This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Get ready, Wisconsin for big property tax increases

Today, Governor Doyle signed the biennial state budget into law that eliminates the Qualified Economic Offer (QEO) that helped keep property taxes down for over 15 years. Without the QEO, property taxes would have been much worse than they are. The QEO stipulated that local school districts could avoid binding arbitration with unionized teachers if the school districts offered an increase in salary and benefits of at least 3.8 percent.

As the Tomah Journal editorialized late last year, “The QEO operates as both a cap AND a floor for teachers salaries. There are many private-sector workers in Wisconsin who can only dream of a mechanism that guarantees a 3.8 percent annual compensation hike. If teachers start getting raises of 5, 6 or 7 percent instead of 3.8 percent, the money must come from somewhere.”

The QEO now disappears immediately.

The money to pay teachers increased salaries and benefits has to come from somewhere. Guess who, taxpayers???

Another option would be to chop teacher positions. But does anyone actually believe school boards will even go there? I don’t.

It’s much easier to take the lazy way out and jack up school taxes. My school district will almost certainly do that because it hasn’t met a big tax hike it doesn’t like. The heavy taxers dominate the Franklin school board.

Keep in mind no one other than the whiny teacher’s union was clamoring for an end to the QEO.

And think about this. At a time when taxpayers working in the private sector are taking pay  and benefit cuts, even pink slips, the moaning and groaning teachers are crying that a 3.8 percent increase in salaries and benefits every year just isn’t good enough.

Did you get a 3.8 percent raise last year? This year?

Elections matter. Last November when Democrats took over everything, the path was cleared for them to tax and tax and tax and tax. You will pay for it on your next property tax bill, no matter where you live.

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