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As I See It

Lawmakers more eager to spend our money than return it



It’s hard to see how this is a good deal for taxpayers. Leaders of the Wisconsin Legislature are feeling generous with our money as they unveil plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to keep the Brewers baseball team in Milwaukee. Republicans hope to spend more than $600 million in taxpayer money to fund improvements to American Family Field. That makes the $290 million Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers offered the team in his budget look like a real bargain. Under the new plan, $400 million would come from the state, in the form of a tax on player salaries. But taxpayers in Milwaukee would be hit even harder, with the city and county of Milwaukee paying more than $200 million toward the stadium improvements. The Brewers would kick in another $100 million. I am a Brewers fan, and want the team to stay in Milwaukee, but this is a pretty steep price for keeping the team in town through 2050. Notably, much of the money the team wants would not affect the stadium on game days. The team hopes to use some of the money to winterize the stadium, so they can hold more events there, like concerts. Lawmakers say there is urgency to get this deal done. It is unfortunate that when it comes to spending our taxes there is urgency, but these same lawmakers have shown no urgency to returning our tax money from that big state surplus.

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. Carol Herlitzka

    September 20, 2023 at 8:30 am

    Typical liberals.. We are the dummies that live here…one of the highest tax states. This government
    Gives away money, like pigs have babies.!??

  2. Mooc

    September 21, 2023 at 1:00 pm

    Its a compromise. Probably not the best deal for either party.

    It is largely funded by increased taxes on the baseball club, players and visiting clubs. If you believe the Brewers were going to leave town those taxes were going to be gone anyway.

    Personally, I would have told the Brewers to pound sand. That probably would have resulted in Milwaukee looking even more like the Thunderdome.

  3. Chapter and Verse

    September 21, 2023 at 1:21 pm

    The Repubs have tried to return tax dollars to tax payers but Gov will not sign the bills.

    Included in the Repub bills are tax decreases to middle income and elimination of state taxes on most retirees.

    The Gov would rather tell you how to spend your money and the local Dem Chicken Little politicians would rather complain and pose for photo ops than return surplus taxes to taxpayers. They should consider getting a real job.

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