When the November elections ended, I thought we were safe for a while from the dark clouds and blustery winds manufactured by the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC). Not so fast.
Tuesday, Jeff Schoepke, writing for WMC, says in the Wisconsin State Journal:
The nonpartisan Tax Foundation released its 2007 State Business Tax Climate Index in October, ranking Wisconsin as the 13th worst business tax climate in the nation.
Here are the facts, Jack:
- The "nonpartisan" Tax Foundation is a right-wing conservative lobbying organization that has been paying for Congressional staffers to take free junkets all over the world.
- The Tax Foundation rates states highly on its Business Tax Climate Index by the following standards:
- A flat tax is good: "states score best if their top tax rate kicks in at a low level of income."
- Hefty depletion allowances.
- No state income tax, the most progressive tax option available: "The seven states without an individual income tax are, naturally, the highest scoring states..."
- The fewer the number of tax brackets, the flatter the tax: "(states) score the best in this variable by having only one tax bracket."
The entire "study" is flawed because it does not take into consideration the use of fees as a revenue source. Wisconsin, being a progressive state, relies more on taxes than fees. When taxes and fees are combined, Wisconsin ranks in the middle among the fifty states. We have already covered this ground in previous posts.
- Wisconsin scored far better on various livability standards than the states that rank high in the Tax Foundation study.
- Wisconsin children do far better in terms of health and education than most other states, especially the low tax states.
Wisconsin must improve its business tax climate. If we do so, our economy will grow and our families will have better jobs and brighter futures. It's that simple.
Shoepke's piece is just another in a long series of hooey from the WMC, trying to convince the public that it should pay more taxes while businesses pay less. It's that simple.