Dear Wisconsin Voter,
I am the current Wisconsin State Treasurer and, with your help, will hopefully be our last state treasurer. I ask you to join me in voting yes on April 3rd in the statewide ballot to permanently eliminate the state treasurer’s office.
I know it may seem odd to be advocating for the removal of the very position I hold, but the treasurer’s office has outlived its purpose and simply is no longer needed.
The office of the treasurer was established by the Wisconsin Constitution in 1848 and, while the position originally did hold a variety of duties, these were administrative in nature and have subsequently been transferred to other agencies to streamline government and increase efficiency.
You may think that our state government needs the treasurer as an official financial office but, in Wisconsin, the state treasurer simply does not manage financial duties as these have been delegated to other agencies. For example, since 1968, the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) calculates tax and spending information for the governor and legislature and does so with nearly universal trust and support from both Republicans and Democrats as being fair, honest and transparent.
Would we really prefer to have a partisan politician in such a sensitive fiscal role?
The last major duty of the treasurer’s office was the unclaimed property program, which was moved to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) in 2013. Unclaimed property includes money from savings, checking and insurance accounts that the owner may have forgotten. The DOR now sends Wisconsinites their unclaimed property without filing a claim by matching social security numbers and tax information. In the last five years, approximately $20 million has been returned to the rightful owners using the unique matching program.
As your current treasurer, I can verify that the office no longer has any significant responsibilities. Currently, I serve only on one board, the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, which requires just a few phone calls per month. That’s honestly it!
In 2014, I was elected on the platform of eliminating the office as I saw it as a waste of valuable tax dollars. Since then, I have cut the office budget by 75 percent and eliminated all staff positions as there was literally nothing for them to do. By eliminating these positions, Wisconsin taxpayers saved approximately $1 million.
I am also not alone in the campaign to eliminate this office. In fact, this effort has been in debate for many years and enjoys bipartisan support. As a bonus, the money saved by removing the treasurer’s office will contribute to the Common School Fund, ultimately meaning more money for public schools throughout Wisconsin.
Please help save taxpayer money by voting YES on the Wisconsin Elimination of the State Treasurer Amendment on April 3rd and make me our last state treasurer. It will be a victory for more efficient and smaller government.
Wisconsin State Treasurer