Rep. Tiffany Silent on Rampant Mismanagement of Taxpayer Funds at State Economic Development Agency

Does He Not Care Because He and His Businesses Rarely Pay Any State Income Tax?

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MADISON, Wis. — State Representative Tom Tiffany paid no state income tax in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 or 2010, and his businesses have paid nothing since 2001 and 2008 respectively. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross wondered if this lack of “skin in the game” accounts for Rep. Tiffany’s silence amid reports the state’s newly created, private economic development corporation failed to track $69 million in state taxpayer funded loans to businesses.

Ross commented, “If he’s not paying any taxes, it’s no skin off his back if millions in tax dollars doled out to big business go unaccounted for.”

In addition to the latest instance of mismanagement of public dollars, it was reported earlier this year that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) doled out $10 million in business subsidies without proper legal authority and improperly promised tax credits to a business bidding on state contracts.

At the time legislation creating WEDC was being debated, concerns were raised about the possibility taxpayer funds would be misused or mismanaged because of the lack of accountability and oversight associated with separating agency functions from state government. Tiffany ignored these warnings and voted for the bill creating WEDC.

Now, despite the stunning series of missteps and misuse of public tax dollars, Rep. Tiffany has not made any public comment or expressed concern about the failings at WEDC through either his state office or his campaign.

“Rep. Tiffany’s apparent lack of concern for rampant mismanagement of public funds at an agency he voted to create is matched only by his indifference to paying his fair share of state income taxes. Neither is acceptable,” concluded Ross.

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One Wisconsin Now specializes in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.