WEAC Members Cyberlobby Against Tax Scheme
Approximately 400 members used the OnWEAC Members Only Cyberlobby this
week to communicate to legislators their opposition to the so-called
Taxpayer Bill of Rights proposal. State senators were called to Madison
for an extraordinary session July 26-28, 2004, but failed to vote on
TABOR, a proposed constitutional amendment that would undermine local
tax authority, would have led to a severe reduction in governments'
ability to provide essential services to citizens, including public
WEAC President Stan Johnson called on members to take action against
the harmful tax scheme to protect the state's ability to provide classrooms
that work for every child. "WEAC is part of a large coalition that
will continue to battle any plan that threatens our schools, teachers
and education support professionals," Johnson said. "This
tax scheme would cause immediate and massive harm to Wisconsin's great
schools and staff. It is flawed fiscal policy that will not create great
schools for any child."
The broad-based coalition consists of education, religion, health care
advocacy, domestic violence prevention, public employee and local government
groups. Coalition members held a press conference at the Capitol Tuesday.
At the Senate Judiciary, Corrections and Privacy Committee hearing,
the only public hearing held on the proposal, opposition to TABOR was
Many groups voiced concern that a draft of the proposed constitutional
amendment was made available just a few hours before the public hearing,
leaving little time to examine the impact of the measure.
Proposed changes to the state Constitution must pass both houses during
consecutive two-year legislative sessions before moving to voters in
a statewide referendum. Because lawmakers did not pass TABOR before
the current legislative session's deadline, the soonest it could go
to voters is 2007.
Johnson said it is important to keep local taxing authority where it
belongs: in the hands of local government. "TABOR and the freeze
would lock in inequities and make the system even more regressive,"
he said. "A freeze imposes a one-size-fits-all approach to a complex
The Legislature is expected to debate the issue next session, which
begins in January.
Posted July 29, 2004