Republican State Senate candidate (18th SD) Randy Hopper is running a pretty standard campaign for a conservative. In a recent debate he complained about taxes and suggested that the current tax structure has somehow been unfair to him. The only problem with that claim is revealed in a report today by the Fond du Lac Reporter. It shows that Hopper has only paid Wisconsin personal and business income taxes once since 1997.
It is outrageous that Hopper would try to play the role of some sort of a tax victim in public while in reality he has managed to use every loophole in the book to avoid personal and business taxes on a regular basis. Even though Hopper owns 5 separate businesses and is quite successful, the lowest paid worker in his district probably pays more personal taxes in one paycheck than Hopper has for several years.
If Hopper can afford high-priced tax attorneys to figure out ways of avoiding Wisconsin income taxes and business taxes most of the last 10 years, that’s nice for him, but he should be willing to admit it. When he talks high taxes from now on he should qualify his comments by saying “but I don’t mean me, because I’ve only had to pay income taxes once in the last nine years.” Unfortunately that may give him a big credibility gap with the hard working people in his area, but at least it would be honest.