Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wisconsin Corporations Underpay State and Local Taxes by More Than $1.3 Billion Annually

Wisconsin Corporations Underpay State and Local Taxes by More Than $1.3 Billion Annually

What if the alphabet only had the letters "A" and "B"?

In that case, Scott Walker would be a champion speller because, although he could offer a full alphabet of options for a state budget, he seems to have forgotten the rest of the letters beyond "A" (destroy the unions) or "B" (fire state workers).

BuzzFlash/Truthout staffer Dan DiMaggio wrote a commentary about Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, who offered another option: taxing the super rich:

But across the border from Wisconsin in Minnesota, Democratic Governor Mark Dayton has proposed an alternative idea: Raise taxes on the rich to help close the budget gap. Dayton's budget plan would increase taxes to 10.95 percent on Minnesota families earning over $150,000 a year (or single adults earning more than $85,000). He would also add an additional 3 percent surtax on the superrich - those earning more than $500,000 - for the next 3 years.

Dayton would still make some workforce and social service cuts, but he is putting more than two options on the table. The Republicans, as they did with the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, have basically limited the alphabetic choices to two, and neither of them require sacrifice for the wealthy and corporations. In fact, Walker is cutting taxes for that privileged group.

But what if the wealthy of Wisconsin paid their fair share for the services and abundance that democracy offers them?

Mark Levine, founder of the Center for Economic Development at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, wrote an op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel proposing a modest fair share contribution from the super wealthy. Levine also notes this stunning statistic: "Moreover, as a study by the Institute for Wisconsin's Future documented, Wisconsin corporations underpay state and local taxes by more than $1.3 billion annually: This is the difference between what businesses actually pay in state and local taxes and what they would be contributing if paying at the average national rate."

We had a president, George W. Bush, who had trouble with language, now we have a governor of Wisconsin who only knows two letters of the alphabet.

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