DOR's Package of Law Changes Advances

Last week, committees in both houses held public hearings on AB 2/SB 2, a bill initiated by DOR containing various tax law changes and modifications to laws relating to the administration of municipal aid programs. The Assembly Committee on Ways and Means voted 11-1 to recommend passage of AB 2. The bill is a reintroduction of legislation that advanced through the Assembly last session but died in the Senate when the pandemic caused an early end to the session. The League supports the bill, which contains the following items affecting municipalities:

Expenditure restraint program changes.
  • Allows a community that failed to timely file the required Expenditure Restraint Program Worksheet to receive subsequent qualified payments early.
  • Adjusts the time for determining CPI for ERP purposes. Under the bill, the consumer price index is calculated using the 12 months ending on August 31, instead of September 30, to better align with the timing of local budgeting. The League requested this change.

Omitted Property. Requires that municipalities share revenue from omitted taxes with other taxing jurisdictions using the same guidelines as collecting refunded taxes from other taxing jurisdictions under the chargeback process.

Board of Review Training Requirements. Requires that all members of a board of review must complete training every year (at least electronically), and at least one member must attend in-person training.

Assessor Certification Fee Increase. Increases fee from $20 to $75.

Clarifies Tax Exemption for Leased Property owned by a Church. Allows property owned and operated by a church or religious institution to remain exempt from tax when leased to an educational association or institution that is also exempt from the taxation regardless of how the church or religious institution uses the leasehold income. (This change was not included in last session's bill but was added by the bill's author, Rep. Wittke. The Arch Diocese of Milwaukee seeks the change. The City of Milwaukee opposes this part of the bill.)

The Assembly will likely take up this bill when it meets on the floor this week.