Speaker Huebsch: Is It Good Policy Or Just Plain Politics?

The issue of how the Wisconsin State Legislature can better distribute the $79.3 million school levy tax credit is front and center in Madison.  The need to insure that homeowners in low-wealth districts get more of a break is essential.  Everyone seems to understand that fact.

A broad bi-partisan group of legislators have fashioned a bill to make this change prior to the December 1st deadline, the time when the state certifies school districts tax levies.  Without such a change nearly 3/4ths of the state school districts would be negatively impacted. 

The crux of the matter is that due to the late date for final passage of Wisconsin’s state budget the elected officials couldn’t send the money back through the general school aids formula.  Instead it was sent to the taxpayer through a property tax levy credit, which usually gives a bigger smile to taxpayers in wealthy districts.  Clearly that is unfair.

The bill that is gathering steam in the Statehouse would address this matter by still using the credit, but sending the money back to the districts through the general school aid formula.

The State Senate will take up this bill this week, but Assembly Speaker Huebsch says he has no plan to vote on it this week.

Say again!

The Speaker told the press that the Senate had the chance to send the money back to the districts in October and failed to do it.  (At that time all sides were fighting for advantages in the budget battle.)  The Assembly had passed the bill at that time but the Senate rejected the measure, as they wanted to deal with the budget in one package.

All the school districts negatively impacted need to ask themselves why Speaker Huebsch thought the bill had merit less than one month ago, but now does not feel the bill meets the smell test of good policy.

Is it bad policy?  No, it is a genuine answer to a problem that resulted from the late budget. This corrective measure needs to reach each floor of the legislature and be passed.

It would be mighty sad if Speaker Huebsch played  ‘gotcha politics’ with the state taxpayers who are caught in the middle of this mess through no fault of their own.

Speaker Huebsch needs to schedule a vote ASAP!

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