Travis Tranel: Dairy Farmer, with side baling business
Carol Beals: Administration, UW Platteville
Where they stand
The mayor in the Grant County community of Lancaster worries about increased cuts to shared revenue. News 3 anchor Eric Franke asked the candidates how they’d meet the needs of municipalities without raising taxes.
Travis Tranel: “Mayor Wehrle does a great job in Lancaster, but the biggest thing we can do on the state's perspective is grow the economy. And this is another part where a lot of times I feel sometimes people don't understand. We can lower taxes individually and still increase taxes to the state in terms of revenue the state receives. Because if more people are paying taxes, even though individually they're paying at a lower and reduced rate, collectively, that margin can grow. Corporate income tax, this year over last year, up four and a half percent. So the reforms that we've put in place, the tough decisions that we've made, businesses are starting to come to Wisconsin, they're understanding that they're going to grow jobs, ultimately they're going to pay more taxes which we have seen them already begin to do, and we're going to have more money to dispense in terms of state aid and shared revenue.”
Carol Beals: “You know, part of it I agree with you Travis, but I'm concerned that some of the tax credits that we've given are only to the very wealthy and the very large corporations. And small businesses don't get an opportunity to do that. I mean a majority of our taxes come from people who make $20-60,000. And that's Grant County. That's the 49th assembly district. Mayor Wehrle has good reason to be concerned about what vital services he's going to cut in the city of Lancaster, as well as every other administrator in southwest Wisconsin. When you're talking about 'do you want your roads plowed today or tomorrow?' And thank God we have a supply of salt sitting in each township hall because we had a light winter last year. When we're talking about meals on wheels programs to our elderly. You know, those are all critical, vital services that people in Cassville depend on and Cuba City and when it comes right down to it, we have to be very mindful about what we're doing because shared revenue is the only way of funding those programs at a county level.”
The candidates have opposing views on Act 10, the controversial budget repair bill act that severely limits collective bargaining rights for public employees.
Tranel, a Republican voted against the legislation saying he wanted the changes “phased in over time”, and that even though he agreed with the spirit of the legislation, it should have been “handled differently.” Tranel says the bill chose “winners and losers” by exempting police and fire and the only way it could be fair was if the changes applied across the board.
Beals, a Democrat wants the law revisited in the next legislative session. She views collective bargaining a chance to have a conversation, adding the law did not give due consideration to what was being asked of people -- the overnight change to their paychecks.