MADISON, Wis. — A national controversy has erupted over a recently released video clip in which Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tells a roomful of campaign donors that 47% of American voters believe that they are “… entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it … These are people who pay no income tax.”
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said it seems Romney was describing State Representative Tom Tiffany with his remarks commenting, “If Mitt Romney says those who don’t pay income taxes are ‘freeloaders,’ then Rep. Tom Tiffany’s ears must be ringing.”
He continued, “Rep. Tiffany paid no personal state income taxes in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 or 2010 and he’s getting a salary, great health care benefits and reimbursements for food and lodging all from state taxpayers.”
In addition to Rep. Tiffany himself paying no state income taxes over five years according to records from the Department of Revenue, neither Willow, Inc. nor Wisconsin River Cruises, Inc., businesses owned by Tiffany, have paid any state income taxes since 2001 and 2008 respectively.
As a State Representative, Tiffany received $49,943 in salary, over $9,500 in “per diem” reimbursements to cover food, lodging and other expenses for days he was in Madison and comprehensive health care and pension benefits in 2011, all courtesy of state taxpayers.
Ross concluded, “Taxpayers have shelled out tens of thousands of dollars in salary and benefits to take care of Rep. Tiffany. He could have repaid taxpayers doing him this kindness by supporting local schools, middle class families and seniors, but he picked the Madison special interests instead over northern Wisconsin families.”