Scott Walker promised to veto a countywide referendum for a 1-cent increase in the local sales tax, a measure that was approved by the County Board, and boy did he deliver! Now it’s well-established Scott Walker has made a point during his tenure in office not to raise taxes, but it’s worth noting he resolution Walker vetoed wasn’t a tax increase; it simply called for a citizens’ referendum to be held on February 19, 2008 – which coincides with the state’s presidential primary election – on whether or not to increase Milwaukee County’s sales tax. Half the estimated $120 million raised from the 1-cent increase would go toward property tax relief, with the rest to be used to pay for parks, transit and police and fire protection.
So in vetoing a proposal for a referendum, Scott Walker’s basically thumbed his nose at the citizens of Milwaukee County, in essence sending the message that he knows what’s best for the people of Milwaukee County and that they can’t be trusted to make decisions for themselves. Whether the referendum had passed or failed, at least the citizens of Milwaukee County would have had a say in the decision, and it’s shameful that Scott Walker took away their ability to choose for themselves. What’s really ironic is that for all their criticisms of how liberals favor a “nanny state” that interferes in the day to day lives of people, conservatives are no better, as Scott Walker has just shown.
Willie Hines, the Common Council President, was quick to respond to Walker’s veto, saying:
“The rallying cry for the Founding Fathers of our nation gave words to an inspired and visionary movement: ‘No taxation without representation.’ Scott Walker’s rallying cry, on the other hand, appears short on inspiration and void of vision. Based on the action he took yesterday in vetoing a sales tax referendum, I can only conclude that his own personal rallying cry must be: ‘No taxation. Period.’ “
I think Willie Hines pretty much hit the nail on the head.