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Barish, Lawrence S.; Theobald, H. Rupert (ed.) / State of Wisconsin 1991-1992 Blue Book
(1991-1992)

Wisconsin political parties,   pp. [833]-868 PDF (16.1 MB)


Page 867


STATE PLATFORM: REPUBLICAN PARTY
867
need. We support levels of medicaid and medicare reimbursement that will
ensure sufficient nursing home
beds, home care services and community support programs are available to
meet their needs.
   Republicans support and commend the efforts of those senior citizens who
lend their leadership and exper-
tise as volunteers in private and public programs which benefit the citizens
of our state.
                              OUR ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT
                            GOVERNMENT SPENDING AND TAXATION
   Republicans believe that the citizens of our state are best served by
a tax structure that is not only based
upon principles of equity and fairness, but one which also maintains our
interstate competitiveness for eco-
nomic development and'jobs. We are keenly aware that, of the major sources
for funding state and local
services, the property tax is presently funding far too large a share of
services in Wisconsin.
  The Republican Party of Wisconsin dedicates itself to real, meaningful
and lasting property relief. For too
long, the Democrat Party has treated this important issue as a political
trump car , offering a cacophony of
rhetoric and gimmickry but showing no real commitment to resolution of the
issue. Their embrace of hasty
and ill-considered amendments to Wisconsin's Constitution are but the latest
examples of this sorry record.
  In seeking to address the property tax overburden, however Republicans
understand that we cannot afford
to undermine the progress that has been made in moderating Wisconsin's once
infamous income tax rates. By
the same token, a massive sales tax increase or expansion that extracts revenues
regressively on necessary
goods and services or distorts economic activity in unforeseen ways cannot
be tolerated.
  Republicans acknowledge that property taxes pay for a disproportionate
share of the costs of K-12 educa-
tion. We support increasing non-property tax sources of support for K- 12
education from the present 46% to
a level more consistent with that in other states, a goal we believe to be
attainable without major distortions in
the overall state-local tax mix. We also call for a re-evaluation of the
method in which state school aids are
distributed with an eye toward ensuring equal and adequate financial support
for each Wisconsin student.
   Republicans also agree with the vast majority of Wisconsin citizens who
believe that true and lasting prop-
erty tax relief can only be accomplished if effective policies to restrain
the growth in government spending are
put into place. We call for the enactment of spending restraints for both
the state andlocal governments. Such
restraints must subject public spending to the economic realtities facin4
our citizens in terms of income growth
and the cost of living, while allowing or the maintenance of Wisconsin s
pre-eminent position in public educa-
tion and other government services.
  In particular we recognize that the public employee mediation-arbitration
law that was once the solution to
a very real problem of inadequate teacher compensation and resulting labor
strife has now become part of a
new problem: spiralling costs-for K- 12 education. We call for reforms to
the system of mediating and arbitrat-
ing local public employee contract disputes that will provide reasonable
time frames for completing the pro-
cess, increase the likelihood of voluntary settlements and establish limitations
based in state economic realities
on an arbitrator's ability to grant compensation increases.
                               MANUFACTURING AND COMMERCE
  Republicans have long been champions of private sector initiative. We believe
that the proper role of
government lies in fostering and encouraging the development of that initiative.
We are dedicated to creating a
supportive entrepreneurialenvironment in Wisconsin by providing technological,
marketing and capital ac-
cuisition assistance to new and existing Wisconsin businesses. We endorse
the expansion of efforts to revitalize
depressed areas in our state through the use of development incentive zone
programs.
  Recognizing its importance to Wisconsin's employment level and to our economy
in general, the Republi-
can Par y of isconsin is committed to preserving a healthy manufacturing
sector in our state. We applaud
the efforts of the Thompson Administration to expand global markets for Wisconsin
products and to en-
courage investment in Wisconsin enterprises.
  Republicans also emphasize the need to focus increased state development
efforts on ensuring that Wiscon-
sin's small and home-grown businesses, especially, those in our rural communities,
have the means to grow and
prosper. We believe that these efforts will provide the surest long-term
growth in jobs and prosperity for all
regions of our state.
                                           AGRIBUSINESS
  Republicans believe that too often overlooked in discussions of economic
development and business is the
role of Wisconsin's agribusinesses: our farmers and the enterprises which
provide their inputs and process their
products. The importance of farming to the Wisconsin economy cannot be overstated.
  We applaud and support the retention of the capital gains tax exclusion
in Wisconsin which benefits over
two-thirds of the state s farmers. Similarly, the Republican-led initiative
to eliminate the gift and inheritance
tax has smoothed the inter-generational transfer of family farms. And while
solutions to reduce the overall
burden of property taxes have been elusive, we commend the Thompson Administration
and Republican
legislators for their support of agricultural property tax credits available
to all Wisconsin farmers.
  We urge the Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection to
play an expanded role in pro-
moting Wisconsin agricultural products in the global marketplace. We endorse
the efforts of the Department,
the University and the VTAE system to develop diversified and sustainable
agriculture in Wisconsin.
                                              TOURISM
  Wisconsin Republicans recognize that our state's natural beauty and historic
cultural diversity have
spawned a vibrant tourism industry. The increasing thousands of visitors
who come here each year to be
'Among Friends in Wisconsin" have made tourism our state's second largest
industry. We support the crea-
tion of a Department of Tourism to give this vital industry the cabinet level
prominence it richfy deserves.
                                                LABOR
  The knowledge, skills and strong work ethic of Wisconsin's working men
and women have come to be
recognized as one of our state's most valuable assets in the increasingly
competitive world economy. Republi-
cans are committed to policies and programs that will preserve and strengthen
the ability of our citizens to
perform the vocational and technical tasks demanded of them as we enter the
21st Century. In particular,


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