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Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013

Issue of the Week: Legislature Fast-Tracks a $100 Million Donation to Walker

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State legislators are poised to rubber-stamp Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to send an extra $100 million to schools to drive down property taxes. The property tax cut is so important to Walker that just last week he called a special session of the Legislature to enact it. And even if lawmakers pass it by the end of this week, it’ll still cause state and school officials to scramble to figure out their property tax bills for next year.

We highly doubt that Walker is pushing this bill at lightning speed because he’s so concerned about public schools or property tax relief. After all, Walker’s 2011-2013 budget cut public school funding by $800 million. His new two-year budget actually increases property taxes and still would create a $725 million deficit heading into the next budget. The $100 million he’s offering up now would merely reduce his property tax hike by $1.08 a month for the average homeowner.

No, Walker isn’t interested in fully funding the public schools or reducing property taxes. He’s trying to create a campaign commercial for next year’s gubernatorial election and steal some of the media attention now being focused on his newly announced Democratic challenger, businesswoman Mary Burke. 

Walker’s scheme doesn’t really show his support for public schools or property tax relief. It should be considered a $100 million donation to his re-election campaign.