ACRG
 
Association for Community-responsive Government

 

ACRG is an organization of Wisconsin citizens who support representative government that fosters thriving communities.

Communities of concern to ACRG are families of every size and situation, neighborhoods, schools, cities, towns and villages, counties, our magnificant State, and our wonderful Nation.

In order to foster communities' long-term vibrancy, government at all levels must have both adeqaute funds secured through fair taxation and officials who, while answerable to the people through fair elections, are free to raise and allocate such funds wisely.
 

JOIN WITH US

To join fellow Wisconsin citizens in supporting community-responsive government and
opposing measures that undermine and politicians that oppose such government, send an email to:

CITIZENS at ACRG dot org
with your first and last name(s), your email address(es), and the city and state where you live.

Only individuals may join; no organizations.  There are no dues.  Financial contributions are not accepted.  Membership may be terminated at any time without cause or notice.  The information you provide to become a member of ACRG will be kept confidential and not disclosed to any other entity unless such disclosure would be required by a lawful subpoena, court order, or other legal process.
 

ISSUES

ACRG favors fair taxation that provides government with revenue that is sufficient for government operations without "deficit spending."

ACRG favors fair taxation that provides ample revenue for high quality and efficient government services that are essential for communities to thrive over the long run. These services include among others:
 

public preschool-12 education;
public higher education;
public libraries, museums, and theaters and other performance facilities;
public parks and other recreational facilities;
environmental protection;
support for sciences, arts and the humanities;
public health services, including government-financed, universal, comprehensive health care for all people;
police and fire protection;
courts;
legal aid for poor people for criminal and civil matters;
planning and zoning;
public transportation;
bicycle path, road and highway construction and maintenance;
snow removal;
refuse removal;
recycling;
tax collection; and
voter registration and elections.

Government at all levels, including school districts and the unversity and technical college systems, must have adequate numbers of personnel who are educated and trained for their responsibilities, treated fairly, and paid comparably to personnel working in the private sector.  For Wisconsin's economic well-being, if for no other reason, pay for teachers in our state's public school and higher education systems must be increased significantly.

ACRG favors major revision in Wisconsin's tax system to make it fairer.  The system now relies much too heavily on property taxes.  Property taxes should be reduced by half, half the resulting lost revenue should be replaced with sales taxes, and half the resulting lost reveneue should be replaced with income taxes.  The current system grossly undertaxes businesses and should be changed so that businesses pay a fair share for the significant benefits they enjoy from operating in our state.  The system now irrationally does not tax revenue from sales of services while taxing revenue from sales of goods; this discrepancy must be eliminated.   The current income tax is not progressive and must be made so.

People who have higher incomes benefit financially from public resources available in their communities much more than people with lower incomes do.   So, as a simple matter of fairness, people with higher incomes should pay income taxes at a significantly higher rate and so contribute more to support their communities.

ACRG favors for public office wise, foresighted leaders who ask first "What public services do my communities need to thrive over the long run?" and only then "How can we obtain the funding to meet these needs?"

ACRG opposes for public office people who simple-mindedly oppose taxes and are too greedy, narrow-minded, or shortsighted to ever ask "What do my communities need to thrive for the long term?"  Unfortunately most Republicans fall into this irresponsible, irrational group.  Many of them, in case you have not noticed, are also wildly deficit-spending hypocrites, so grossly irresponsible that they are saddling our children's and grandchildren's generations with the consequences of their outrageous profligacy.

ACRG opposes measures, like the so-called "TABOR," fortunately now dead and buried, that take decision-making authority away from duly elected representatives of the people in local units of government and undemocratically give more voting power to anti-tax maniacs than people concerned about the long-run well being of their communities.

Similarly, ACRG opposes proto-TABOR measures that are, disastrously for Wisconsin's communities and future, still with us. These are state government-imposed spending limits and revenue caps on municipal governments, including school districts.

Among these measures, especially pernicious for Wisconsin's young people and the state's future economic well-being are the so-called "qualified economic offer" ("QEO"), that disastrously limits what school districts need to pay teachers and staff, and drastic limits on school districts' revenue-raising authority, that have put almost all districts on the edge of bankruptcy and pushed some of them over.  These truly crazy limits, concocted by right-wing extremist "think tanks," were first imposed on our school districts in 1993 by greedy, narrow-minded, and shortsighted Republicans, Tommy Thompson and his minions in the Legislature.  Their goal was, and their successors' goal remains, to destroy our state's public education system, which was once the best in the Nation.  The law that imposed the limits required state government to provide two thirds of the inadequate public school funding that the law called for.  This state-funding requirement was just a trick to conceal Republicans' real agenda of destruction of our communities' public education systems.  Under the law districts are not permitted to raise revenue to make up for shortfalls in state government funding, and state government has never come close to meeting the two-thirds funding requirement.  On the average state government has been providing only about 40% of the funding.  In some districts, state government has been providing only a quarter of the funding.  As a result of the limits on districts' revenue-raising authority and state government's failure to fulfill its two-thirds funding obligations, our young people and communities have been suffering for nearly 15 years and will continue to suffer for years to come, as the quality of public education in our state has significantly declined and will continue to do so as our state's school districts fight off bankruptcy while rich Republicans laugh on the way to the bank.

Click here to join ACRG!

Click here to send emails to your family, friends, neighbors, and associates to let them know about ACRG.

Questions? Comments?
Send an email to ACRG Executive Director Bill Scanlon at
Bill at ACRG dot org

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"ACRG" and "Association for Community-responsive Government"
are marks and trade names of the Association for Community-responsive Government.
 
© 2004, 2007 Association for Community-responsive Government