Monday, April 22, 2013

Sen. Tiffany's E-update

April 22nd, 2013

Listening Session Last Week

On Friday, Rep. Mary Czaja and I held listening sessions in Antigo and Merrill. There was great turnout at both events and I would like to thank all of those who attended. We discussed many different facets of the proposed budget and had some great dialogue. Here is a photo from our stop at the T.B. Scott Library in Merrill.
 


I enjoy holding these sessions because it is an opportunity for me to hear directly from you. If you were unable to attend, I will be holding more listening sessions throughout the year. I hope to see you in the future and you can always feel free to contact my office.
 

Happy Tax Freedom Day!


Last Thursday was Tax Freedom Day--the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay off our total tax bill for the year. In 2013, Americans will pay $2.76 trillion in federal taxes and $1.45 trillion in state taxes, for a total tax bill of $4.22 trillion, or 29.4 percent of income. April 18 is 108 days, or 29.4 percent, into the year. Americans will spend more in taxes in 2013 than they will on food, housing, and clothing combined.
 
Tax Freedom Day was five days later than last year, due mainly to the fiscal cliff deal that raised federal taxes on individual income and payroll. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act’s investment tax and excise tax went into effect.
 

JFC Budget Input


The Joint Committee on Finance held its final budget hearing last week and now they will begin to work on changes as result of the input they have received. If you would like to share any input before they begin voting on certain aspects of the budget, please email: BudgetComments@legis.wisconsin.gov or via mail to: Joe Malkasian, Room 305 East, State Capitol, Madison, WI 53702. 
 
I am continuing to examine the budget and look forward to reviewing input and suggestions from residents of the 12th Senate District. I believe that all programs must carefully be scrutinized to ensure that there is a maximum return on investment for taxpayers that are footing the bill.
 

Senate Scholar Lindsey Lieck in Madison


Lindsey Lieck of Rhinelander High School was in Madison last week participating in the 2013 Senate Scholar Program. The Senate Scholar Program is designed for elite students who are interested in state government. During her time in Madison, Lindsey met with legislative support agencies, legislative staff, the Governor’s staff, a Supreme Court Justice, the media, lobbyists, and University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty members. When the Senate was on the floor, Lindsey and her fellow scholars staffed the session. Below is a picture of Lindsey and me during a brief recess from the floor period.
 


Lindsey is a senior at Rhinelander High School who plans to attend the University of Northern Michigan next year and is thinking of majoring in political science. She has a bright future and we hope that she returns to Wisconsin once she graduates. For historical reference, Lindsey is the tenth Scholar from 12th Senate District and the first one from Rhinelander. Congratulations to Lindsey!
 

Thoughts on Boston


There has been a lot of discussion over the tragedy that occurred in Boston last week. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected by this terrible event. It is unfortunate that I even need mention it, but the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is urging Wisconsinites to use caution before sending money to a charity claiming to help those affected in the Boston bombing. We have a great history of caring, compassionate, and philanthropic citizens in Wisconsin, and it is important that we not allow scammers to introduce more hurt into a sad situation.
 
If you plan to give money to a particular charity, look it up by name at www.charitynavigator.org or www.give.org. Avoid ‘charities’ that popped up since the bombing and be leery of any high-pressure pitch you receive for donations.
In addition to researching charities, consider the following tips to further protect yourself from scammers:

• Avoid donating cash. Pay by debit or credit card or write a check directly to the charity.
• Charity scams are not exclusively online – mailings and telephone calls can also be sources of this fraud.
• With online donations, watch out for websites with "copy-cat" names. Sham organizations like to use these names to cash in on the reputations of older, more established charities. Keep in mind that most legitimate charity websites end in ".org" rather than ".com."

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