Outrageous Taxation Suggestion on a Saturday Night!

Last Sunday, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton wrote an op-ed piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel touting Milwaukee as a great place to do business and the emphasizing the fact that it is the economic engine that drives the state of Wisconsin.

Most of us are aware of the antipathy that the state as a whole holds for the City of Milwaukee. But that is exactly the opposite of how they should be feeling considering Milwaukee’s contribution to the state.

Check out the entire piece here.

It is common knowledge on the right side of the aisle in Madison that Milwaukee and all of its problems are a drain on the state…but that seems to be a ‘alternate fact’ given what Mayor Barrett and Alderman Hamilton have to say.

One key point that I am going go riff on:

Milwaukee is proud to lead the state of Wisconsin forward. In 2015, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue calculated that the amount of state revenue generated in Milwaukee far exceeded the amount of state aid provided to Milwaukee governments — more than $460 million from the city of Milwaukee alone, and an additional $605 million from the rest of Milwaukee County. These contributions promote Wisconsin’s sustainability and provide a range of economic opportunities well beyond our borders.

Wisconsin’s taxpayers residing outside of our county are benefiting by more than a billion dollars in tax revenue from Milwaukee. With only 66% of what the city generates and 57% of what the county generates returning to our communities, we are providing a robust and growing “Milwaukee dividend” to our state’s coffers.

So here is my off the wall…never to be considered…tax reform idea…that I don’t actually want implemented.

But why not just have the state legislature levy the necessary income and sales taxes necessary to run the state. And skim off the bit necessary to run the state government and then leave the entirety back in the counties and municipalities where the tax revenue originated. Only seems fair…we don’t need no wealth reallocation if you know what I mean.

[sarcasm alert]

But wouldn’t that be an educational experience if it occurred for just one budget cycle: show everyone exactly where the state’s economic power lies?


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2 thoughts on “Outrageous Taxation Suggestion on a Saturday Night!

  1. Ed, thanks.

    It’s the kind of economic fragmentation that made the Native American tribes so easy to defeat. Little Bighorn was one of the few examples of Native American co-operation. Cheyenne and Sioux–both of whom were composed of distinct sub tribes–united to annihilate elements of the 7th Cavalry under Custer.

    Among the reasons the South lost the Civil War, lack of cooperation.

    Department stores like Sears and Roebuck, grocery chains like A&P gradually annihilated Mom and Pop stores. Now Amazon’s using a similar strategy to crush them. Google swallowed the advertising revenue of locally owned media. Facebook is now taking a lot of that away from Google.

    Uber and Lyft want to crush cab companies and public transportation.

    The tension between unity and diversity is a complex economic and technological problem.

    A little anti-trust enforcement would go a long way. Trump campaigned on it, but I don’t see it happening. If Trump’s impeached, as I expect, I think there’s even less chance under Pence.

  2. I’m hearing about a new “localism” that uses 3D copying technology aka additive manufacturing and as much as possible, a locally resourced supply chain.

    Another wrinkle is to de-incentivize planned obsolescence. Barcode or tag stuff to either be fixed or upcycled.

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