Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Abele Versus Abele: The Sales Tax Issue In His Own Words

Yesterday, I wrote about how Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele tapped in his inner Tommy Thompson by advocating for a sales tax to build a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks. I also pointed out he was being rather hypocritical regarding the sales tax, depending on who would benefit from it.

That caused enough of a rise that one of his people got WTMJ, where he made is pro-"sales tax to help the millionaires" comments, to give them a link to his comments, which they promptly posted in the comment thread.

Here's the link to his comments, (at least until Abele gets WTMJ to take it down again). And yes, I say it was one of his people. Do you think WTMJ would respond to a similar request from you or I, especially that quickly?

Again, Abele was gushing about a proposed sales tax to build a new arena for a basketball team for which he owns season tickets. The team is owned my a millionaire. The land developers would all be millionaires.

And what would the people who pay the sales tax for it get? A chance to drop a day's wage to see some more millionaires play basketball?

But Abele has a much different tone when it comes to a sales tax to save the transit system:
While Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele agrees transit is in jeopardy, he says he’s not prepared to back a sales tax option.

“The sales tax is about the most regressive tax you can have, it hits most disproportionately, the people who least can afford to be hit on it,” Abele says.
Abele says another drawback to a sales tax for transit, is that it would essentially let the state off the hook -- for money it’s supposed to be providing to the county for transit.

“Any time we raise local revenue for a service that used to be provided by shared revenue at the state, we’re giving the state another reason to sort of back out funding and push that funding locally, and we’re already paying taxes in to the state out of which we are supposed to be getting the transit funding,” Abele says.
Well, that's not entirely true.

If the sales tax had been allowed to be passed as it was approved of in a referendum four years ago, it would have cut people's property taxes. And a healthy transit system would allow tens of thousands of people to regain access to jobs, people could stimulate the economy by getting out and about to stores and places of entertainment. And our regional economy would grow instead of losing ground as it is doing now.

As I wrote last night, it would be a nice change to have a county executive that sticks up for the people instead of sticking it to them.


  1. So I listened to the audio, Capper, and I'm not hearing anything like 'gushing' for taxes (like, say, Marina's gushing for your new mutual friend, Sheriff Clarke). In fact, he doesn't even endorse taxes or say anything beyond the not terribly bold idea that it's a good discussion to have.

    The referendum you and the board continually refer to passed by a tiny margin (as opposed the overwhelmingly supported referendum to downsize and make part time the county board).

    Everyone who reads your blog knows that your idea of doing good by the county means doing good by union employees. I prefer Abele's idea of sticking up for the people by supporting transit, parks, aging, family care, child support services, courts, DAs, without sticking a higher bill to taxpayers who you clearly don't care much about.

    I hope you have a merry christmas and maybe spend less time attacking your more rational and more widely read liberal blogger colleagues and more time reading them.

    1. You keep saying that Marina is gushing over Clarke, but never offer any proof. I wonder why that is. The only thing that I can see is that Marina and the Board took the House of Correction from him because he wasn't up to the job. Of course, Abele doesn't want it either because he knows he also isn't up to the job.

      Funny how you call a man who wants us to pay a "regressive" sales tax so he has new digs to enjoy his season tickets.

      I'm sorry you, and your buddy Abele, doesn't support lower property taxes or people working. I wonder what excuse he'll use when he starts selling off parks.

      And yes, we knew Abele was against workers when he came out in support of Palmeros, a company that willfully hires illegal aliens, as opposed to supporting the workers who want to exercise their rights by unionizing.

      And when have I attacked a liberal blogger?