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- State landlords hit hard by eviction moratorium
- At home with politically incorrect language
- Licensing reform gains momentum in Wisconsin Legislature
- When parents choose a public school with more options for their children, the state provides less money. Why?
- Legislature protects Milwaukeeans from $15-per-rider fare-free trolley folly
- Latest crime figures show a Milwaukee in trouble
- Wisconsin lawmakers in the dark on broadband
- Foreseeing the Future of Wisconsin’s Flat Tax
Thousands of Wisconsin renters caught a break when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention imposed a moratorium on evictions in September 2020, ostensibly to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. But Wisconsin landlords like Mike Cerns had already paid the price. Cerns estimates he lost between $60,000 and $80,000 in unpaid rental income and the cost of repairing property damage from bad tenants he could not evict. “The federal government essentially stole my property during the eviction moratorium and the courts were an accessory to the theft,” he says.
Wisconsin’s top marginal income tax rate—the rate that matters most to the state’s economic competitiveness—remains among the highest in the country. Moving to a flat tax would substantially improve Wisconsin’s tax competitiveness. Separately, repealing the personal property tax would reduce compliance burdens for taxpayers and administrative burdens for the state. As policymakers work on the next biennial budget, each of these policy changes deserves thoughtful consideration.
Wisconsin can — and we think has to — do a lot more to compete with our neighbors. That’s where competition has to take place and with much of the rest of America. Or, watch our children and our neighbors move to states with more jobs and better wages, more opportunity and more prosperity. And those who are left behind at all levels are going to have fewer jobs, less opportunity, and more of the tax burden. People who are left behind are going to bear more of the tax burden. So, to us, the choice would seem clear.
Estimates show moving to a flat individual income tax in Wisconsin could generate nearly $7.2 billion in additional GDP, $614 million in new investment, and nearly 24,000 additional jobs over the next five years.
Economics of the fist: Unions favor telling to asking with Wisconsin’s right to work
Unions — and the progressives looking to make them again mandatory in Wisconsin — don’t get markets. They don’t get that in a market, a seller and a buyer or an employer and an employee must both benefit or no future deals happen. Instead, the game is zero sum, a fight for morsels, and only the bigger fist wins.
Many of the folks proudly wearing the cardinal and white are Wisconsin transplants who are now sunburnt Florida residents. They were lured south, many of them, for short stints by the sun and the surf, but stayed for the taxes — or, actually, the lack thereof.
Wisconsin’s economy shows some worrisome signs in top-line economic output and some positive trends, such as fairly large net migration from other Midwestern states, both in people and in income. And while the Badger State’s fiscal and regulatory policy mix is closer to the norm among states than it was even a decade ago, there is a clear need for additional reforms.
Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu has introduced a plan to transition over four years to a flat 3.25% individual income tax from the current four-bracket structure with a top rate of 7.65%.
He discussed the plan in this office in the Capitol Wednesday with Badger Institute President Mike Nichols in this week’s edition of the Institute’s Free Exchange podcast.
The Wisconsin Assembly on Thursday voted to ask voters in this spring’s elections whether able-bodied childless adults should have to seek work in order to go on receiving taxpayer-funded benefits, an idea the Badger Institute long has championed.
My hope for 2023 is that every legislator in Madison will talk to somebody in their district who lost their small business or their job, and ask why.
Shouldn’t be hard to find them.
Between March of 2020 and March of 2021 — the last period of time for which I could find data — 17,364 Wisconsin establishments opened and 13,698 closed, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Almost all of those were small businesses.
On Dec. 14, the Badger Institute submitted the following comments to Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide listening session tour on the 2023-25 executive budget.
Scholars like Morris Kleiner at the University of Minnesota have found that licensing creates barriers to entry into the field, especially for low-income aspirants; reduces employment and competition; inflates prices and the wages of licensed workers; stifles innovation; and limits mobility.
Wisconsin’s per capita GDP in comparison to other Midwest states is troubling. Even more troubling: we’re trending in the wrong direction. In 2011, Wisconsin was the 4th most productive of seven Midwestern states per capita. We’re now second from the bottom.
Why would a citizenry want its government to require, by law, higher prices? At anytime, it’s a good question but, as veteran journalist Ken Wysocky points out, at a time of raging inflation, it takes on a new urgency.
In a joint brief with the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, we lay out the problems with occupational licensing in Wisconsin and what meaningful reforms can be enacted.
A statewide and county-by-county analysis
What is occupational licensing, how does it affect employment and consumer costs, and what options exist for reform?
(and the real-world stories of Wisconsinites cheated out of their livelihoods)
Research and stories show the need for occupational licensing reform in Wisconsin. Authors include Ike Brannon, Logan Albright, Scott Niederjohn, Mark Schug and Jan Uebelherr.
Wisconsin conservatives or Minnesota liberals?
Report compares the growth and distribution of Income in Wisconsin and Minnesota after the Great Recession.
As Wisconsin’s population ages, we will need immigrants in our future workforce to keep our economy vibrant.