As Tax Day Arrives, Will GOP Legislators Fail to Pay Their Fair Share, Again?

From U.S. Congress to State Legislature, GOP Politicians and Their Businesses Have Avoided Paying State Income Taxes in Multiple Years

MADISON, Wis. — One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross wondered whether Wisconsin Republicans and their businesses that have paid no state income tax in recent years will be joining the rest of us doing our part to help pay for services like education, health care, public safety and roads.

Among GOP legislators and businesses not paying any state income tax in recent years are:

  • U.S. Senator Ron Johnson’s PACUR paid no state income taxes 1997 through 2009;
  • U.S. Representative Tom Petri paid no personal state income tax 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005;
  • U.S. Representative Reid Ribble, Reid Ribble Properties, The Ribble Group and TGR Home paid no state income taxes 2001 through 2011;
  • State Senator Tom Tiffany paid no state income taxes 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010; businesses paid no state income taxes from 2001 through 2010 and 2008 through 2010 respectively;
  • State Representative Mary Czaja no state income taxes paid 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010;
  • State Representative Scott Krug no state income taxes paid 2009 or 2010.

Ross commented, “Most everyone recognizes the public benefits that our taxes pay for good schools, safe streets and a helping hand for the most vulnerable in our society in their time of need.” He continued, “The problem comes when GOP politicians skew the system to benefit the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us.”

Under Gov. Walker, Republicans have made record cuts to education, cut back on state health care programs and raised taxes on seniors and working families while doling out $2.3 billion on tax breaks benefitting the wealthy and corporations. Walker and the GOP’s policies have resulted in among the worst records on job creation in the nation.

At the federal level, the GOP controlled Congress passed the massive, irresponsible Bush tax cuts that delivered a windfall to the wealthiest Americans. At the same time they put two wards on the national credit card and passed the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit termed the largest unfunded mandate in American history. Now many of the same people are demanding austerity measures that include increase in interest rates on student loans, cutting funding for education and health care and reducing social security benefits.

Ross noted Sen. Johnson deserves special scorn. While his business paid no state income taxes for over a decade, the company made a contribution to the Republican Governors Association and gave Johnson a $10 million payout shortly after he loaned himself $9.5 million for his 2010 campaign.

He concluded, “The hypocrisy of these legislators is appalling. While either they or their businesses haven’t paid any state income taxes, they are taking taxpayer funded salaries and health care and complaining about taxes.”

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.