Commentary on Wisconsin’s Referendum Tax & Spending Climate

Wisconsin Policy Forum: Despite the highest unemployment rate on record earlier this year and the absence of tens of thousands of students from school buildings since March, unofficial results show Wisconsin voters approved school referenda this month at near record rates. The results speak particularly loudly given that they happened in a high-turnout election and … Continue reading Commentary on Wisconsin’s Referendum Tax & Spending Climate

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Should Remote Workers Pay a Tax for the ‘Privilege’ of Using Their Home as an Office?

Christian Britschgi: The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the service sector, made millions unemployed, and forced many of us who still do have jobs to work remotely. Fortunately, we now have a perfect solution to all this economic dislocation and disruption: a new tax on working from home! This week, the German financial giant Deutsche Bank … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Should Remote Workers Pay a Tax for the ‘Privilege’ of Using Their Home as an Office?

Madison K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: Operating referendum gains support over 2016, capital referendum down from 2015

Scott Girard: With wide margins of success on recent ballot measures, the Madison Metropolitan School District’s $350 million questions were almost certain to pass ahead of Tuesday’s ballot count. Four years ago, the district’s operating question won by a 74.2% to 25.8% margin, while a capital referendum the year prior passed with 82.2% of voters … Continue reading Madison K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: Operating referendum gains support over 2016, capital referendum down from 2015

Voters approve Madison’s Substantial K-12 Tax & SPending Increase Referendums

Scott Girard: Immediately, the operating referendum approval means district officials can implement the “passing referendum budget,” which includes $6 million in extra funds. That will go toward initiatives including early literacy, Black Excellence and a slight base wage increase for staff. The School Board passed two versions of the 2020-21 budget Oct. 30, one for … Continue reading Voters approve Madison’s Substantial K-12 Tax & SPending Increase Referendums

K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: Madison Civics and Governance Exam…

Chris Rickert: “There’s no room for dialogue. There’s no room for compromise,” he said. “It’s happening across the country. It’s not just Madison.” Every single day I am proud that I refused an endorsement interview with this trash ass publication. Omg, they really just are unapologetic piece of shit excuse for journalism. And don’t come … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: Madison Civics and Governance Exam…

K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: Sunroom Café closes for good; ‘It’s sad that it was all sort of taken away,’ owner said

Samara Kalk Derby: Mark Paradise made the tough decision to close Sunroom Café on State Street, even though, at age 67, he said, he had a least two more good years to give it. That was also the number of years he had left on his lease at the sunny, second-floor restaurant at 638 State … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: Sunroom Café closes for good; ‘It’s sad that it was all sort of taken away,’ owner said

K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: The Economy Really Is Worse in Blue States. But Why?

Jordan Weissman: Seven months into the coronavirus crisis, the states with the most severe unemployment in the country all seem to have one thing in common: They vote blue. In September, just eight states had jobless rates that were significantly higher than the nation as a whole, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Each … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: The Economy Really Is Worse in Blue States. But Why?

K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: UW-Madison announces another round of furloughs for most employees in 2021

Kelly Meyerhofer: Facing a coronavirus-induced “budget crisis” that exceeds $300 million, UW-Madison announced on Monday another round of furloughs and pay cuts for the first six months of 2021. “We are not out of the woods yet,” Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in a message to the campus community. “The pandemic will affect UW into 2021 and … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: UW-Madison announces another round of furloughs for most employees in 2021

K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: Quarter of a Million Students Missing from Texas Public Schools

Progress Times: According to a new analysis of public data by Texas 2036, almost 250,000 students, representing four percent or more of all Texas students, are missing from Texas schools, and only two out of every five Texas students are receiving in-person instruction. Based on a review of new data from the Texas Education Agency and … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: Quarter of a Million Students Missing from Texas Public Schools

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: The next economic crisis: Empty retail space

Katy O’Donnell: Because the crisis has hit some places and industries much harder than others, it’s difficult to get a clear, big picture of the market’s troubles — one reason lobbyists have struggled to convey the urgency to policymakers. Some assets have been wiped out, while others are thriving. Hotels and retail, which together make … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: The next economic crisis: Empty retail space

K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: 4 in 10 Children Live in a Household Struggling to Afford Basics

cbpp: More than 4 in 10 children live in households that struggle to meet usual household expenses, our analysis of Census Bureau data released today finds. Along with other data showing that hardship has significantly worsened due to COVID-19 and the recession that it spurred, the figures underscore the need for policymakers to agree on … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: 4 in 10 Children Live in a Household Struggling to Afford Basics

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: 2021 City of Madison Budget Brief

Wisconsin Policy Forum: As we noted in our first Madison budget brief last year, Wisconsin’s capital city relies heavily on a single source of revenue – local property taxes – that is limited by state law. Because of these restrictions, the proposed budget would increase 2021 property taxes on this December’s bills by one of … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: 2021 City of Madison Budget Brief

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: ‘This is going to be a long haul’: Local taverns close for the winter

Lindsay Christians: “It’s not an economic environment or a political environment for a business like mine to stay open,” Warnke said. “The government can’t get its stuff together. We can’t control the pandemic, and it’s getting worse in Wisconsin. I’m looking at it, going … this might be the right time to gracefully exit, before … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: ‘This is going to be a long haul’: Local taverns close for the winter

K-12 Tax, Spending and Referendum Climate: 8 million Americans slipped into poverty amid coronavirus pandemic, new study says

Stefan Sykes: The number of Americans living in poverty grew by 8 million since May, according to a Columbia University study, which found an increase in poverty rates after early coronavirus relief ended without more to follow. Although the federal Cares Act, which gave Americans a one-time stimulus check of $1,200 and unemployed workers an … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending and Referendum Climate: 8 million Americans slipped into poverty amid coronavirus pandemic, new study says

Vote NO! for better schools; Referendums should have Price Tags….

Madison LaFollette High School Saturday, 17 October 2020. 2020 Madison School District Tax & Spending Increase Referendum: David Blaska: Another election is approaching, which means the Madison school district has its hands out for more money. Time to do like Sister Mary Rosaria and slap that hand with a steel-edge ruler! The Madison Metropolitan School … Continue reading Vote NO! for better schools; Referendums should have Price Tags….

K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: California Exodus: An online industry seizes COVID-19 to sell the Red State Dream

Lauren Hepler: Exit California is emblematic of a growing number of online relocation companies marketed heavily on social media. They target prospective transplants who skew white, right and over age 30, though renters post alongside members in the market for million-dollar houses. Between photos of tidy brick facades, crystal-clear pools and recommended moving truck routes, … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: California Exodus: An online industry seizes COVID-19 to sell the Red State Dream

K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum climate: San Francisco’s political leadership has squandered a fortune.

Philip Sprincin: What has San Francisco done with this wealth? Not much. The Municipal Transportation Agency (“Muni”), which runs the busses and metro, has struggled with failure after failure this year. The housing shortage in the city is so bad that it is driving people to live in cars and even boats. Homelessness is up … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum climate: San Francisco’s political leadership has squandered a fortune.

K-12 Tax, Referendum and budget climate: Madison School District enrollment drops by more than 1,000 students

Elizabeth Beyer: Enrollment in the Madison School District has dropped by more than 1,000 students for the 2020-2021 school, the district said Friday. The decrease in enrollment is significant compared to the previous school year when the district lost only 33 students between 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. The drop in enrollment could spell trouble for district … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum and budget climate: Madison School District enrollment drops by more than 1,000 students

“Franking” & the madison School District’s 2020 Referendum Direct Mail Spending

This postcard arrived in the mail recently: . . Yard signs supporting the 2020 tax and spending increase referendum have also begun to appear around Madison. . The signs include a website address: yes2investmsn.org. People and organizations mentioned on the website include: Julianna Baldo MMSD Student Zach Brandon President of the Greater Madison Chamber of … Continue reading “Franking” & the madison School District’s 2020 Referendum Direct Mail Spending

K-12 Tax; referendum and spending climate: Blue-city urbanization imposes a downward mobility people don’t want and don’t need.

Joel Kotkin: “No Bourgeois, No Democracy” – Barrington Moore Protecting and fighting for the middle class regularly dominates rhetoric on the Right and Left. Yet activists on both sides now often seek to undermine single-family home ownership, the linchpin of middle-class aspiration. The current drive to outlaw single-family zoning—the one protection homeowners possess against unwanted … Continue reading K-12 Tax; referendum and spending climate: Blue-city urbanization imposes a downward mobility people don’t want and don’t need.

Foundation for Madison PUblic Schools $pend$ to Support 2020 Referendum

Foundation for Madison Public Schools [Board] recently spent funds on a pro 2020 Tax & Spending increase referendum Facebook advertising campaign. The advertisement. The advertisement includes a reference to https://yes2investmsn.org The Foundation for Madison Public Schools lists $9,011,063 in assets at the end of 2019 (!) via FMPS’ IRS Tax Form 990 “Return of Organization … Continue reading Foundation for Madison PUblic Schools $pend$ to Support 2020 Referendum

K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Welcome To The ‘Turbulent Twenties’

Jack Goldstone & Peter Turchin: Almost three decades ago, one of us, Jack Goldstone, published a simple model to determine a country’s vulnerability to political crisis. The model was based on how population changes shifted state, elite and popular behavior. Goldstone argued that, according to this Demographic-Structural Theory, in the 21st century, America was likely to get … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Welcome To The ‘Turbulent Twenties’

K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: No Job, Loads of Debt: Covid Upends Middle-Class Family Finances

AnnaMaria Andriotis: Until mid-March, Alysse Hopkins earned a comfortable living in Rockland County, N.Y., representing clients in foreclosure cases and personal-injury lawsuits. In a good year, the 43-year-old lawyer and her husband, Ian Boschen, 41, together brought in about $175,000, the couple said—enough to cover the mortgage, two car leases, student loans, credit cards and … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: No Job, Loads of Debt: Covid Upends Middle-Class Family Finances

Madison School Board strikes tentative property deal for referendum-envisioned elementary, amidst declining enrollment

Logan Wroge: The district has made it a priority to bring an elementary school to the racially diverse neighborhood where most students need to take long bus rides out of the area to attend Allis Elementary on the Southeast Side. About 450 elementary students live in the neighborhood bounded by the Beltline to the north, … Continue reading Madison School Board strikes tentative property deal for referendum-envisioned elementary, amidst declining enrollment

K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending climate: Nashville could run out of cash due to confusion around property tax referendum, finance director says

Yihyun Jeong: Nashville could run dangerously low or “run out of cash altogether” just from the public confusion surrounding a referendum effort to repeal the city’s property tax increase, warns Metro Finance Director Kevin Crumbo.  Crumbo’s remarks were made to Metro Council’s budget committee Monday, hours after Mayor John Cooper and other city leadership went on the … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending climate: Nashville could run out of cash due to confusion around property tax referendum, finance director says

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: 60% of Restaurants don’t plan to reopen

Yelp: The restaurant industry continues to be among the most impacted with an increasing number of closures – totalling 32,109 closures as of August 31, with 19,590 of these business closures indicated to be permanent (61%). Breakfast and brunch restaurants, burger joints, sandwich shops, dessert places and Mexican restaurants are among the types of restaurants … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: 60% of Restaurants don’t plan to reopen

Madison School District to hold Facebook Live sessions on 2020 tax & spending increase referendum beginning this week

Scott Girard: The $317 million ask is among the largest in the history of the state, according to state Department of Public Instruction data. It is surpassed only by Racine’s barely approved $1 billion question in April, which won by five votes, and Milwaukee’s $366 million 1993 question that failed. [New Madison elementary school would … Continue reading Madison School District to hold Facebook Live sessions on 2020 tax & spending increase referendum beginning this week

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending climate: Declining Tax Base – Madison Edition

: Reschovsky and his colleagues predict Madison will see a 2021 revenue shortfall of between $55 million and $86 million. This is a lower-than-the-average percentage than other central cities but still significant. “One of the takeaways with respect to Madison is that relative to the 150 cities, Madison is going to be hurt less at … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending climate: Declining Tax Base – Madison Edition

K-12 Tax, Spending, Referendum and School Climate: Germany eyes a four-day week to help prevent mass layoffs

Charlotte Edmond: Germany’s largest trade union, IG Metall, is proposing its members call for a four-day week to offset economic pressures heightened by the pandemic. The proposal has had a mixed reception, with the German labour minister open to the possibility, while others are fundamentally opposed. The idea of a reduced working week has already … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending, Referendum and School Climate: Germany eyes a four-day week to help prevent mass layoffs

Group of Black leaders opposing $350M Madison schools referendums

Logan Wroge: An advocacy group of Black leaders is opposing the Madison School District’s $350 million ask of taxpayers this fall, arguing the proposals are under-developed and the district hasn’t done enough to support African American children to get their endorsement on the two November ballot referendums. In a statement sent to some media members … Continue reading Group of Black leaders opposing $350M Madison schools referendums

K-12 Tax, Referendum and spending climate: What Will Not Recover: Government

Jeffrey Tucker: What becomes of government credibility in the post-lockdown period? There are thousands of politicians in this country for whom this is a chilling question, even a taboo topic.  The reputation of government was already at postwar lows before the lockdowns, with only 17% of the American public saying that they trusted government to … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum and spending climate: What Will Not Recover: Government

K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum climate: Parents and closed schools

Chris Hubbach: After a spring of pandemic lockdowns and a summer of uncertainty as coronavirus infections surged, working parents with school-age children now face what could be a year of online schooling, presenting a buffet of bad options. Sacrifice earnings and career advancement to stay home. Hire a nanny, if you can afford it. Lean … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum climate: Parents and closed schools

K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: Freed from the office, Madison telecommuters are snapping up rural homes

Steven Elbow: The coronavirus pandemic has a lot of people feeling boxed in. But for Michelle Possin it opened up a whole new realm of possibilities. Before the COVID-19 crisis, the 54-year-old recruiter for TASC, a Madison-based administrative services company, spent half her time at home and the other half in the office. But now … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: Freed from the office, Madison telecommuters are snapping up rural homes

K-12 Tax, Referendum and spending climate: The Coming Eviction Crisis: ‘It’s Hard to Pay the Bills on Nothing’

Binyamin Appelbaum: In Columbus, Ohio, judges have relocated eviction hearings to the cavernous halls of the city’s convention center, to ensure there’s plenty of space for the grim business of throwing families onto the street. In New Orleans, piles of personal belongings on sidewalks — “eviction cairns,” in the haunting phrase of Sue Mobley, a … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum and spending climate: The Coming Eviction Crisis: ‘It’s Hard to Pay the Bills on Nothing’

2020 Referendum: Commentary on adding another physical Madison School amidst flat/declining enrollment..

Scott Girard: Options at the new school under the recommendation would include designating it as a Community School — the district has four of those now — or creating specific programming like social-emotional learning, social justice or environmental education. Other ideas could still be added to that list as the planning process continues. Teachers have … Continue reading 2020 Referendum: Commentary on adding another physical Madison School amidst flat/declining enrollment..

K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: Most Americans don’t have enough assets to withstand 3 months without income

Oregon State University: A new study from Oregon State University found that 77% of low- to moderate-income American households fall below the asset poverty threshold, meaning that if their income were cut off they would not have the financial assets to maintain at least poverty-level status for three months. The study compared asset poverty rates … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum and Spending Climate: Most Americans don’t have enough assets to withstand 3 months without income

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Local governments want to defund the police, shut down the schools, and raise taxes.

Daniel Greenfield: The police aren’t policing and the teachers aren’t teaching. While many vital services aren’t functioning, the useless machinery of the bureaucracy grinds on with no one to pay for it. Locked down businesses don’t generate revenues and the unemployed aren’t a tax base. Tax revenues in New York City fell 46% in June. … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Local governments want to defund the police, shut down the schools, and raise taxes.

K-12 Tax, Referendum & spending climate: California’s state budget has big benefits for a Teacher unions, stifles charter schools and funds phantom students

Mike Antonucci: Students of civics might think the California state budget is crafted by the elected representatives of the citizenry, who debate and amend proposals working their way through various committees, ultimately leading to a spending plan with majority support and the signature of the governor. All that happens, of course, but no budget makes … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & spending climate: California’s state budget has big benefits for a Teacher unions, stifles charter schools and funds phantom students

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: In Coronavirus Bill, Democrats Push Massive Tax Cut For The Rich

Elle Reynolds: As the White House and House and Senate leaders continue trying to decide how to distribute more deficit spending on items tagged “coronavirus,” Democrats have come under fire for pushing a $137 billion tax break for the wealthy. The proposal, which was also part of a 1,800-page bill the Democrat-led House passed in … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: In Coronavirus Bill, Democrats Push Massive Tax Cut For The Rich

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: U.S. Gets a Debt Warning From Fitch as Stimulus Battle Rages

Benjamin Purvis: One of the world’s major credit-rating companies fired a warning shot regarding the U.S.’s worsening public finances on Friday, just as lawmakers in Washington contemplate spending more to combat the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Fitch Ratings revised its outlook on the country’s credit score to negative from stable, citing a “deterioration … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: U.S. Gets a Debt Warning From Fitch as Stimulus Battle Rages

Madison School District to use some federal COVID-19 relief funds for online math instruction (Fall 2020 Referendum tax & Spending increase plans continue)

Logan Wroge: The Madison School District will spend close to $500,000 out of the $8.2 million the district estimates it will receive from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to shore up its mathematics instruction for elementary and middle school students. Using CARES Act money, the district plans to: • Purchase … Continue reading Madison School District to use some federal COVID-19 relief funds for online math instruction (Fall 2020 Referendum tax & Spending increase plans continue)

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 schools may receive an additional $3.9M in redistributed federal tax dollars amidst fall 2020 referendum plans

Logan Wroge: The Madison School District is eligible for up to $3.9 million. It’s the only district in Dane County that is eligible for money from this specific pot in the CARES Act. Costs continue to grow for local, state and federal taxpayers in the K-12 space, as well: Let’s compare: Middleton and Madison Property … Continue reading Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 schools may receive an additional $3.9M in redistributed federal tax dollars amidst fall 2020 referendum plans

K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Minimum wage workers cannot afford rent in any U.S. state

Alicia Adamczyk: Full-time minimum wage workers cannot afford a two-bedroom rental anywhere in the U.S. and cannot afford a one-bedroom rental in 95% of U.S. counties, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual “Out of Reach” report.  In fact, the average minimum wage worker in the U.S. would need to work almost 97 hours per … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Minimum wage workers cannot afford rent in any U.S. state

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Flight to suburbs boosts U.S. homebuilding

Lucia Mutukani: “The numbers also verify that many people are leaving, or planning to leave, big cities as telecommuting becomes the norm for many businesses.” Housing starts increased 17.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.186 million units last month, the Commerce Department said. The percentage gain was the largest since October 2016. Data … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Flight to suburbs boosts U.S. homebuilding

Madison School Board approves a substantial tax and spending hike fall 2020 referendum

Scott Girard: If approved, the district would be able to exceed the revenue limit by $6 million in 2020-21, an additional $8 million in 2021-22, another $9 million in 2022-23 and finally another $10 million in 2023-24. The referendum would allow the district to surpass the revenue limit by that total of $33 million in … Continue reading Madison School Board approves a substantial tax and spending hike fall 2020 referendum

7.13.2020 Madison School District Fall Referendum Presentation Deck

Administration PDF: Proposed Question 1: Shall the Madison Metropolitan School District, Dane County, Wisconsin be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $6,000,000 for 2020-2021 school year; by an additional $8,000,000 (for a total $14,000,000) for 2021-2022 school year; by an additional $9,000,000 (for a total of $23,000,000) for … Continue reading 7.13.2020 Madison School District Fall Referendum Presentation Deck

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Madison to receive 15% reduction in redistributed state tax dollars (property tax values and referendum spending are factors)

Jason Stein: Estimates for WI general school aids are out from DPI – not surprisingly given its increases in property values, Madison schools will see max 15% decrease (largest decrease in raw $s in the state). Milwaukee Public Schools expected to get a 2% increase: bit.ly/38lfSWQ Budget Brief, via the Wisconsin Policy Forum: But for … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Madison to receive 15% reduction in redistributed state tax dollars (property tax values and referendum spending are factors)

Commentary on Madison’s planned 2020 tax and spending increase referendum

Scott Girard: In the midst of economic collapse, the Madison School Board is likely to decide in June or July whether to ask taxpayers for additional funds through November referenda. But most board members stated their support for putting both questions on the ballot during a discussion Monday night. Each of the seven board members … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s planned 2020 tax and spending increase referendum

Madison School Board Continues Fall 2020 referendum tax and spending increase plans

Logan Wroge: Board members acknowledged the tough financial reality facing residents, but several members said the need to renovate aging school buildings and shore up the operating budget remains the same. “These are not things I think we should be putting off,” board member Ali Muldrow said during an online Operations Work Group meeting. “We … Continue reading Madison School Board Continues Fall 2020 referendum tax and spending increase plans

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Tax base and government income decline

Dean Mosiman: As a result, Rhodes-Conway is implementing actions including a hiring freeze on all positions with exceptions for essential services, additional review and approval for seasonal hiring, and a halt to purchasing of all nonessential supplies and services in order to reduce spending in the $341 million operating budget for this year. The revised … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Tax base and government income decline

Critics of Racine schools’ $1 billion referendum file legal challenge

Annysa Johnson: Opponents of the $1 billion referendum passed by the Racine Unified School District last month are asking the courts to intervene, saying hundreds of voters were disenfranchised when their ballots were rejected and that the recount was biased because it was conducted by the district itself. The referendum, which gives the district the … Continue reading Critics of Racine schools’ $1 billion referendum file legal challenge

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Groups Find “Common Ground” On Nearly $800 Billion in Cuts To Wasteful Federal Spending

National Taxpayers Union: In a report released Thursday titled Toward Common Ground 2020, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund laid out a set of over 50 bipartisan, cost-saving proposals for the federal budget totaling nearly $800 billion. Before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the U.S. was already on … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Groups Find “Common Ground” On Nearly $800 Billion in Cuts To Wasteful Federal Spending

K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Freeze property taxes Local governments must consider cuts and furloughs too

Dave Cieslewicz: There have been no cuts, furloughs or reduced hours for municipal workers in the City-County Building or anywhere else in city government yet. It’s time for local governments in Dane County to make some cuts in response to the economic dislocations caused by the coronavirus epidemic. And, unfortunately, to be meaningful they’ll also … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Freeze property taxes Local governments must consider cuts and furloughs too

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Mnuchin Says No Bailout for States With Badly Managed Budgets

Saleha Mohsin: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said states that had poorly managed budgets before the Covid-19 outbreak sent their economies reeling should not be rescued by the federal government. “This isn’t just going to be a federal bailout of the states,” Mnuchin said early Tuesday on CNBC. “States that had specifically large expenses because of … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Mnuchin Says No Bailout for States With Badly Managed Budgets

K-12 Tax, Spending and Referendum climate: Covid-19 Crisis Will Make Clear How Tenuous California’s Financial Condition Has Become

Joel Kotkin: The pressure on California’s government resources is made much worse by a bifurcated economy that produces a disproportionate amount of poorly paid jobs. As manufacturing and middle-management jobs have fled the state, notes new research from Chapman University’s Marshall Toplansky, the vast majority of all new jobs—some 80 percent—pay less than the median … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending and Referendum climate: Covid-19 Crisis Will Make Clear How Tenuous California’s Financial Condition Has Become

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Millions of Credit-Card Customers Can’t Pay Their Bills. Lenders Are Bracing for Impact.

AnnaMaria Andriotis and Orla McCaffrey: Robert Rodriguez and Migdalia Wharton, a married couple in Orlando, Fla., have been out of work for more than a month and can’t afford to pay their credit-card bills. When they called Capital One Financial Corp. to explain, the bank told them they could skip their April payments. But they … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Millions of Credit-Card Customers Can’t Pay Their Bills. Lenders Are Bracing for Impact.

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Survey of Wisconsin businesses finds millions in lost income, wages, productivity

Briana Reilly: Businesses across Wisconsin lost millions of dollars in income, inventory, wages and productivity during the early weeks of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the first statewide survey of employers finds.  Meanwhile, 35% of respondents say they would be forced to shutter permanently if current conditions continue for more than three months.  The results, released … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Survey of Wisconsin businesses finds millions in lost income, wages, productivity

K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Johns Hopkins’ stark economic outlook and planned cutbacks signal what’s to come for Maryland higher education

Liz Bowie & Phil Davis: As the coronavirus began shutting down universities and colleges in March, the financial hit for higher education began piling up. First came refunds of room, board and fees for students. Then universities needed to spend to enable students and faculty to move to online education. And all the while endowments, … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Johns Hopkins’ stark economic outlook and planned cutbacks signal what’s to come for Maryland higher education

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Local governments avoid employee furloughs, reduced hours during shutdown

Chris Rickert: Keillor was not aware of what union school security staff were doing, and district spokesman Tim LeMonds did not respond to requests for comment about what they and school custodians are currently responsible for. Madison school crossing guards, who work under Madison police, are on paid leave per a directive from the mayor’s … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: Local governments avoid employee furloughs, reduced hours during shutdown

K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Will States Owe Businesses Just Compensation for Forced Closures When the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Over?

Ethan Lamb: The spread of the coronavirus has prompted most states to issue orders mandating non-essential businesses to close and non-essential workers to stay home. These regulations, whether or not they are justified, will decimate small and large businesses alike (and indeed already are, in many areas). Loans are being made available to businesses, some containing a forgiveness option … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Will States Owe Businesses Just Compensation for Forced Closures When the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Over?

K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum climate: Due To COVID-19, International Student Enrollment ‘Is Not Going To Slow Down—It’s Going To Shut’

Karen Sloan: Many international students want the experience of living and studying in the U.S. for a year or more and may be reluctant to sign up for online programs if university campuses remain closed in the fall, according to law school administrators. International travel restrictions could also hinder their ability to study in the … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum climate: Due To COVID-19, International Student Enrollment ‘Is Not Going To Slow Down—It’s Going To Shut’

K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Massive layoffs and pay cuts are likely coming to state and local governments as federal aid goes elsewhere

Ylan Mui,Karen James Sloan: “The approaching state budget cuts … will cause the U.S. economy to contract further — making the economic downturn deeper and more protracted, causing many more people to lose their jobs, and magnifying the serious hardship we already see,” said Robert Greenstein, the think tank’s president. Roughly 20 million people work … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: Massive layoffs and pay cuts are likely coming to state and local governments as federal aid goes elsewhere

K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: The stock market downturn portends big losses for government pension funds—and billions in new obligations for taxpayers.

Steven Malanga: The sharp decline in financial markets will likely result in a huge setback to government-employee pension funds, which never fully recovered from the last recession. Though the accounting of these systems is more complex than ordinary municipal budgets, and the implications of market drops can take time to become apparent, a picture is … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: The stock market downturn portends big losses for government pension funds—and billions in new obligations for taxpayers.

A look at the 2020 Milwaukee Public Schools Referendum

Annysa Johnson: Voter support for the Milwaukee Public Schools’ $87 million referendum was so widespread in the April 7 election, it passed in every ward but two, regardless of racial and socioeconomic makeup. That’s a dramatic and profound shift from 1993 when older, white voters overwhelmingly rejected the district’s last plea for additional funding. Any number … Continue reading A look at the 2020 Milwaukee Public Schools Referendum

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: “Wisconsin faces more than $2 billion in revenue losses due to skyrocketing unemployment”

Scott Bauer: Evers told Trump in a letter mailed Wednesday that Wisconsin faces more than $2 billion in revenue losses due to skyrocketing unemployment and other hits to the economy caused by the coronavirus. He signed the letter with the governors of Michigan and Pennsylvania, all Democrats. They asked Trump to work with Congress to … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending Climate: “Wisconsin faces more than $2 billion in revenue losses due to skyrocketing unemployment”

K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: More than 2,100 U.S. cities brace for budget shortfalls

Tony Room: More than 2,100 U.S. cities are anticipating major budget shortfalls this year and many are planning to slash programs and cut staff in response, according to a survey of local officials released Tuesday, illustrating the widespread financial havoc threatened by the coronavirus pandemic. The bleak outlook — shared by local governments representing roughly … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & Referendum Climate: More than 2,100 U.S. cities brace for budget shortfalls

Milwaukee voters approve $87 million MPS referendum

Annysa Johnson: Milwaukee voters overwhelmingly approved an $87 million referendum to support their public schools, according to election results Monday. The referendum, the first for Milwaukee Public Schools in more than two decades, passed with about 78% of the vote in a chaotic — and historic — election conducted during a global pandemic that dramatically … Continue reading Milwaukee voters approve $87 million MPS referendum

K-12 Tax, Spending & 2020 Referendum Climate: Mountains of Debt

Jon Hilsenrath: Student debt has become a heavier burden for households, and since 2007 it has tripled to $1.5 trillion, with large exposures among young individuals, according to Fed data. “We were talking about, when this is over, we want to downsize, maybe move into a townhome, being way more conservative in terms of major … Continue reading K-12 Tax, Spending & 2020 Referendum Climate: Mountains of Debt

Is the MPS Tax & Spending Increase Referendum Good for Milwaukee?

– via a kind reader. Milwaukee annual per student $pending: Public: just over $14K Charter: just over $9k Voucher: just under $9k “The problems have less to do with funding and more about policies and practices”. Mission vs organization. Madison’s taxpayer supported school district spends around $19 to 20K/student and is planning a substantial tax … Continue reading Is the MPS Tax & Spending Increase Referendum Good for Milwaukee?

More than $1.6B in school referendums on ballot as COVID-19 pandemic creates economic uncertainty

Logan Wroge: The passage rates of referendums have historically tended to track with the strength of the economy, said Anne Chapman, a senior researcher for Wisconsin Policy Forum. At the height of the Great Recession in 2009, voters approved 45% of school referendum questions, down from 60% in 2006, Chapman said. Notes and links on … Continue reading More than $1.6B in school referendums on ballot as COVID-19 pandemic creates economic uncertainty

2020 Referendum Climate: Madison Tax Base Edition

Dean Mosiman: More than 70% of the city’s General Fund revenues come from the property tax, and nearly two-third of property taxes have already been paid for 2020, which brings some stability, Schmiedicke said. The city already imposed a $40 wheel tax for the current budget. But preliminary projections show an overall drop of 4%, or about $13 … Continue reading 2020 Referendum Climate: Madison Tax Base Edition

2020 Tax & Spending Referendum Climate: Had Enough? Californians Turn Down Higher Taxes, Debt

Associated Press: The defeat Tuesday of the largest borrowing proposal in the history of California schools — $15 billion for repairs — has opened the question of whether Californian voters put a temporary halt to the growth of government debt because of the unsettled political scene, or because they are on the cusp of a … Continue reading 2020 Tax & Spending Referendum Climate: Had Enough? Californians Turn Down Higher Taxes, Debt

Madison School Board eyes $317M facilities referendum, $33M operating referendum

Logan Wroge: The Madison School Board signaled support Monday for a $317 million facilities referendum and a $33 million operating referendum, setting up the board to finalize the ballot questions later this month for the November election. With several options on the table, board members expressed broad support for a slightly larger facilities referendum that … Continue reading Madison School Board eyes $317M facilities referendum, $33M operating referendum

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Taxpayer Income, purchasing power and 2020 Madison Referendum climate

Oren Cass: 2/ Punchline: Popular perception is correct. In 1985, the typical male worker could cover a family of four’s major expenditures (housing, health care, transportation, education) on 30 weeks of salary. By 2018 it took 53 weeks. Which is a problem, there being 52 weeks in a year. Notes, links and some data on Madison’s … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Taxpayer Income, purchasing power and 2020 Madison Referendum climate

Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 School District 2020 Referendum & Spending Plans

Logan Wroge: “I appreciate the cuts in central office because I want more people in the classroom,” said board member Nicki Vander Meulen. Ruppel said the proposed reduction of school staff, which would be about 35 positions across a district that employs 4,000 people, is in response to expected short-term drops in enrollment due to … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 School District 2020 Referendum & Spending Plans

Madison 2020 Referendum Climate: Taxpayers decide some states aren’t worth it

Ben Eisen and Laura Kusisto: The average property tax bill in the U.S. in 2018 was about $3,500, according to Attom Data Solutions, a real-estate data firm. But many residents in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and California had been deducting well over $10,000 a year. In Westchester County, N.Y., the average property-tax bill was … Continue reading Madison 2020 Referendum Climate: Taxpayers decide some states aren’t worth it

2020 Madison Tax & Spending Increase Referendum Planning: School Board Rhetoric

Scott Girard: During a board retreat Saturday to discuss strategies for both a capital and an operating referendum in April, board members generally agreed they wanted to vote in March — before board member Kate Toews’ term is over and a new board member takes her place. Toews is not running for re-election to Seat 6 … Continue reading 2020 Madison Tax & Spending Increase Referendum Planning: School Board Rhetoric

Civics: disinformation, “surveys” and Madison’s proposed 2020 tax and spending increase referendum

Michael Ferguson: In October 2019, select U.S. officials offered closed-door congressional testimony regarding their knowledge of events surrounding Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Dr. Fiona Hill, a former adviser on President Donald Trump’s National Security Council, testified it was very likely Russian disinformation influenced the documents used to acquire a surveillance warrant on … Continue reading Civics: disinformation, “surveys” and Madison’s proposed 2020 tax and spending increase referendum

Madison K-12 Administration & Board 2020 Referendum Rhetoric, Consulting and Planning

Documents from the January 11, 2020 taxpayer supported Madison School Board retreat: Administration slides (pdf) Hanover Research Consulting Summary (PDF) Hanover Research: duckduckgo www Illinois (!) Association of School Boards referendum summary (pdf) Much more on the planned 2020 taxpayer supported Madison School District referendum, here. 2019: Madison increased property taxes by 7.2%.

Wisconsin taxpayers have been protected from high school referendum costs

Benjamin Yount: Sen. Duey Stroebel of Wisconsin’s 20th District wants taxpayers in the state to know two things. One, property taxes in Wisconsin are actually down over the past decade. That’s thanks, he says, to Republican lawmakers and former Gov. Scott Walker. And two, Stroebel said the state legislature has protected homeowners from the skyrocketing … Continue reading Wisconsin taxpayers have been protected from high school referendum costs

On the referendum #33: High performance government, ‘cognitive technologies’, Michael Nielsen, Bret Victor, & ‘Seeing Rooms’

Dominic Cummings: This blog looks at an intersection of decision-making, technology, high performance teams and government. It sketches some ideas of physicist Michael Nielsen about cognitive technologies and of computer visionary Bret Victor about the creation of dynamic tools to help understand complex systems and ‘argue with evidence’, such as ‘tools for authoring dynamic documents’, and ‘Seeing Rooms’ … Continue reading On the referendum #33: High performance government, ‘cognitive technologies’, Michael Nielsen, Bret Victor, & ‘Seeing Rooms’

Neenah school board will decide whether to pursue $115M referendum in April — just a year after voters narrowly rejected the last one

Samantha West: The Neenah school board will decide Tuesday whether to hold an April 7 referendum to partially fund construction of a new $157 million high school. The $115 million referendum is part of a $182 million plan for the new high school in the town of Neenah and other district facility improvements. The proposal marks a dramatic shift … Continue reading Neenah school board will decide whether to pursue $115M referendum in April — just a year after voters narrowly rejected the last one

Madison School District projects loss of 1,100 students over next five years expected, yet 2020 referendum planning continues

Scott Gerard: Between now and the 2024-25 school year, the district will lose another 1,347 students, according to district projections. Since the 2011-12 school year when MMSD added 4-year-old kindergarten, the district has always had at least 26,000 students. Projections show it will drop below that in 2024-25 for the first time since. Projections from Vandewalle … Continue reading Madison School District projects loss of 1,100 students over next five years expected, yet 2020 referendum planning continues

Proposed Milwaukee Schools’ Referendum Could Cost State Additional $200 Million

Will Flanders: If a proposed $640 million referendum for Milwaukee Public Schools passes, local taxpayers won’t be the only ones on the hook. A referendum of this size would result in as much as $200 million additional dollars in state money to Milwaukee Public Schools. How does a local decision to raise their own taxes … Continue reading Proposed Milwaukee Schools’ Referendum Could Cost State Additional $200 Million

2020 Madison School District Referendum Climate: city tax and spending increases

David Blaska: It was what we thought it was. Madison is 10 to 1 opposed to the city’s $40 wheel tax, judging from the 2,000 pages [CORRECTED] of e-mails that flooded city hall from 250 individuals. Kudos to Chris Rickert of the WI State Journal for filing the open records request to get that info. … Continue reading 2020 Madison School District Referendum Climate: city tax and spending increases

Property taxes would spike under Milwaukee Schools’ referendum scenarios

Annysa Johnson: Providing Milwaukee Public Schools students with a top-of-the-line education could cost as much as $640 million more a year in operating costs alone, more than doubling local property tax bills, district officials and their financial advisers told members of MPS’ referendum task force. The figure appeared to shock at least some members of the … Continue reading Property taxes would spike under Milwaukee Schools’ referendum scenarios

Commentary on a planned 2020 Taxpayer supported Madison K-12 School referendum

Logan Wroge: If a new operating referendum is passed, the School Board could then permanently raise property taxes over the next four school years, potentially using all $36 million of authority. In 2016, voters passed a $26 million operating referendum, which similarly was phased in over four years, ending in 2019-20. Over the four years, … Continue reading Commentary on a planned 2020 Taxpayer supported Madison K-12 School referendum

Madison K-12 Achievement Data @ LaFollette 2020 Referendum Presentation

The presentation included assertions on redistributed state taxpayer dollars sent to Madison (2010 – 2019 data available here). The presentation did not mention total Madison K-12 spending , nor the implications of spending increase referendums on local property taxes and redistributed state taxpayer funds. In essence, the more a local school district exceeds state revenue … Continue reading Madison K-12 Achievement Data @ LaFollette 2020 Referendum Presentation

Madison School Board floats Tax & Spending INCREASE via another operating referendum

Logan Wroge: The topic of an operating referendum came out of discussion on a potential 2020 facilities referendum, which could be as high as $280 million. “I love talking about the facilities referendum, it’s exciting, it’s new stuff,” Carusi said. “But without that operating-to-exceed referendum, we’re looking at a lot of difficult cuts and choices.” … Continue reading Madison School Board floats Tax & Spending INCREASE via another operating referendum

Commentary on a proposed 2020 Madison K-12 Tax & Spending Increase Referendum

Logan Wroge: If voters were to approve a $150 million referendum, the owner of a $300,000 house — near the median-value home in the district of $294,833 — could have their property taxes increase by $93 annually, according to district estimates. A larger referendum of $280 million is estimated to raise property taxes on a … Continue reading Commentary on a proposed 2020 Madison K-12 Tax & Spending Increase Referendum

Commentary on Wisconsin K-12 School Tax & Spending Referendums

Margaret Cannon: According to Wisconsin Policy Forum report, voters approved referendum questions totaling $783 million. Total borrowing requests on school district ballots statewide reached $1.2 billion, with voters turning down some of the largest individual ballot items. Voters approved 45 of the 60 questions on this year’s ballot. The Wisconsin Policy Forum report shows a … Continue reading Commentary on Wisconsin K-12 School Tax & Spending Referendums

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Another Madison Referendum in the works

Negassi Tesfamichael: In 2015, Madison voters authorized a $41 million school facility improvement plan that addressed needs in 16 schools across the district. “I think our schools need (upgrades), but at the same point, I don’t want to force someone out of their home, which I’ve seen happen to some friends in Middleton because they … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Another Madison Referendum in the works

School Districts Use Projected Tax Cuts To Hide Huge Referendum Tax Hikes

Bill Osmulski: Homeowners in 148 school districts across Wisconsin will be getting an unexpected tax cut next year, but many of those districts would prefer to keep that a secret – and backfill those savings with new spending. It will be decades before the savings justify the expense – which was considerable. Last year alone, … Continue reading School Districts Use Projected Tax Cuts To Hide Huge Referendum Tax Hikes

Milton rejects referendum for a second time; Barneveld approves a building plan

Barry Adams: Milton voters have rejected for a second time a plan for a new high school that would have addressed district-wide space needs but in Iowa County the Barneveld School District will get a major facilities upgrade. The questions were among referendums put forth by eight school districts around the state on a day … Continue reading Milton rejects referendum for a second time; Barneveld approves a building plan

Public school officials push back on bills aimed at slowing referendums

Annysa Johnson: A handful of supporters also testified, urging lawmakers to pass the measures. “These referendums are just out of control. We’re spending way too much money, and our taxes are way too high,” said conservative activist Orville Seymer of the group Citizens for Responsible Government. The two were among more than a dozen witnesses … Continue reading Public school officials push back on bills aimed at slowing referendums

Wisconsin GOP lawmakers take aim at mounting school referendums

Annysa Johnson: The bills would: Eliminate so-called recurring referendums for operating expenses — those that raise taxes indefinitely — and cap non-recurring referendums at five years. Dock a district’s state aid by an amount equal to 20% of whatever it generates in an operating referendum. So, if voters approve, say, $5 million, they lose $1 … Continue reading Wisconsin GOP lawmakers take aim at mounting school referendums