highest in the state) will go up to 6.6%
These taxes and fees are being touted as necessary to help fix the budget deficit. The real problem is not that we don’t tax enough. It’s that the state spends too much. And they’re not willing to make any substantive cuts in spending when money is tight.
Take a look at all the new taxes and the increases in certain types of spending in the draft of the budget. Be forwarned: It will likely sicken you.