Doyle Holds First Budget Hearings

Governor-elect Jim Doyle held the first of his budget outreach hearings in Wausau Wednesday.

Doyle says the budget deficit for the next two years will be $4.3 billion, and he is looking for ideas on how to reduce that number without raising taxes.

Marathon County Administrator Mort McBain recommended allowing individual counties to levy a sales tax. In return, the county would give the state their shared revenue money. In Marathon County's case, that's about $18 million.

Doyle later said he is opposed to any kind of tax increase, including sales tax.

Supporters of education spoke out in force as well.

The presidents of UW Marathon County, NTC, Wausau Schools, and UW Stevens Point all asked Doyle not to touch money for education. They all said education was the key to a stronger workforce and a better economy.

Doyle will propose his first budget early next year.

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