Wisconsin Manufacturers: Fighting the Oil Taxes

By October 2, 2007Energy, Taxation

From the Wisconsin State Journal, “Doyle: State Workers Could Get Furlough.”

Also Monday, the state ‘s business lobby, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, announced it will begin today a series of television ads opposing the oil tax. It will target swing voters and districts in Green Bay, La Crosse, Eau Claire and Rhinelander, said WMC spokesman Jim Pugh.

WMC has a resource page with a variety of materials on Governor Hugo Doyle’s tax proposal, including TV and radios ads.

WMC opposes gross receipts tax because they tax business without regard to profitability. WMC has run an aggressive ad campaign statewide educating the public and businesses about the gross receipts tax.

If allowed to go into effect, Doyle’s gross receipts tax would effectively raise gas taxes 5 cents a gallon. As part of his populist pandering, the governor has cast the tax as taking revenge against the oil companies for “gouging” — a charge disproved time and time again by the Federal Trade Commission — and would make it a crime to pass on the increases to the consumers. Expropriation by another name…(and unconstitutional given courts’ interpretations of the Commerce Clause).

The Wisconsin State Journal ran a clear and persuasive editorial against Doyle’s tax increase we linked to yesterday. It’s definitely worth taking a look at: “Reject Doyle’s Oil Tax Proposal — The Governor’s Attempt To Gouge Oil Companies Would Set A Dangerous Precedent.”

And good luck to our friends at the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. If Doyle’s plan passes and goes into effect before the inevitable court challenges ends it, the (even temporary) success could embolden other anti-market populists — with consumers and business feeling the pain and loss of freedoms.

UPDATE (4 p.m.): WMC’s news release about the ad campaign has now been posted.

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