Monday, March 14, 2016

WI State Senate looks to maintain student loan burden

[5:29 p.m. update - - the bill has died in the Senate. Enjoy your higher-cost student loans, Bucky.]

Want to know how to judge the probable failure tomorrow by the GOP-led State Senate to approve a modest proposal to let Wisconsin taxpayers deduct more student loan interest on their state income tax filings?

Remember this story and headline about how the state has already given away tax benefits to favored recipients:
WEDC may have illegally awarded $21 million in tax credits
That's $21 million+ on top of an authorized $80 million in business-related WEDC awards.

Now to the student loan details.

Having already killed a 2015 Wisconsin bill that would have used the state's low-interest borrowing power to refinance higher-interest student loans, the Wisconsin State Senate is poised Tuesday to also kill a separate plan to allow students to deduct interest annually from their taxable income above the current limit of $2,500.

That added deduction would cost the state an estimated $5.4 million annually - - or one-quarter of just the questionable WEDC awards and less than 7% of the authorized, $80 million total.

But GOP Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says the state can't be that generous to taxpayers whose debt payments tamp down auto, home and other spending that would ripple through the economy:
"At the end of session here with kind of where we are fiscally, they want to make sure that we don't spend ourselves into a position where a year from now we're gonna get some numbers that are gonna show that we need to revisit that bottom line," said Sen. Fitzgerald. 
January budget projections from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau showed Wisconsin's general fund would have a balance of $70 million by the end of June 2017. Sen. Fitzgerald said he would expect that figure to be reduced to $50 million when the Senate finishes its work next week.
April 15th is just around the corner, and Wisconsinites who borrowed to advance their educations and workforce appeal - - but who lack political clout in the Special-Interests-First mentality driving decision-making in the State Capitol these days -- are going to pay more in taxes than need be.

Which is exactly the message intended to its targets by the small minds running this purported small government. 

And don't forget the same state senators can make a statement on Wisconsin groundwater, too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well you can't expect Scott Walker to do anything to help students or any other citizen of Wisconsin. The budgets are too tight with give-aways to corporate and out-of-state multinational interests. How do you expect him to get enough free money from them to pay off the more than $1.4 million he still owes for that failed presidential bid that God told him to go after?

Oh, and don't even ask about the $100,000 and more that he owes state taxpayers for funding his joy rides around the country campaigning for the White House (the good news for Walker is that the media has flushed his illegal campaigning on the public's dime down the memory hole).

And soon he will need to ramp up the propaganda machine and will need millions more to run for his third term. He's selling his house, so he needs a longer-term stay in the Governor's office.

Sure, his BFFs at Milwaukee Journal Sentinel catapult the pro-Walker propaganda across the state disinformation network almost daily and will ramp it up even more going when we enter the next election cycle. But Walker will still need tens-of-millions to pay off his media assets at that time.

Give him a break please. What would you expect a "fiscal conservative" to do?