This employment tax is on top of the $1 billion grab bag of other levies that Democratic Governor Jim Doyle proposed and the tax-happy Senate has also approved, including a $1.25 a pack increase in the cigarette tax, a 10% hike in the corporate tax, and new fees on cars, trucks, hospitals, real estate transactions, oil companies and dry cleaners. In all, the tax burden in the Badger State could rise to 20% of family income, which is slightly more than the average federal tax burden. "At least federal taxes pay for an Army and Navy," quips R.J. Pirlot of the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce business lobby.
As if that's not enough, the health plan includes a tax escalator clause allowing an additional 1.5 percentage point payroll tax to finance higher outlays in the future. This could bring the payroll tax to 16%. One reason to expect costs to soar is that the state may become a mecca for the unemployed, uninsured and sick from all over North America. The legislation doesn't require that you have a job in Wisconsin to qualify, merely that you live in the state for at least 12 months. Cheesehead nation could expect to attract health-care free-riders while losing productive workers who leave for less-taxing climes.
That would be me. I've no interest in paying the extra estimated $500/mo in taxes (probably more, since I'm in software and I have no little deductions running around) for "[r]ationing via price controls and, as costs rise, waiting periods and coverage restrictions." It might not even matter if I did--the company I'm contracting for isn't going to hire anyone if they have to pay an extra 15% on top of wages to the state.
I like Milwaukee, but I love Indianapolis; $6k will more than cover gas to Lake Michigan 6-7 times a year.