Last week, Governor Walker sent out an "E-Update" with some very shady math about how profitable his "reforms" have been in Wisconsin. As one of the many, many taxpayers suffering under his cuts and increases to local taxes, I had a lot to say about that. Turns out I wasn't alone.Isthmus published my own letter to Walker as a Citizen editorial on The Daily Page, and one reader shared her own response to Governor Walker's message:
Governor Walker sent me the very same letter! Here's my reply:
Please post on www.reforms.wi.gov complete and accurate information about the impacts of Governor Walker's reforms on the Hudson School District and on homeowners in the Town of Hudson, both of which are located in St. Croix County.
As reported in the Hudson Star Observer on 7/13/11, 7/21/11, and 9/21/11
As shown on our Town of Hudson residential property tax bill for 2011, the results of Governor Walker's reforms are that:
- The Hudson School District was unable to recoup the $2.6 million in state funding cuts it suffered-despite making budget adjustments by increasing staff contributions for retirement accounts and health insurance, getting competitive bids for staff health insurance, allowing no increases in staff salaries and benefits for union or nonunion employees, cutting forty (40) staff positions, recognizing savings from staff retirements and attrition, cutting operating costs, cutting transportation costs, and increasing student fees;
- Property owners in the Hudson School District will see at least an additional two-percent (2%) increase in the property tax levy for the Hudson School District under the 2011-13 state budget and budget repair bill; and as a result,
- Under the 2011-13 state budget and budget repair bill, the Hudson School District will be able to provide less to students in the next and future years, but will be able to do so at a higher cost to us local taxpayers.
Currently, the information posted on www.reforms.wi.gov regarding the impacts of Governor Walker's reforms in St. Croix County appears to be an example of misleading, if not outright lying, through omission. Surely Governor Walker would not want anyone to be mislead about the actual effects of the 2011-13 state budget and budget repair bill.
- Although the 2011 assessed value of our home did not increase over the 2010 assessed value, our 2011 property tax bill did increase by 6.9% over our 2010 property tax bill because state aids to St. Croix County, Town of Hudson, Hudson School District, and WITC were cut significantly in 2011 compared to 2010 dollar amounts;
- 2011 state aids declined from 2010 state aids by 7% for St. Croix County, by 7.3% for Town of Hudson, by 6.7% for Hudson School District, and by 30.6% for WITC;
- The state portion of our 2011 home property tax bill increased by 1.8%;
- The St. Croix County portion of our 2011 home property tax bill increased by 8.0%, even though the St. Croix County Board again reduced the annual County budget and the 2012 County budget is 24% lower than the 2008 County budget;
- The Town of Hudson portion of our 2011 home property tax bill increased by 0.1%;
- The Hudson School District portion of our 2011 home property tax bill increased by 7.5%, even though the Hudson School District took all possible steps to cut costs; and
- The WITC portion of our 2011 home property tax bill increased by 5.4%.
- Posted by a reader from Hudson, WI on 01/05/12 (reposted here with her permission).