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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

 3:37 PM 

Dems seek to send proposed property tax cut to rainy day fund

Debate began on the governor’s property tax relief proposal in the Senate with a Dem substitute amendment to send that money to the state’s rainy day fund instead.

“What we’re doing is trying to help the governor get elected,” Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, said of the tax cut proposal. “That at the end of the day is what this bill is all about.”

Cullen said the $100 million cut makes for a “nice headline,” but would amount to $1.06 per month for each homeowner in the state.

He added that those families wouldn’t be offended by sending the money to the rainy day fund, and cautioned against giving away “money we don’t have.”

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said the measure is about re-election -- making good decisions so that the public believes the state is headed in the right direction.

“We’re in great shape right now,” Fitzgerald said, contrasting Republicans’ priorities with those in Dem-controlled Illinois and Minnesota. And he said Dems would also likely tout the tax cut after passage later today.

“I think this bill is significant,” Fitzgerald said. “I think it's $100 million in property tax relief that will be welcome.”

Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, responded that Republicans should support the amendment, arguing the cut “is being paid for with a deficit in the next biennium”

“It is nothing more than pandering for a press release to use a big number that sounds great to the public,” Jauch said.

“It will do nothing for many taxpayers around the state.”


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