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Politics 2 Wisconsin Senate Candidates Paid No Income Taxes, 1 Ran for Lt. Gov. While on Medicaid

20:10  17 september  2021
20:10  17 september  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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Two Wisconsin candidates running for U.S. Senate paid no income tax, and one ran for lieutenant governor while he was on the state's Medicaid program, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Mandela Barnes, Mark Pocan, Tony Evers, Tammy Baldwin standing in a room: Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes did not pay income taxes and was on Medicaid while he ran for lieutenant governor, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Barnes speaks to supporters at the Racine County Democratic office on Nov. 4, 2018, in Racine, Wisc. © Darren Hauck/Getty Images Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes did not pay income taxes and was on Medicaid while he ran for lieutenant governor, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Barnes speaks to supporters at the Racine County Democratic office on Nov. 4, 2018, in Racine, Wisc.

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, now running for U.S. Senate, paid no income tax in 2018 and was on BadgerCare as he ran for his current position. Another candidate, state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, paid no state income taxes for two years, the Associated Press reported.

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Revenue Department records show that Barnes has averaged paying $1,890 a year in state income taxes in the past decade, far less than some of his political opponents. Two other candidates, Alex Lasry and Gillian Battino, both averaged about $50,000 a year in state taxes, the Journal Sentinel reported.

Lasry and Battino both reported incomes of about $300,000 last year. As lieutenant governor, Barnes is paid $80,684 annually.

Godlewski, a millionaire, averaged paying only $413 a year in income taxes to Wisconsin over the past four years, according to state tax records. She managed to reduce her tax payment through charitable contributions, state economic development credits and venture investments in new firms.

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For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday that Barnes didn't file a state or federal income tax return in 2018. Barnes is one of 11 Democrats running for U.S. Senate in 2022. Republican Senator Ron Johnson has not said yet whether he will run for a third term.

Barnes' campaign told the Journal Sentinel that he left his position as a deputy director with State Innovation Exchange in December of 2017 and did not have a paid job while running statewide in 2018. The state says those who made under $11,280 in 2018 did not have to file a Wisconsin return, and the federal figure was $10,400 for single individuals under 65.

Barnes was on the state's Medicaid program BadgerCare Plus for his health insurance that year but did not receive food stamps or unemployment compensation, the Journal Sentinel said.

His campaign said Barnes tapped personal savings, including family money from an estate sale, to purchase two condos that year, one in Madison and one in Milwaukee.

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"Like millions of Americans, Lt. Gov. Barnes was a non-filer in 2018 as he committed himself to being a full-time candidate and taking his message of equal opportunity to every corner of Wisconsin," said Barnes' campaign manager, Kory Kozloski.

Another Democratic candidate, Lasry, got nearly $24,000 in property tax breaks in New York and Wisconsin that are supposed to be applied only to a primary residence. He is on paid leave from his job as an executive with the Milwaukee Bucks.

"Let me get this straight," said Irene Lin, campaign manager for Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, another Democratic candidate for Senate. "One candidate took an illegal property tax deduction; another didn't pay any state taxes for two years; and now we learn the lieutenant governor didn't bother to file income taxes."

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Mind the (tax) gap: To fund new spending, people should pay the taxes they owe .
Americans who play by the rules should not be made to carry water for those who don’t.But there is one obvious way to help fund the package that won't raise anyone's taxes, won't shrink any spending programs and has an at least 40-year history of bipartisan support. It's called closing the tax gap.

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This is interesting!