- Mandate for Madison
- News & Analysis
- Contact Us
Subscribe for Updates
Get the latest news and updates from Badger Institute.
- What to do about progressive icon and eugenicist Charles Van Hise
- Innovators stifled by current healthcare system
- Delay in removing ineligible Medicaid recipients costs Wisconsin taxpayers hundreds of millions
- What if Wisconsin stopped making childcare pointlessly costly?
- Increased choice funding — and Ramirez family’s generosity — will help thousands flourish
- Governor keeps alive possibility of local bans on fossil fuels
- SNAP is a larded, sugary mess
- Wins on justice, education and taxes are only the start of Wisconsinites’ work
Using his partial veto power, Gov. Tony Evers removed the Legislature’s first steps on tax reform for Wisconsin, canceling a simplification of Wisconsin’s income tax rates and a reduction in the rates covering much of the middle class and most of the state’s businesses.
Among the bills Republicans are considering in the Legislature is one eliminating the last remnants of Wisconsin’s personal property tax. The bill, AB2, sponsored by Rep. Dan Knodl (R-Germantown), would end property taxes on everything but real estate.The move is one the Badger Institute long has advocated.
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.
Burdensome licensing requirements hurt Wisconsin workers and make the state a less attractive place to live. Overly onerous licensure regulation does little to promote health or safety and instead costs Wisconsinites jobs, income and the ability to care for their families. While just a start, we believe AB 203, 204 and 205 will begin to help address some of these issues.
Amid a sustained outcry from frustrated occupational license seekers and a statewide worker shortage, Wisconsin lawmakers are advancing a universal recognition licensure bill and nearly a dozen more narrowly targeted reforms that would finally help remedy longtime bureaucratic dysfunction and over-regulation.
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.
Wisconsin’s current expungement statute is flawed. It forces judges to make poor decisions with limited information, encourages uneven and often nonsensical administration of justice, and does little to help employers, victims, or low-level, non-violent offenders we should all want in jobs rather than cells.
The Badger Institute published new research by a nationally noted economist finding that a single-rate reform of Wisconsin’s individual income tax would yield substantial benefits to everyone in the state by spurring faster economic growth, more job options and more investment.
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.
Wisconsin’s FoodShare is supposed to be a short-term safety net program. But redistributionists have used the pandemic as an excuse to grow government involvement in one of the most basic aspects of human life — how individuals feed themselves — in an upward trajectory detached from meaningful metrics on need or economics.
Dogged by a huge backlog for occupational licenses and complaints by applicants and lawmakers, Wisconsin’s Department of Safety and Professional Services must submit to an audit of its operations.
An all-Republican majority of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee voted Tuesday to direct the Legislative Audit Bureau to examine an agency that fields between 5,000 and 10,000 calls every week. The LAB website projects the expected release of the audit in fall 2023.
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.
Dental therapists are mid-level providers — similar to physician assistants or nurse practitioners — who perform preventive, restorative and intermediate restorative procedures such as fluoride applications, cavity repairs and extractions of diseased teeth. These licensed professionals work under the general supervision of dentists and often practice in locations with underserved populations.