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Taxes/Taxation

On New Market Tax Credits for a Fairfield Inn and ‘Community Engagement’

The use of government-issued New Market Tax Credits will bring Whitewater a Fairfield Inn and a building for the existing local campus to lease. Proponents of an ordinary hotel and a lease agreement for the university cannot offer any evidence that these projects will boost local individual or household incomes. What one can show –…

A Tax Incremental Financing Review

Today at four o’clock, the Joint Review Board is scheduled to review Whitewater’s tax incremental districts. Views of tax incremental financing – especially in a place like Whitewater – are a good test of someone’s basic understanding of economic development. Indeed, the test reduces to a simple relationship: the more one contends that tax incremental…

The Trump Tax Bill: The Illusory Pay Bump

In the spring, before and after a local election, the Whitewater Community Development Authority issued two press releases praising a part of the Trump tax bill as good for Whitewater.  CDA executive director Dave Carlson presumably wrote the releases, and Larry Kachel, the CDA chairman, stars in one of them as offering gratitude for gerrymandered congressman…

The Trump Tax Bill: Massive Federal Deficits

The Whitewater Community Development Authority’s press releases flacking a part of the Trump tax bill for Whitewater show only that they either don’t understand what the Trump bill means for America, or that they hope others won’t understand. (See press release 1, press release 2.) This bill will drive the federal budget deficit to astonishing and…

The Trump Tax Bill: The Wrong Incentives

Whitewater’s Community Development Authority twice touted a part of the Trump tax bill as good for Whitewater. (See press release 1, press release 2.) Continuing a general look at the bill, it’s clear that it’s bad public policy, producing the wrong incentives.  By its very nature, a tax bill is a government policy, favoring some allocations…

The Trump Tax Bill: That’s Not Reform

Whitewater’s Community Development Authority represents a specific part of the Trump tax bill as beneficial to this city. (See press release 1, press release 2.) For today, looking at the bill generally, it’s bad for America: it’s a sham reform instead of a beneficial restructuring, and it makes this country’s outlook worse. Benjamin H. Harris and Adam…

More About that Trump Tax Bill

In the spring, Whitewater saw two Community Development Authority press releases touting a specific part of the Trump tax bill. (See press release 1, press release 2.) In response, this website replied (1) with a link to a Congressional Budget Office study implying that, overall, the  Trump bill will boost incomes for foreign investors but not…

About that Trump Tax Plan

In Whitewater, by press release (twice), one can read about the supposed benefits of the Trump tax plan. The Whitewater Community Development Authority’s executive director, Dave Carlson, was quick to push a portion of the plan as good for Whitewater. In doing so, he conceded what anyone observing Whitewater with care and concern already knew:…

‘Crony Capitalism and Social Engineering: The Case Against Tax-Increment Financing’

Whitewater’s residents may have heard, as I have, ignorant and false boasting about the benefits of tax incremental financing. It’s variously described as increment or incremental financing, but either way, it’s a plan to entice developers with taxpayer funds by segregating from the general fund, if any, the revenue generated from a development to pay…

WEDC’s Development Gurus Fail Again

All Whitewater has heard Chancellor Telfer, City Manager Clapper, and CDA Chairman Knight tout money from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation as though it were manna from Heaven.  We were supposed to see this money as they meant us to see it, as blessing and providence.  Meanwhile,  each time those officials flacked these public funds,…

On the Blackhawk Technical College Referendum

Over at Rock Netroots, Lou Kaye’s published a post with observations about Rock County’s politics, entitled, Community Quotes #3.  (It’s in the syle of a similar Gazette feature, but thankfully without that newspaper’s ceaseless fronting of white-collar welfare.)   On the Blackhawk Technical College referendum (four-million more annually, forever…), Kaye has three comments that sum it…

What Steve Jobs Understood About People That Local ‘Movers and Shakers’ Don’t

It’s an easy – and false – pose to assume that people can’t understand a supposedly complicated project.  There was some of this thinking in an editorial about which I commented yesterday, in the Gazette‘s contention that that “SWAG’s [Southern Wisconsin Agricultural Group’s] complex, though intriguing, always seemed grand and hard for average residents to…

Creating Taxpayers as Government’s Goal

When seeking to persuade Milton, Wisconsin’s councilmembers to regulate food trucks, an incumbent merchant recently said that more competition might put him out of business, after which he would no longer be a taxpayer.  That’s telling: the incumbent’s appeal to government – to a room full of politicians and municipal bureaucrats – is that they…