skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, June 17, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Family farmers call for tougher CAFO regulations in Farm Bill; The Midwest and Northeast brace for record high temperature in heatwave; Financial-justice advocates criticize crypto regulation bill; Ohio advocates: New rules strengthen protections for sexual-assault victims.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The RNC kicks off its election integrity effort, Democrats sound a warning bell about conservatives' Project 2025, and Republicans suggest funding cuts to jurisdictions with legal cases against Trump.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

WI Budget Debate: Some Call for Giving Tax Burden the Boot

play audio
Play

Wednesday, April 19, 2023   

Another tax season has wrapped up, and Wisconsin researchers found it is a reminder the state's overall tax structure leaves low- and middle-income families behind.

A policy group said data show it is becoming harder for these households to survive. The organization Kids Forward used state Revenue Department information and census data for its new policy brief. It showed when considering all state and local taxes, wealthy residents pay a much lower effective tax rate than the poorest taxpayers.

Kristin Schumacher, research director for Kids Forward, said it comes as income remains stagnant for those who are not wealthy, worsening economic inequalities.

"In the last two years, one in three Wisconsin households with children have really struggled to pay for basic expenses," Schumacher observed. "It is also really important to note some households of color with children were far more likely to face hardship."

Wisconsin has a tiered income tax, but the report said the state's flat sales-tax rate has a greater impact on low-income households. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has floated expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit while pushing for higher taxes on the wealthy. Republicans, who control the Legislature, prefer a flat income tax, arguing it would spur more business activity. The proposed flat tax rate is not likely to survive the current budget debate, but could eventually resurface.

Schumacher argued aggressively cutting taxes, including for the wealthy, makes it harder to maintain services and would cost the state in the long run. She pointed out there are examples of the approach not working to boost a regional economy.

"I think that we can point to Kansas and their disastrous tax cuts that they made about a decade ago that really constricted their state budget and was actually repealed a few years later," Schumacher recounted. "Because what they were forced to do was to cut critical programs and services, things like schools and funding for health care."

Schumacher added it creates more pressure to raise local taxes, which hit working families.

She stressed expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit has proven to help cut poverty.

Wisconsin has a large budget surplus right now. The report warned strong footing could erode if policymakers opt for a budget relying on an unfair tax structure.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, 22 states have passed laws to protect or expand access to abortion.

Health and Wellness

play sound

Nebraska physicians and their patients have been dealing with the state's 12-week abortion ban since it went into effect just over a year ago…


Environment

play sound

West Virginia and other Appalachian states are littered with hundreds of "zombie mines," abandoned mines neither producing coal nor undergoing reclama…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Ohio advocates said the Biden administration's new Title IX regulations better protect victims of sexual assault, even as a group of states …


Environment

play sound

Wildlife advocates say the current transition to clean energy will not only protect people in New Mexico communities, but also will have a huge …

A 2015 study by the Boston Federal Reserve Bank found the median net worth for white households in Greater Boston was $250,000, while for Black households it was just $8. Researchers are currently updating those findings. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A Legislature-backed Commission on Poverty in Massachusetts aims to address the state's historic wealth gap. The commission will study demographic …

Social Issues

play sound

Teaching artists can now apply for grant funding centered on programs for older Wyomingites. The Creative Aging Project Grant, from the Wyoming Arts …

Social Issues

play sound

A new report finds New York's rising cost of living and having living-wage jobs are priority issues for young voters. Research shows a single …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021