WISTAX in the News

A sample of how Wisconsin media use WISTAX research to educate and inform the public about our government


Will Wisconsin's Finances Crush Walker's Presidential Dreams?

A story by Bloomberg News Service about Gov. Walker's political aspirations explores Wisconsin's budget issues and gets input from WISTAX President Todd Berry, December 23, 2014.

An Older, Grayer Wisconsin

An editorial in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the Alliance's path-breaking research on Wisconsin's demographics and its future impact on the state economy and taxes, October 31, 2014.

Chasing Minnesota

A review of WISTAX Benchmarks, Wisconisin's Report Card. New North B2B Magazine, July 2014.

Where to find facts on state economic growth

WISC TV Channel 3 CBS, July 16, 2014

Tax Man: Todd Berry fights for taxpayers as head of WISTAX

InBusiness Magazine, July 2014

Aging population will hurt Wisconsin's economy, government

Report: No growth in workforce through 2014

Wausau Daily Herald, May 5, 2014.

Wave of boomer retirements may hurt Wisconsin's jobs picture

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 3, 2014

Walker's Plan Would Overhaul Tech School Funding

The Dunn County News, January 27, 2014.

Another Proposal for New State Revenues

Wisconsin Radio Network, January 21, 2014.

Rising Tuition, Debt Raises the Stakes for College Students

Eau Claire Leader Telegram, January 2, 2014.

New Report Says Wisconsin's Regions Move at Different Economic Speeds

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 17, 2013

Region's Economy Outpacing State

Eau Claire Leader Telegram, November 17, 2013

Guest commentary: A cure for our political ills

The Beloit Daily News, October 13, 2013

Tax Cuts Not Seen in Wisconsin Until Next Year

Stevens Point City Times, July 27, 2013

The multi-million dollar tax cut signed into law in June won’t automatically result in higher pay checks for Wisconsin taxpayers. WISTAX explains why.

Murphy's Law: The Truth About State Taxes

Urban Milwaukee, July 25, 2013

Columnist Bruce Murphy uses WISTAX research to assess Wisconsin's tax rankings.

Tax Alliance Head Blasts Both Parties

Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter, June 13, 2013.

In a speech to the Manitowoc Rotary, WISTAX President Todd Berry said state elected officials, no matter whether they are Republicans or Democrats, don’t seem able or willing to “enact budgets that have sufficient cushion to avoid creating budget problems ... they have an inability to plan long term.”

Tax Group Sees Good and Bad in Present Budget

WSAU, June 10, 2013

The state’s new budget package that passed the Joint Finance Committee last week has one tax watchdog both pleased and concerned. The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, also called WISTAX, is optimistic that the new budget simplifies the tax code, eliminates some exemptions, and lowers the tax rate for most people, but President Todd Berry is concerned about building this budget with some borrowing and relying heavily on estimates of future revenue collection.

State Needs to Foster Entrepreneurs

Wausau Daily Herald, June 6, 2013

In a recent interview with the Daily Herald Media Editorial Board, Todd Berry, president of the Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance, noted that in general, states with the most new firm creation also have the most job growth. These states also have the most firms that go out of business.

Murphy's Law: In Defense of Goo Goos

Urban Milwaukee, May 29, 2013.

Columnist Bruce Murphy explains "Why we need... the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance."

State Cuts, Limits Slow Local Growth

Poynette Press, May 22, 2013

While State government made headlines over the past decade moving from problem budget to problem budget, local governments experienced more significant but less noticed financial change, according to Todd A. Berry, President of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

Murphy's Law: The Not so Fiscally Conservative Governor

Urban Milwaukee, May 16, 2013

Columnist Bruce Murphy says: "Scott Walker hasn't solved the state's long-term fiscal deficit. He may actually make it worse."

Wisconisn lags in job growth, because of aging population, lack of start-ups

St. Paul Pioneer Press, Feb 5, 2013

Wisconsin has lagged the nation in job growth since the mid-1990s because of its aging population and lack of business startups, according to a new report by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

Todd A. Berry: Taxpayer Group Never Endorses in Elections

La Crosse Tribune 

As has been the case for 80 years, the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance is dedicated to providing the media, teachers and students, and the press and public with factual information about state and local government. Although we encourage voters to be as well informed as possible before casting a ballot, WISTAX is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization. We do not lobby, advocate or become involved in election campaigns. We never support or oppose candidates or referendum positions.

Property Taxes See Lowest Rise in 15 Years

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Total statewide property taxes are up 0.3% in 2012, the smallest increase in 15 years, according to preliminary estimates released by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

State Demographics Loom Large

Wisconsin State Journal

Now don't take this the wrong way, Wisconsin, but you're graying fast. The median age of Wisconsin citizens was 38.5 in the 2010 Census. That's two-and-a-half years older than a decade ago, and more than a year older than the national average, according to a recent report by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

Wisconsin Tax in Top 10

Superior Telegram

U.S. Census figures released Monday show state-local taxes in Wisconsin claimed 11.2 percent of personal income in 2009, ninth highest among the states, the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) reported Monday.

Record Number of Wis. Students Choosing to Open Enroll

Fox21 News

A record number of Wisconsin public school students are attending districts outside of their own. Last school year nearly 35,000 students utilized Wisconsin's open enrollment program which allows parents in one school district to apply to have their children attend school in another.

Group: State Budget Shifts From Education to Medicaid

Ashland Current

An analysis by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance says the 2011-13 Wisconsin state budget shifts priority from education to human services, particularly Medicaid. The share of 2011-13 state general fund spending going to K-12 schools and the University of Wisconsin System combined is 40.8 percent, down from 45.3 percent in 2009-11, the report says. In contrast, Medicaid’s spending share will rise from 8.4 percent to 13.6 percent.

Town of Merton Should Create or Join a Fire District

Lake Country Reporter

The town's current approach to providing fire and emergency medical services (EMS) is not efficient, and the town should consider either joining an existing fire/EMS district or creating a new district with neighboring communities and departments, according to a recent study by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX).

State Woes on Budget Explained

Daily Jefferson County Union

WISTAX President Todd Berry outlines the causes and challenges that led to the messy state budget process and reveals how years of decisions by state officials of both political parties led to the mess.

City Uses Comparisons to Identify Budget Problems


The City of Burlington ranks roughly in the middle of a 10-community comparison of taxing and spending prepared recently by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. City Administrator Kevin Lahner on Tuesday explained officials requested the customized report as a means to gauge how the city is serving its residents and taxpayers.

Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance Report Outlines Challenges Facing Rural Schools

Appleton Post Crescent

A new report outlines significant challenges facing Wisconsin’s rural schools. The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance report released last week shows that Wisconsin’s rural schools have an average of nearly eight students per square mile compared with 47 for others in the state.

Group Predicts Smaller Property Tax Increases

Ashland Current

A study from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance says that this year's property tax increase was relatively small compared to what is expected to result from the 2011-13 state budget.Wisconsin local governments levied $10.36 billion in gross property taxes in 2010-11, up 2.6 percent from the prior year. After more than $1 billion in state credits, taxpayers paid $9.34 billion in net property taxes vs. $9.10 billion in 2009-10.

Small town schools face growing sense of crisis

Eau Claire Leader-Telegram

It's not a good time to be a rural school superintendent. At least not according to a recent report by the Madison-based Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, which maintains that mounting financial challenges are crippling the state's most sparsely populated districts.

Sober Assessment Busts Budget Myths

Wisconsin State Journal

With all the talk of "devastating" cuts and "huge" tax giveaways in the state budget, it's worth highlighting a few facts... That's what the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance found after dispassionately breaking down the $64.3 billion state budget, which the Republican governor signed into law in late June.

Walker Hikes State Spending!

Inside Milwaukee: Official Site of Milwaukee Magazine

Here’s a news item I would have expected to be splashed across the state’s front pages: Gov. Scott Walker’s budget doesn’t lower spending, it increases it. And by quite a bit. The analysis comes to us from the sober-minded Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, whose wonky staff is perhaps as knowledgeable on state finances as any you could find...........
(WISTAX editor's note: this story requires one clarification -- WISTAX does not support or oppose taxes. Our goal is to educate citizens about how taxes are raised and spent.)

PolitiFact Wisconsin Rates Budget Claims

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The  Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance is one of many sources used by journalist to test the claim that the newly approved 2011-13 state budget "includes tax breaks for corporations and the rich that will cost.... taxpayers $2.3 billion over the next decade."  

Wisconsin Cities Spending Less

Chicago Tribune

A new report shows that spending by Wisconsin cities and villages dropped for the first time in more than a decade.  The independent Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance reported Monday that total spending for the state's largest 238 municipalities decreased 1 percent between 2008 and 2009.

Thousands of Rules Regulate Economic, Private Lives 

The North Woods River News

From the size of piers to shoreland setbacks, from antique cars to midwives, from barbers to outdoor recreation, to the taxation of fresh apples, thousands of administrative rules control and manage the lives of every Wisconsin citizen, though most citizens aren't aware of the vast majority of them. WISTAX analysis shows......

Attacking the GAB: and Another Foolish Tax Giveaway

Milwaukee Magazine

Bruce Murphy writes about the legislature's reaction to the actions of the Government Accountability Board and about a proposed tax increase with reaction from WISTAX President Todd Berry.

Walker's Priorities Largely Remain in Budget

Wisconsin State Journal
Scott Walker's priorities of balancing Wisconsin's budget without raising taxes. WISTAX President Todd Berry comments. 

Guest Column: Education by the Numbers

Green Bay Press Gazette
More than 63 percent of Wisconsin districts had fewer students in 2010 than in 1998. A Story with data from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

State's Deficit Fuels Political Divide

Green Bay Press Gazette
For years, Wisconsin has moved toward a larger gap between Democrats and Republicans, ... said Todd Berry, president of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

"Staycations' to Boost Wis. Economy

Beloit Daily News
It's a sound policy, said Todd Berry, president of the nonpartisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. Much of tourism “is dependent on visitors from surrounding ...

'Building Blocks of the Middle Class'

Dubuque Telegraph Herald
A 2007 study by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance found that every $1 invested in the Wisconsin Technical College System pays $6 in additional state and ... 

Good Jobs, More of Them Only Way to a Better Future

According to a recent report from the nonpartisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, the number of filers earning between $500000 and $1 million dropped by ... 

Locals Speak Out about Tax Changes

RHINELANDER - Taxes dropped 3.7% to $1539 for most of us who are making less than $200000 a year, according to Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. ...

Three Decades of Shrinking Support for UW

Milwaukee News Buzz/Milwaukee Magazine
... according to a new report from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. Decades ago, state dollars funded almost half of the university system's needs, ... 

Scott McDonell: Big Board is Better, Cheaper

Wisconsin State Journal
A 2003 study by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance found that "an increase in county board size of one supervisor was associated with lower spending of $8 to ...