Republican Tax Plan Remains a Huge Windfall for the Wealthy

Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 6:13 PM by

The tax cut plan unveiled today by House Republicans would provide a massive windfall to corporations and the wealthiest Americans, while hurting some taxpayers and substantially increasing the federal deficit.

We don’t yet have updated calculations of how the revised plan will redistribute taxes among different income groups, but the modest revisions to the plan won’t significantly change the previous calculations – which found that 80% of the tax cuts in the initial plan would go to the top 1% of Americans. (See Figure 2 in this Oct. 27th analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.)

Here are some of the reasons why the latest proposal, which would add at least $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years, would primarily benefit wealthy households and corporations:

  • Even though the tax plan does not cut the top individual income tax rate, the new tax brackets benefit the wealthy.
Read more
Categories: Blog, estate tax, FEDERAL BUDGET & TAXES, federal issues, taxes | Comments Off on Republican Tax Plan Remains a Huge Windfall for the Wealthy

Wisconsin’s Prison Price Tag: Still Growing

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 1:34 PM by
A leading official in Governor Walker’s administration has said that the state will need to spend more money – soon – to expand the state’s prison capacity. State policymakers should take this opportunity to reform the state’s corrections system in a way that locks up fewer people, keeps costs down, and protects public safety.
Categories: Blog, Corrections, Home Tab 1 | Comments Off on Wisconsin’s Prison Price Tag: Still Growing

Rural, Northern Wisconsin Projected to Lose Large Numbers of Children in Coming Years

Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 7:48 AM by
In some areas of northern and central Wisconsin, the number of children is expected to decline by up to a quarter over the next 25 years, presenting a host of challenges to communities that are already struggling to stay economically vibrant.
Categories: Blog, EDUCATION, Home Tab 2, K-12 | Comments Off on Rural, Northern Wisconsin Projected to Lose Large Numbers of Children in Coming Years

Wisconsin’s Tax Ranking Drops, but Pace of Job Creation Stays Slow

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 9:16 AM by
Wisconsin’s ranking among the states in many measures of government revenue and spending has dropped considerably since about 2000, but that hasn’t translated into an increased pace of job creation.
Categories: Blog, Home Tab 3, STATE TAXES, taxes | Comments Off on Wisconsin’s Tax Ranking Drops, but Pace of Job Creation Stays Slow

What the Trump Tax Plan Means for Wisconsin Taxpayers, in Six Charts

Friday, October 6, 2017 at 12:00 PM by

The tax plan being advanced by President Trump and Republican members of Congress would mostly benefit the extremely rich, despite initial claims by proponents that it would be targeted at members of the middle class.

Provisions included in the tax framework include:

  • Reducing the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 20%;
  • Eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax, which insures that wealthy individuals pay at least some level of federal income tax;
  • Eliminating the estate tax. Currently, only estates of more than $5.5 million for individuals or $11 million for couples pay any estate tax;
  • Reducing the number of income tax brackets;
  • Doubling the amount of the standard deduction and eliminating the personal exemption; and
  • Ending the deduction for state and local taxes paid.

Using data from an analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, we have prepared six charts that show how the Trump-GOP tax framework would affect Wisconsin taxpayers:

1. Read more

Push by Lawmakers to Break Up Racine School District Could Segregate Students by Race, Income

Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 10:25 AM by

A provision that Wisconsin lawmakers included in the state budget would stratify students in the Racine area by income and race and make it more difficult for the Racine school district to improve academic opportunities for students. The budget encourages  wealthier, less racially diverse areas of the Racine school district to break off and form their own separate districts, concentrating poorer students in the remaining portion of the district.

Racine Unified School District is the fifth-largest district in the state, with about 19,000 students spread out over 31 schools. The school district includes the City of Racine as well as several other municipalities including the villages of Caledonia (about 25,000 residents), Mount Pleasant (26,000 residents), and Sturtevant (5,000 residents).

Students in the Racine school district already face obstacles to academic success. Racine has a higher proportion of students from low-income families than other similarly-situated school districts in Wisconsin and the lowest share of adults with a college degree, according to a study from the Public Policy Forum. Read more

Categories: 2017-19 biennial budget, Blog, EDUCATION, K-12, STATE BUDGET | Comments Off on Push by Lawmakers to Break Up Racine School District Could Segregate Students by Race, Income

Wisconsin’s Lagging Income Growth Boosts Federal Share of Medicaid Costs

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 5:37 PM by

A state’s lagging economic performance can have a silver lining – in the form of increased federal assistance. Thanks to a Medicaid formula that currently provides more generous cost-sharing to states that are below average in per capita income, Wisconsin’s rather anemic personal income growth will save the state millions of dollars during the 2017-19 budget period.

However, that feature of Medicaid funding allocations could be gone in a few years if Congress approves the recent Republican proposals that would block grant or cap each state’s allocation. Read more

Categories: 2017-19 biennial budget, Blog, federal issues, HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES, health care reform, income, Medicaid | Comments Off on Wisconsin’s Lagging Income Growth Boosts Federal Share of Medicaid Costs

New ACA Repeal Plan Expected to Cost Wisconsin $29 Billion by 2036

Friday, September 22, 2017 at 12:50 PM by
The new proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is estimated to reduce federal health care funding for Wisconsin by $29 billion from 2020 through 2036. That’s the conclusion of an analysis released on September 21 by Avalere Health. The Avalere analysis helps illustrate why the new ACA repeal and replace plan, like the ones before it, would result in at least 20 million fewer Americans with health insurance by 2021. And under this plan offered by Senators Graham and Cassidy, the rapid drop in insurance coverage could reach 32 million in 2027, according to a report issued today by the Brookings Institute. The new proposal would make insurance far less affordable for many who now use the subsidized ACA marketplace and would force states to make deep cuts in Medicaid services for children, seniors and people with disabilities.
Categories: BadgerCare Plus, Blog, federal issues, health care reform, Medicaid | Comments Off on New ACA Repeal Plan Expected to Cost Wisconsin $29 Billion by 2036

To Observe Constitution Day, Protect Constitution from Threat of Convention

Monday, September 18, 2017 at 10:05 AM by

Sunday, September 17th was Constitution Day, a holiday that recognizes the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and those who have become citizens. This year, Constitution Day marked the 230th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution by delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787.

The U.S. Constitution has served the country well for more than two centuries, but some Wisconsin state lawmakers want to open the door to wholesale changes to the Constitution, a move that could threaten basic freedoms and liberties.

When the U.S. Constitution has needed amending in the past, Congress and at least three-fourths of the states voted to approve a specific amendment. Now, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and similar groups are pushing an alternate, untested approach to amending the Constitution, which requires two-thirds of state legislatures to approve resolutions calling for a Constitutional Convention. Once that threshold is reached, Congress must convene a Constitutional Convention. Read more

Categories: Blog, constitution | Comments Off on To Observe Constitution Day, Protect Constitution from Threat of Convention

Budget Bill Boosts Property Taxes for Thousands of Low-income Households

Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 2:36 PM by
Despite the claims of state lawmakers that the biennial budget bill cuts property taxes, the actions of those policymakers will increase property taxes for thousands of low-income Wisconsin households. The budget bill does that by significantly reducing funding for the Homestead Tax Credit, which was designed to provide targeted property tax relief to low-income homeowners and renters. A new Wisconsin Budget Project summary of tax changes in the budget bill describes some of the major items, which include more than $400 million of tax cuts. But the bill cuts funding and eligibility for the Homestead Credit, and the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) rejected the Governor’s proposal to increase the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit.
Categories: 2017-19 biennial budget, Blog, ECONOMIC SECURITY, Homestead credit, property tax | Comments Off on Budget Bill Boosts Property Taxes for Thousands of Low-income Households