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Kenosha’s Peter Barca Leaves Governor’s Administration

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Peter Barca (D)

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) Secretary Peter Barca will be leaving the Evers Administration after serving the administration for more than five years. Secretary Barca was one of the governor’s first appointments to his cabinet in 2019.

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“Peter has been with our administration since Day One, and I knew from the beginning that he would be a dedicated, enthusiastic, and effective leader for the Department of Revenue,” said Gov. Evers. “We’ve accomplished much together over the past five years on behalf of the people of Wisconsin, including ensuring Wisconsin taxpayers will see $1.5 billion in tax relief annually through income tax cuts I’ve signed into law. I thank Peter for service and wish him and his family all the best.”

In 2023 alone, DOR stopped $305 million in fraudulent income tax refunds, returned $38.8 million in unclaimed property, distributed over $2.4 billion to local governments in shared revenue and property tax relief, and the lottery achieved record sales of $981.6 million, over 30 percent of which is typically returned to homeowners in the form of a property tax credit. Additionally, DOR’s average processing time for individual income tax returns was fewer than five days in 2023, and the tax revenue forecast error was 1.5 percent with an eight-month time horizon, which is within DOR’s two percent objective. This is based on Wisconsin’s history as the best tax forecasting state in the country.

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“I have been honored to be a member of the Evers Administration in such a key time for the state,” said Secretary Barca. “The leadership and staff at DOR are dedicated, effective, and highly engaged. In addition to the tax relief, historic changes in shared revenue, our team administered most of the large grant programs and were pleased to be part of the Evers Team that was number one in the nation in distributing federal funds to help businesses, farms, and organizations. It was especially positive to end this legislative session with important public safety measures like new vapor controls and using the tax system to facilitate organ donations.”

Peter Barca (D)

In addition to his service as DOR secretary for the past five years, Barca served as a state legislator from 1985 to 1993 and from 2009 to 2019, representing the Kenosha area. He served for seven years as the assembly minority leader, passing a wide range of bills and working to improve and strengthen the legislative process. He also was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and served in U.S. Congress from 1993 to 1995. Following his time in U.S. Congress, Barca served for nearly five years as the Midwest Regional Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration during the Clinton Administration. He also was appointed to lead the National Regulatory Fairness Program, an initiative aimed at making regulatory enforcement more small business friendly. Barca later spent nearly a decade as vice president and then president of Aurora Associates International, an international project management company that conducted international development projects in more than 25 countries. He had previously served as CEO of a non-profit organization focused on employment and training, housing, and rehabilitation services. 

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Barca’s retirement is effective on April 9, 2024. A search to fill Barca’s position is already underway. The governor expects to announce Barca’s replacement in the coming weeks.

Barca is expected to announce his candidacy for the 1st Congressional District, challenging Rep. Brian Steil. (R)

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37 Responses

  1. Peter represented Kenosha well and is one of the last of the “Joe Andrea Democrats.” We need more of them.

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    1. You may be thinking of his dad.

      Junior, more commonly referred to “Blinky Barca” for his hilarious idiocy during the Act 10 riots, is an imbecile. Besides Wirch, he may be one of the dumbest people that served in the Wisconsin legislature. The man has never accomplished anything and has lived off the public dole for decades.

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      1. Regardless of what you and I think Barca is a formidable opponent for Steil. In the last election Steil got 54% of the vote but had no serious opposition. Barca would be serious opposition and he’d likely have the Democrats fully supporting him. Last time around they ran Ann Roe. Who the Hell is Ann Roe? And she got 46% of the vote. The only thing we know for certain is that the TV stations will be making money out the wazooski with political ads.

        1. Partially correct. However, it will not be because of name recognition this time around. With the new gerrymandered liberal districts that our corrupt Supreme Court mandated, all Republicans are now in danger of losing.

      2. Exactly. Screaming Baby Barca and his orange T-shirt, doing a great impersonation of Mussolini during the, “Act 10 Insurrection”, should be retired and permanently removed from causing more damage in the future.

  2. A political hack if there ever was one! Appointment after appointment after appointment for towing the political line.

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  3. Another run for Congress?

    Steil is no Paul Ryan and Barca is not a flaming crazy lib. Steil could be beaten. Except for issuing press releases every Friday, what the Hell has Steil done?

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  4. just another socialist moving from one government position to position himself for another ! Perhaps painting hammer and cycle signs for the Kenosha Democratic party could hold him over until his next taxpayer job comes along.

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  5. Evers…”including ensuring Wisconsin taxpayers will see $1.5 billion in tax relief annually through income tax cuts I’ve signed into law.”

    Almost every democrat voted AGAINST the tax cuts that Evers promotes. Yet, he continues to take credit for all Republican victories.

    1. Evers vetoed $2.9 billion in tax cuts that were not the result of bipartisanship. He should sign off on a more modest plan and one that perhaps adjusts tax brackets more realistically, targeting tax relief more toward those with lower incomes. In other words, maybe add another tax bracket or two because the third tier, which was in this bill, covers the most ground. It could be broken up.

      In 1978 Republican Lee Sherman Dreyfus got elected governor on a platform including returning the state’s budget surplus. The legislature did that despite warnings that we needed a rainy day fund. But by 1982 the state’s economic picture changed and Dreyfus bailed. The next legislature temporarily raised taxes to cover the shortfall. Having been there during that time I won’t pick at goofy Evers because he’s not using smoke and mirrors like several other governors (both parties) have done. And maybe instead of cutting the income tax what about applying the cuts to the gasoline tax to lower gas prices?

  6. Barca still could run rings around Evers. He is smart and he’s not crazy. If he runs, Steil will have real opposition as opposed to the goofball idiots the Democrats have run in the past.

  7. The House is supposed to be a place where regular citizens serve for a short period of time to represent the people not for professional politicians

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  8. And the unions are batty crazy. AFLCIO endorses Iverson — did they know she and her family were big Scott Walker donors? Choose your side, lady.

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    1. Maybe, because Walker was clearly Superior to the worst Governor EVERs? Governor Skeletor only thinks of himself as governor of UW.

      1. Not the point. You choose your sides and be consistent. I know plenty of fellow conservatives who respect Bernie Sanders even though they seldom agree with him. Why? Because he says what he means, keeps his word and doesn’t alter his message if he’s in front of a different audience.





  9. With the new voting boundaries the Republican Party might want to get with the program as at least in Racine County Dem. Bob Wirch and Dem. Greta Neubauer are already circulating flyers introducing themselves to new voters.

    No doubt Barca can easily defeat Bryan Steil unless the Republican party gets off their ass.

    1. Not the point. You choose your sides and be consistent. I know plenty of fellow conservatives who respect Bernie Sanders even though they seldom agree with him. Why? Because he says what he means, keeps his word and doesn’t alter his message if he’s in front of a different audience.





  10. Barca is just awful! It’s unlikely he will win over Steil. I was really hoping he would just completely retire! He’s absolutely useless. Another worthless Democrat with no purpose at all!

  11. If Barca runs against Steil I may have to think hard about who I’m voting for. Our congressman likes to issue press releases but what has be really accomplished?





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