Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Property tax cut not all it's cracked up to be

Proposal fiscally irresponsible, politically motivated, barely helpful

Gov. Scott Walker unveiled a new plan late last week to give property tax cuts to homeowners across the state.

The plan would create $100 million in tax cuts. On its face, it sounds like a pretty large sum of cash. Broken down further, however, and it amounts to less than a tank of gas for property owners over two years’ time.

Taxpayers would receive an average of $13 the first year in breaks, and $20 in the second year. Much of the first year’s savings would be essentially erased, however, due to the fact that property taxes were expected to go up on average $11 for the typical homeowner anyway.

Plans to enact the tax cut would also damage the state’s already troubled economic picture. If these tax cuts and other work training programs are signed into law, the state’s projected shortfall in the next budget would increase by about $180 million.

It's likely that the property tax cut proposed by Gov. Walker is going to garner bipartisan support. Furthermore, any time that the average homeowner can get a relief on their taxes, it’s a good thing.

But let’s not trump this up as anything more than what it is: this is simply irresponsible budgeting and political maneuvering in order for Scott Walker to look good, just days after a challenger to his gubernatorial campaign stepped forward. Being able to say he "cut property taxes" makes for good campaign material, even if the tax cuts he's lauding are particularly dull.

This hastily written bill needs further fiscal consideration, and the Walker administration needs to re-address its priorities, working to help the people of this state rather than preserve or improve the political image of this governor.

1 comment:

  1. People on a fixed income such as Senior citizens who have retired, can be greatly affected by the increase of property tax. The value of their homes increase, but at the same time they find themselves unable to pay their taxes because of their reduced income. Unfortunately, property tax doesn't allow much wiggle room in the event of acts of nature or personal tragedy. Click Here