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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

 7:07 PM 

Assembly approves amendment requiring supermajority for tax hikes

The Senate voted 60-39 to support an amendment that would require supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature to approve future tax hikes.

The amendment, which would apply to the income, sales or corporate taxes, would have to pass both houses of the Legislature in back-to-back legislation sessions before it could go to voters in a referendum.

Dems complained the amendment was anti-democratic because it subverts majority control. They also argued it would embolden special interests to deny spending on key programs by influencing just one-third of either the Assembly or Senate to reject a needed increase in funding.

Rep. Sandy Pasch, D-Shorewood, said lawmakers should be worrying about making it harder to hurt the environment and infringe upon voting rights instead.

“The narrow, single-mindedness of this side of the aisle that the only thing you care about is protecting the wealthy is really making me sick because we have a responsibility to everyone,” Pasch said.

Rep. John Klenke, R-Green Bay, complained the people paying taxes should be given the opportunity to say enough is enough and force lawmakers to make tough choices. He also complained the state and federal governments has socialistic tendencies constantly taking money from one group and giving it to another.

He mockingly told his GOP colleagues to approach the bill carefully because Republicans re-took control of the state Capitol in the 2010 elections after Dems decided to raise “taxes on everything.”

“If we make it a two-thirds majority and they can’t raise taxes, how are we going to get back into power?” Klenke joked.

Author Dean Knudson, R-Hudson, said if the supermajority amendment became law, it would impact the idea the guv floated of increasing the sales tax to eliminate the income tax.


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