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As I See It

Tax breaks for sending kids to private schools going to the wealthy



Governor Walker and Wisconsin legislators have been big supports of education. Unfortunately, that support has been limited to a private education. While many school districts have struggled with reduced state funding, they have had to turn to referendum to keep operating. But those who send their children to private voucher schools in Wisconsin are getting a helping hand from the state. That is because the state four years ago passed a law creating a tax break for those who send their children to private schools. And records released by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue show the majority of those receiving these tax breaks are the wealthy. The records show tax filers making more than $100,000 a year are collecting the majority of the tax breaks. In fact, two-thirds of those collecting the tax break make more than $100,000. That is costing taxpayers about $12 million a year. These are people who can afford to send their children to private schools without any help from the state. In fact, many of them already sent their children to private schools before the tax break became law. The law hurts low and moderate income families by further tilting the tax code in favor of wealthy filers, and by reducing support for public schools where most less affluent send their chldren. Wisconsin should stop giving tax breaks to wealthy people who don’t need any state help enrolling their children in private schools.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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