This Tax Day, Remember that Taxes Make Investments in a Strong Economy Possible

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 1:56 AM by

Made possible by taxes

Made possible by taxes

Today is April 15th, the deadline for most people to file their income tax forms without penalty. We hear a lot of negative messages about taxes on this day. But this Tax Day, let’s remember that creating jobs and building broad-based prosperity requires investing in what works – and we can’t do that without taxes. 

To build a strong Wisconsin economy, we need to invest in assets that help businesses thrive and help hard-working people climb into the middle class. That means Wisconsin needs to continue our tradition of supporting high-quality schools and preschools, an affordable university system, a healthy workforce, and a clean environment.

Taxes make these investments possible.

When state lawmakers cut income taxes for the wealthy or for corporations, we undermine our ability to support important services that Wisconsin businesses and residents rely on every day.  We should focus on making sure we have the resources we need to invest in the building blocks of job creation and economic growth. If we don’t, we will limit Wisconsin’s opportunities and undermine our own prosperity.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen the consequences of policy choices that limit opportunities for investments in Wisconsin’s schools, workforce, and transportation networks. State lawmakers have cut taxes by nearly $2 billion since 2011. That strategy for creating jobs has fallen flat, with the pace of job growth in Wisconsin continuing to lag the national average. Not only have the tax cuts not created jobs, they have made it harder for Wisconsin to build a strong economy, by reducing the revenue that Wisconsin needs to invest in the fundamentals of economic growth.

We need to make sure that everyone in Wisconsin contributes to making investments in a strong economy, and should require the richest taxpayers to shoulder their portion of the responsibility. Right now, Wisconsin taxpayers with the highest incomes pay a much smaller share of their income in state and local taxes on average than do people in other income groups.

Wisconsin has a proud history of investing in excellent schools, safe communities, a solid transportation network, and other foundations for economic growth. We invest in these important components of our economy every day, not just on Tax Day.  If we want Wisconsin to build a strong economy, create jobs, and be globally competitive, we need to continue making these investments in the future.

Tamarine Cornelius

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