wisconsin capitol
Press Release
March 27, 2015

Frequent Non-Taxpayer Sen. Tom Tiffany Pushing $270 Million Property Tax Hike on Wisconsin Homeowners to Benefit His Big Business Backer

Tom Tiffany’s Distaste for Paying Taxes Extends Only to Himself, Big Business Backers

MADISON, Wis. — Serial non-taxpayer Sen. Tom Tiffany is out with a new plan to shift $270 million in state taxes from businesses onto Wisconsin homeowners. The move is being pushed by the state big business lobby, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, which has also spent generously to back Tiffany, Gov. Walker and other GOP legislators in their campaigns.

“With this latest tax giveaway to big business Sen. Tiffany seems much more conscientious about paying back big campaign contributors than helping Wisconsin homeowners, or even paying his own taxes,” commented One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross.

Legislation being proposed by Tiffany would eliminate taxes on business equipment. According to an analysis of the proposed tax break, business tax liability would be reduced by $270 million while shifting the burden on to Wisconsin homeowners. Under Tiffany’s plan, over 70 percent the of all property taxes paid in the state would come from homeowners.

Major backers of the business tax giveaway that would increase local homeowner property taxes include the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC). In 2012, when Tiffany was elected to the State Senate, the WMC was estimated to have spent over $1 million to boost him and other GOP candidates.

Tiffany’s antipathy to his own taxes is longstanding based on a review of his own tax records. He paid no personal state income taxes in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 or 2010, but did pay in 2011 — the year in which he received $49,943 in state taxpayer funded legislative salary, comprehensive health insurance and pension benefits and over $9,500 in tax-free payments for attending work in Madison. Tiffany’s businesses Willow, Inc. and Wisconsin River Cruises, Inc. paid no state income taxes between 2001 and 2008 and 2011 respectively.

Ross concluded, “It seems Tom Tiffany’s distaste for paying taxes only extends to himself and the big businesses that underwrite his campaign, and he’s willing to sell out Wisconsin homeowners to the tune of $270 million to seal the deal.”

# # #

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

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