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Jun 19, 201512:48 PMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Roasting the racists, brainless, and clueless

(page 1 of 2)

It’s Friday, which means it’s time to talk about this, that, and the other thing before enjoying another fine June weekend.

Yes, racism still exists. So does bat guano crazy. The Charleston Church massacre is as evil as anything ISIS has done. At least local law enforcement agencies in that cradle of the old Confederacy joined together to quickly apprehend and arrest the likely perpetrator. Contrast that to the bombing of the black church in Birmingham in 1963 that killed four little girls. Although long known, the perpetrators were not brought to justice until 14 years later.

Shooting yourselves in the foot —  It’s going nowhere but why even put up the notion of abolishing the Legislative Audit Bureau? Guys?

This is insensitive?

What have we become? Having banned Native American representations, a Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks player could not visit a Madison public school. Not in uniform, anyway.


Homeless and brainless — The Madison Common Council overturns the mayor’s veto by 17–1 to affirm “the homeless” as a protected class, meaning landlords and real estate agents can’t — what, exactly? Paul Skidmore, since you are the only alderman with common sense, put this before the council: The next protected class? Taxpayers.

Mitch Henck had it right the first time. (Find it here.) If it were up to Kathleen Falk, U.S. Highway 12 between Middleton and Sauk City never would have been rebuilt. It would still be a death trap today.

Today’s liberal-progressive-socialist thesaurus — “Tax giveaway.” Noun. Synonym for letting people keep more of the money they earned.

“Spend.” Verb, transitive. Ironic colloquial meaning the opposite, not spending, not expropriating in the first place, allowing the owner to keep what he earned.

Example: “Republicans have spent $1.9 billion in various tax giveaways between 2011 and 2014 …  Included in this amount is a $60 million tax cut for wealthy parents who send their children to private schools and an increasingly costly tax credit for big corporations that will soon cost the state $570 million over the biennium.” — State Rep. Chris Taylor, D–Madison.

To set the record straight, the “tax cut for wealthy parents” reduces taxes by a whopping $240 for each elementary school student and $600 for high school students. Wisconsin thus joins Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota in offering a deduction in taxable income liability. Minnesota also offers dollar-for-dollar tax credits. The “tax credit for big corporations” applies to businesses big and small and includes LLCs.


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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Jun 22, 2015 07:31 am
 Posted by  Anonymous


If you want an expose' on tax giveaways, do some digging on how farm land is taxed. That should give ample grist for a number of blogs..

Jun 22, 2015 10:25 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

The current Farmland Use Valuation is the correct way to assess farmland.

Jun 22, 2015 11:58 am
 Posted by  Anonymous


Pretty dull conversation when you have to quote yourself "If it were up to Kathleen Falk, U.S. Highway 12 between Middleton and Sauk City never would have been rebuilt. It would still be a death trap today" for copy. But if that is all you have....

But having read Hencks article I have to say he is disingenuous at best, an out right liar at worst. Having worked in the transportation business for a long time (35 years and counting) I can say that there were a lot more actors and issues involved in USH 12 and the Beltline. Actually the Beltline project, taken as a whole, won several national awards from both the transportation industry and environmental groups. It should be viewed as a great example of collaboration and cooperation between several stakeholders to come up with a win-win solution to get a major highway through a sensitive environmental corridor. Lazy reporting by both Blaska and Henck.

To blame Falk (in either capacity) or the darned environmentalists for delays is far from the truth.

What Henck and Balska should be upset with is the millions of taxpayer dollars spent to get a single purpose interchange built off I43 that only serves Herb Kohlers golf outings.

Jun 22, 2015 03:39 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous


And why do you feel that way? Own some of your own?

I understand the original purpose when the law was passed years ago, but in recent years the price of ag land has gone through the roof, as have prices for milk, commodities, and now beef. Non ag landowners are subsidizing farmers that have been making some real money the last 6-7 years. Is that fair? Maybe the law should contain some indexing of the tax rate based on the price of some selected commodity on Jan 1 of each year?

Real life example of this unspoken subsidy: A 17 acre field zoned ag (in corn right now) is appraised for taxing purposes at $1800. An adjacent 20 acre field, different owner, not zoned ag, marshy wetland and us-suitable for development, is appraised at $17600. Explain how this is fair?

And no, I don't own either parcel.

Jun 23, 2015 08:46 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

The law does index based on a commodity: corn. The index is smoothed over 5 years so there're no wild swings. Farm buildings and farm homes are assessed at market rate.

Jun 23, 2015 09:45 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I am "the reader" - I am sighing - interminable motions make me sick

Jun 23, 2015 09:59 am
 Posted by  Anonymous


You haven't answered the question: how is it fair that non-farmers subsidize farmers to the tune of 8-10 times the tax bill?

Jun 23, 2015 11:28 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

You haven't made the case that farmers are being subsidized. The case could be made that farmers had been subsidizing everyone else. One-fifth of the gross sales produced by farmland is paid in property taxes each year. In WI, assessments are pegged to the price of corn (hay in the far northern counties). Farmers pay a penalty if they sell for development. That cropland sends no children to school. No buildings to burn for the fire department. No garbage pickup. Use Value is the rule in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. As to fairness, the people of Wisconsin enacted a constitutional amendment and twice their legislature approved. It has been upheld in two separate court challenges. I am unaware of any legislative initiatives to change it. Do you think it fair that farmers pay on the potential development value year after year when all they really want to do is farm?

Jun 23, 2015 12:15 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

"It's time to quit blaming Scott Walker." Really, Dave? You'd have better luck asking Madison liberals to stop breathing. Or whining.

Jun 23, 2015 01:39 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

how is it fair that a school board/district (Madison) so strapped for cash gets a referendum passed and then asks for almost a 100% raise for its members?

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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