MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Thousands of homeowners will get nothing -- or close to it -- under the $100 million property tax relief plan passed this week by the state Legislature.
The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance says property owners in 82 school districts will be short-changed. That's because the tax relief is being funneled through the state's school aid formula, which gives more money to the poorest districts than the richest ones.
Republicans could have given everybody an equal amount of tax relief by using the so-called "first dollar formula" which exempts part of a homeowner's tax liability.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said the GOP decided to give more relief to the state's poorest areas. He acknowledged problems with the school aid formula, and vowed to address them as early as the next budget.
Republican Governor Scott Walker will sign the tax relief measure on Sunday in Burlington, after the Assembly gave final legislative approval Thursday.
Walker proposed the tax relief a week ago, after the state had a higher than expected surplus in its last budget.
Democrats said the measure was timed to help Walker's re-election bid next year, and the amount of the tax relief is only a buck or two per week for the average homeowner.
Still, the vast majority of Democrats voted in favor of it. Only 17 of the 54 Democrats in both houses actually voted no.