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As I See It

Surplus should be spent on us first



As we discussed yesterday, Wisconsin has a record state budget surplus and may be in the best financial shape in history. Now comes the hard part. What to do with that money. There seems to be some consensus among the Republican-controlled Legislature and the Democratic Governor. But what that will look like is unclear. Governor Evers has proposed a tax rebate, but Republicans prefer permanent tax cuts. Some are even floating the idea of eliminating the state’s income tax and raising the sales tax. But whatever method is used, returning it to taxpayers should be the state’s top priority. Once the record budget surplus came to light, just about everybody in state government put their hands out looking for their share. Attorney General Josh Kaul is asking for more money for his budget. He wants another $95 million in state spending for his agency, and wants to create 67 more positions in the Department of Justice. Evers wants another $2 billion for public education, and more money for the state’s higher education system. Returning this surplus money to taxpayers should be the priority. Then, if there is anything left, they can fight over how to spend it.

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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  1. Tom Fitzpatrick

    November 23, 2022 at 6:17 am

    It matters how the surplus is returned to taxpayers. Eliminating the income tax benefits the wealthy. Raising the sales tax punishes lower income taxpayers. Let’s find a way to benefit public education and the environment, and then provide property tax relief for homeowners.

  2. Charlene

    November 23, 2022 at 6:51 am

    I’ve got a better idea for the surplus-fix the roads in the State Parks. Just patching them is a very bad idea. The patches don’t hold up more than a couple of months and then what was patched is even bigger. Also, public education does not need more money, they need to account for where “our” money is spent at all levels.

  3. Marilyn Propp

    November 23, 2022 at 7:21 pm

    What about fixing the abysmal roads in Kenosha?

  4. Nick

    November 28, 2022 at 7:43 am

    I will beat the drum as I have in the past. Fix the PFAS problem.
    Then , worry about what is left.

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