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Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Your lottery property tax credit could be smaller this year

There will be less money available for the lottery property tax credit this year in Wisconsin. According to the Wheeler Report, the Department of Administration has informed the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee that $119,993,410 will be available for distribution to Wisconsin homeowners this December.  The figure is $9.6 million less than last year’s total.

The amount available for the lottery property tax credit is determined by the gross revenues from the state lottery including ticket sales, retailer fees, and other operating revenues.  The average credit for 2008 will be determined after November 1, 2008 by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

Last year’s average credit was $85. The largest credit was $167 during 1992-93 and the smallest credit was $52 during 1998-99.

Antlerless hunting season has begun

The four-day antlerless deer hunt is underway in Wisconsin. The Department of Natural Resources has a positive outlook, calling the herd “healthy and abundant.” 

Be safe, hunters!

Wisconsin incomes behind the rest of the nation

I have blogged extensively about taxes and their relationship to Wisconsin incomes, some of the lowest in the country. Wisconsin’s ability to compete continues to decline
 as hard-working residents pay more and more of their income to the government.

More grim news from the non-partisan Wisconsin Taxpayer’s Alliance (WISTAX) demonstrates that this gloomy pattern continues. WISTAX reports, “Wisconsin’s economy has been lagging the nation for some time. A simple indicator of state economic performance is personal income, which includes wages, government payments, and investment earnings. During 2006, total state income rose 5.4% to $191.7 billion, while national growth was 7.1%. Reflecting the economic slowdown, 2008 personal income is estimated to increase 3.4% in Wisconsin vs. 4.3% nationally."

Here is the WISTAX release. 

Next year, the governor and the Legislature will conduct their most important piece of state government business: crafting and adopting the next biennial budget. With Wisconsin incomes struggling to keep pace with the nation as a whole during rough times, it is imperative the state holds the line on spending and rejects any tax increase proposals.

Since when is it okay...

For teachers to talk about same-sex marriage and abortion to underage students in the guise of civic election education?

Wine consumers benefit from new Wisconsin law

News you can use

consumers will now have greater ease at purchasing wines under a new winery-to-consumer shipping law that went into effect October 1, 2008. The law will allow wineries to purchase permits for $100 and ship up to a dozen cases of wine per person per year.

Wisconsin had been one of only three reciprocal shipping states that had allowed only wineries in participating states to make shipments. When states converted to permits, Wisconsin consumers experienced difficulty finding wines under the old law. Now, all U.S. wineries will be eligible under Wisconsin’s permits. Consumers will no longer be limited to purchases from a handful of states as a winery in any state may ship wine directly to a Wisconsin resident once the winery has received a direct wine shipper permit from Wisconsin.

This is a common-sense, reasonable, pro-consumer law that complies with regulations while supporting Wisconsin’s own growing wine industry. One of the other provisions of the new law requires that all sales to retailers go through a wholesaler.

Here is a Wisconsin Legislative Council memo on Senate Bill 485 that was approved by the Legislature and signed into law during March 2008.

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