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Walker says 2012 property tax bills in Wisconsin smaller than 2011

Walker says 2012 property tax bills in Wisconsin smaller than 2011

By Jay Sorgi. CREATED Apr 16, 2012 - UPDATED: Apr 16, 2012

MADISON - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says that for the first time in 12 years, the typical home owner in Wisconsin is paying a smaller amount of property taxes than the year before.

According to a news release from the Governor's office, the median tax bill for a home owner is $2.952, compared to $2.963 in 2011.

A spokesman for Gov. Walker told Newsradio 620 WTMJ that their numbers come from the State Budget Office.

"Our reforms have reversed a decade of property tax increases from previous administrations," said Governor Walker in a statement. 

When further asked about the property tax numbers by Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Charlie Sykes, Walker used the opportunity to state his case in the upcoming gubernatorial recall election.

"For Tom Barrett, Kathleen Falk or anyone else talking about putting back collective bargaining, (it) will ensure that property taxes will go up in the future."

"Had we kept in place the policies that Jim Doyle and the Democrats who were in charge before I and the new majorities came in office, those same property tax bills would have gone up by $700 for this (two-year) budget.  It's clear that if we go back to the policies which would essentially give Jim Doyle a third term...we would see an increase in property taxes."

Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Graeme Zielinski sent Newsradio 620 WTMJ the following statement in response:

"This is a deceitful premise and part of a job-losing political shell game. Scott Walker's unfunded state mandate imposed a property tax freeze on localities at the same time decimating state aid. This has led to layoffs and diminished services.  Dozens of school districts and localities have actually had to increase local taxes, as well as hikes on fees.

"The real question is who gets a tax break-the rich certainly do. But Walker's tax giveaway of $2.3 billion is paid for not only through deep cuts in education, health care and other services-he also raised taxes on seniors and the working poor, to the tune of $70 million. This includes a $14 million increase resulting from the end of the Homestead Tax Credit, and a $56.2 million increase on low wage workers.

"Scott Walker raised taxes on those least able to pay and gave tax breaks to the super-rich in a way that didn't create a single job, with Wisconsin leading the nation in job loss in 2011."