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Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine

Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine To Exceed or Not To Exceed?

March 2014  •  Vol. 2014 No. 2
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Since 1994, Wisconsin school districts have held almost 950 referenda to exceed state-imposed revenue caps. In 2013, 89% were nonrecurring (for a limited time), a reversal from 1994-98 when less than 20% were. During 1994-2013, voters... Read More


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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - March 2014  •  Vol. 2014 No. 1Investigating Local Law Enforcement

    In 2012, Wisconsin’s 297 individual and seven joint municipal police departments protected 3.8 million of Wisconsin’s 5.7 million residents. These departments employed an average of 2.03 full-time officers per 1,000... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - January 2014  •  Vol. 2013 No. 12The County Sales Tax

    This year, 62 of the state’s 72 counties will impose the optional 0.5% sales tax. However, slow growth in statewide sales tax collections since 2000 raises issues about their reliability. During 2000-12, collections in 17 counties... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - January 2014  •  Vol. 2013 No. 11Gauging Wisconsin’s 2013 Taxes

    Total state and local taxes in 2013 rose for the fourth consecutive year to $27.4 billion, a 2.1% increase from last year. Because total state income grew faster (3.9%), Wisconsin’s state-local tax burden fell slightly to 11.3% of... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - December 2013  •  Vol. 2013 No. 10Does a College Degree Still “Pay?”

    More than at any time since the early 1970s, students and parents are asking whether it “pays” to earn a four-year college degree. Many factors are at work, including family expectations, inadequate high school preparation,... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - November 2013  •  Vol. 2013 No. 9A Closer Look At Wisconsin’s Economy

    Focusing on short-term, statewide figures can mask regional variation and long-term trends in the state economy. During 2000-12, Wisconsin’s economy lost 1.4% of its jobs, while the nation gained 1.4%. Meanwhile, western and south... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - August 2013  •  Vol. 81 No. 8Window on the Wisconsin State Budget

    The recently enacted 2013-15 Wisconsin state budget authorizes the state to spend $70.38 billion over the next two years, including $2.05 billion from new borrowing. By year and excluding bonding, spending rises 3.5% in 2014 and 2.4% in... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - July 2013  •  Vol. 2013 No. 6/72013 Property Taxes in Review

    With tighter property tax limits in place, total property tax levies rose 0.8% to $10.47 billion in 2013. Combined with last year’s 0.2% increase, 2013 marked the first in at least 67 years that gross levies increased less than 1%... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - May 2013  •  Vol. 2013 No. 5Wisconsin’s Transportation Funding Dilemma

    A state commission recently found that, over the next ten years, Wisconsin will need an additional $2 billion to $7 billion to pay for its transportation needs. A slow-growing population that reduced its travel combined with more fuel... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - April 2013  •  Vol. 2013 No. 4The Local Squeeze?

    Since 1995, state shared revenues to municipalities and counties have been significantly reduced three times, leaving these aids below their 1990 levels. Those reductions, along with state-mandated property tax limits initiated in... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - March 2013  •  Vol. 2013 No. 3School Options in Wisconsin

    Public school options for Wisconsin students have expanded from one program serving about 13,000 students in a few cities in 1977 to five programs serving about 126,000 students statewide. Participation in the parental choice program in... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - February 2013  •  Vol. 2013 No. 2Wisconsin’s Spring Elections

    On April 2, Wisconsin voters will choose a state Supreme Court Justice and a State Superintendent of Public Instruction. In the Supreme Court race, Justice Pat Roggensack seeks to retain her seat against attorney and Marquette Law... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - January 2013  •  Vol. 2013 No. 1Raising the Curtain on a New Legislature

    Republicans took control of both houses of the state legislature again, but after recall elections and redistricting, the legislature has undergone many changes from two years ago. The senate welcomes three new members, the assembly 25.... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - December 2012  •  Vol. 2012 No. 12Reviewing Wisconsin’s 2012 Taxes

    Total state and local taxes rose for the third consecutive year to $26.8 billion in 2012, a 3.2% increase from last year. Because total state income grew faster (4.5%), Wisconsin’s state-local tax burden fell slightly to 11.8% of... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - November 2012  •  Vol. 2012 No. 11Understanding the State-Tribal Relationship

    One of the most important powers a government has is to tax people within its territory. Taxing power is easy to identify and understand when discussing federal and state governments. However, it can be confusing when a tribe, legally a... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - October 2012  •  Vol. 80 No. 10After the Storm: School Funding in 2012

    The 2009-11 and 2011-13 state budgets had profound impacts on school districts and their finances. Aid cuts and tightened revenue limits in both state budgets squeezed school budgets. Law changes enacted in 2011 helped schools reduce... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - September 2012  •  Vol. 2012 No. 9Badger State Business Taxes

    Wisconsin businesses paid more than $8.5 billion in state and local taxes in 2011. The largest business tax was the property tax, accounting for over half the total. Businesses also paid more than $1 billion in sales (16% of the total)... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - August 2012  •  Vol. 2012 No. 8A Recap of 2011-12 Property Taxes

    Property tax levies totaled $10.38 billion in 2012, up 0.2% from 2011. After subtracting more than $1 billion dollars in state-funded credits, net property taxes were $9.36 billion, also 0.2% more than the prior year. One-year changes... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - July 2012  •  Vol. 2012 No. 6/7State Funding of Local Government: How Does Wisconsin Differ From Other States?

    In 2009, Wisconsin state government funded more than 40% of local government spending, a percentage that was higher than in 42 states. Our “equalizing” state-local finance system allows poor communities to provide basic... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - May 2012  •  Vol. 2012 No. 5Vacationing in Wisconsin

    Tourism is important to the Wisconsin economy. Not only do the billions spent by visitors annually support economic growth and jobs, but they also result in tax revenues for state and local governments. In 2011, tourists here spent an... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - April 2012  •  Vol. 2012 No. 4The Nation’s First, The State’s Largest

    Due to a combination of policy changes and economic growth, Wisconsin’s income tax per person has grown from $38 in 1960 to $1,260 in 2011. From 2001 through 2010, Wisconsin’s 6.6% increase in per capita income taxes was... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - March 2012  •  Vol. 80 No. 3Wisconsin's Fiscal Health

    Wisconsin's official financial statements, released each December by the state controller's office, provide telling information about state finances and fiscal health. The latest release shows Wisconsin with a general fund... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - February 2012  •  Vol. 2012 No. 2The Sales Tax: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

    First imposed in 1962 as part of a property tax relief effort, the Wisconsin sales tax is now state government’s second-largest source of tax revenue, trailing only the individual income tax. Although the tax evolved from a 3%... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - January 2012  •  Vol. 2012 No. 1Moving To and From Wisconsin: Migration and the Badger State

    Over the last 15 years, Wisconsin has shifted from a net gainer of people and income from migration to a net loser. Based on U.S. tax returns, the state lost as much as $8 billion from more people leaving than coming to the state during... Read More

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    Wisconsin Taxpayer Magazine - December 2011  •  Vol. 2011 No. 12Postrecession Snapshot: Total Taxes in 2011

    Wisconsin state-local taxes claimed 11.9% of state personal income in fiscal year 2011, up from 11.7% the prior year and 11.3% in recession-plagued 2009. This year's increase was largely due to recent tax increases and to the... Read More

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