Easing the Tax Burden on Property Owners

Democrats say they have come up with a way to give you a big property tax break without hurting the schools.

Lawmakers announced the Homeowner's Property Exemption Wednesday. The HOPE proposal would exempt the first $60,000 of a home's value from school property taxes. The move would save Madison taxpayers $690 a year.

Democrats hope to pay for this big tax break by closing some loopholes in the corporate tax code.

One such loophole is the 'Las Vegas' loophole, where corporations shelter their income in other states to avoid paying taxes.

Republicans say the measure would drive businesses out of Wisconsin.

But Democrats say many of the "loophole businesses" aren't going anywhere.

Rep. Spence Black (D-Madison) says, "The reality is banks and big box stores are here because the consumers are here. We can have fairness in our tax system and a good economy. The current tax system is unfair to the average person."

Black says a state committee has identified more than $3 billion worth of tax loopholes that can be closed. He says the whole program would cost about $700 million a year.

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