GOP Leadership Introduces Tax Package that Includes Expansion of Personal Property Tax Exemption Created Last Session
Last Friday, Assembly Speaker Vos (R-Burlington) and Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) introduced a tax relief package, AB 910/ SB 821, which is the GOP plan for spending the higher than anticipated sales and income tax revenue the state is receiving. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau announced last month the state is expected to take in $818 million more in tax revenue than previously expected. The bill includes a provision exempting all machinery, tools, and patterns from the personal property tax not exempt under current law and reimburses the taxing jurisdictions where this property is located for the the loss of property tax revenue, based on 2019 assessed values of such property. While no fiscal impact analysis on the bill has been released yet, GOP legislators said at press conferences around the state that the bill exempted another $45 million in personal property.

The bill also clarifies that following the termination of a tax incremental district the amount that would have been paid to the tax incremental district under current law and under the bill is distributed to the other applicable taxing jurisdictions.

The Joint Committee on Finance is holding a public hearing on the bill this afternoon and plans to vote on the bill immediately after the hearing. The Assembly is meeting for its final two days of the session on Tuesday and Thursday of this week. The Assembly will likely pass AB 910 one of those days. The Senate is meeting on Wednesday this week and also plans to meet the third week in March. It is unclear whether the Senate will pass the tax package this week or wait until March to do so.
Fallen Protective Services Insurance Report must be filed with DOR by March 16 to Obtain Reimbursement
Last week, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) posted the following forms in My DOR Government Account (MyDORGov).

SL-320C – County Fallen Protective Services Insurance Report
SL-320M – Municipal Fallen Protective Services Insurance Report
 
According to recently enacted legislation, 2019 WI Act 19, municipalities and counties must submit these forms(SL-320C or SL-320M) if they had a police officer, emergency medical services practitioner, or firefighter die in the line of duty and paid hospital, surgical or other health insurance premiums for the surviving spouse and dependent children during 2019.
 
Municipal and county clerks must electronically file (e-file) these reports by March 16, 2020.

The reported values are used to calculate the 2021 increase in the community's County and Municipal Aid. A county/municipality will not be eligible for this aid adjustment if the form is not submitted timely.

Each municipality filing a form must report:

  • Number of eligible deceased personnel
  • Number of surviving spouses/dependents and their age as of January 1, 2019
  • Premiums paid during 2019
 
If you have questions, contact DOR staff at lgs@wisconsin.gov.
DOR and League Hosting a Webinar on MyDORGov - March 5
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities are hosting a webinar on My DOR Government Account (MyDORGov) for City and Village officials. DOR will provide a refresher on how to get started, discuss the latest enhancements, and much more.

March 5, 2020 from 10-11:00 a.m.
Registration Required. Space is limited. Register here.

Webinar topics
• Getting started/accessing the system
• Updating your contact information
• Managing your own access (requesting an office/access)
• Managing others to file on your behalf (approving, denying and removing access)
• Resetting your account – multiple email addresses
• Form specific review
• Q&A

Don’t see a topic listed above? Send additional topics to otas@wisconsin.gov View the Flyer that includes the registration link.
IN THE NEWS

Sheboygan gets Wisconsin Supreme Court's unanimous OK to annex land for Kohler golf course
The Wisconsin Supreme Court unanimously ruled Friday that the city of Sheboygan can annex 250 acres of land in the town of Wilson where Kohler Co. hopes to build a championship golf course along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

"We have consistently given great weight to the desire of property owners to seek annexation in pursuit of their own perceived best interests," wrote justices in a majority decision. Read the story...

Municipal Leader Praises Legislative Moves Regarding 'Dark Store'
Deschane says the local municipalities can win these lawsuits, but it is costly...

"Local municipalities have generally been winning these battles when they get to court. The problem is going to court is a risky proposition and it's expensive. These three laws passing would eliminate some of that uncertainty. They would get these cases settled faster, which would benefit both the property owner and the city..."

Advocates for maintaining the loophole say property tax assessments have been tilted too far on large retailers. Read the story...

Port Milwaukee getting $31.3M agriculture-export operation
Port Milwaukee and the agricultural company DeLong plan to build a $31.3 million export center on Jones Island using a federal grant to cover half of the project’s cost.

The so-called Agricultural Maritime Export Facility would be the first and only “bulk agricultural transload” center on the Great Lakes to supply soybeans and dry distillers grain, an animal feed supplement derived from ethanol production. Supplies would be sent primarily by truck and rail to ships at port. Read the story... Like or comment on this story on the League's Facebook page...

Never Mind the Internet. Here’s What’s Killing Malls.
Collectively, three major economic forces have had an even bigger impact on brick-and-mortar retail than the internet has. Big Box Stores, Income Inequality and Services Instead of Things. Read the story...

Local Perspective - Elections
How many pollworkers? How many ballots? Is the polling place ADA accessible? What about absentee ballots? The work that goes into elections is complicated. There is A LOT more to this important process than just election day!

On this League Local Perspective, Jerry Deschane talks with Kelly Michaels, Brookfield City Clerk about election security, the event planning that is involved, absentee ballot processing and the number of volunteers and training that is included. Watch it here... Comment on the League's Facebook page...

LocalGovMatters 2.0 Podcast
LocalGovMatters is back as a partnership between the League and the Wisconsin Counties Association. Episodes will be available every two weeks.   Listen to the podcast on your PC here or subscribe on your favorite podcast app...

The Year Ahead:  Jerry Deschane, the League's Executive Director, and Mark O'Connell, the Wisconsin Counties Association Executive Director, discuss politics, rankings, debate the start of the new decade and more on the first LocalGovMatters Podcast. Comment on this first podcast on the  League's Facebook page here .

The MLS Grant Program and All Things Transportation:  WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson is our guest. Comment on the second LocalGovMatters podcast on the  League's Facebook page here .
RECENTLY INTRODUCED LEGISLATION

AB 869, Extending tavern and Class B licensed restaurants closing hours during the Democratic National Convention at the option of the Municipality. By Rep. Swearingen (R-Rhinelander). The League has not taken a position on this bill. Comment to the League about this bill.

AB 889, Requiring retailers who sell vapor products to obtain an annual license from the municipality where the retailer is located. By Rep. Vining (D-Wauwatosa). The League has not yet taken a position on this bill. Comment to the League about this bill.

AB 895, Creates a grant program to assist in constructing or making improvements to public or private indoor, athletic or aquatic athletic facilities statewide. The bill authorizes $5,000,000 in general fund supported borrowing for the grants. Each grant may not exceed $1,000,000, and each grant recipient is required to raise nonstate funding in an amount equal to at least 50 percent of the total cost of the project. By Rep. Knodl (R-Germantown). The League supports this bill. Comment to the League about this bill

SB 797, Correcting underpayments and over-payments made in the 2019 personal property aid distributions. By Sen. Petrowski (R-Marathon City). The League supports this bill. Comment to the League about this bill.

SB 820, Creating an exemption from the examination requirement for certain commercial building plans and plumbing plans and modifies other aspects of the building plan review process. Under the bill, DSPS may not require the submission or examination of building plans for a commercial building that 1) is a single story containing less than 200,000 cubic feet of volume; 2) is not classified by DSPS as intended for certain occupancies and uses, including high hazard uses and educational uses; and 3) a registered architect, registered professional engineer, or designer permit holder prepares and signs, dates, and seals or stamps the building plans.By Sen. Roth (R-Appleton). The League has not taken a position on this bill. Comment to the League about this bill.

SB 821/ AB 910, GOP Tax Refund Package, which includes expansion of a personal property tax exemption. The bill exempts all machinery, tools, and patterns from the personal property tax not exempt under current law and reimburses the taxing jurisdictions where this property is located for the the loss of property tax revenue, based on 2019 assessed values of such property. The bill also clarifies that following the termination of a tax incremental district the amount that would have been paid to the tax incremental district under current law and under the bill is distributed to the other applicable taxing jurisdictions. By Rep. Vos (R-Burlington) and Sen. Fitzgerald (R-Juneau). T he League has not taken a position on this bill. Comment to the League about this bill.
PUBLIC HEARINGS ON MUNICIPAL BILLS

SB 811, Expanding the use of TIF for workforce housing developments. By Senate Committee on Economic Development, Commerce, and Trade, Wednesday, February 19, at 10:00 a.m. in room 330 Southwest. The League supports this bill.

SB 820, Creating an exemption from the examination requirement for certain commercial building plans and plumbing plans and modifies other aspects of the building plan review process. Expanding the use of TIF for workforce housing developments. By Senate Committee on Economic Development, Commerce, and Trade, Wednesday, February 19, at 10:00 a.m. in room 330 Southwest. The League has not taken a position on this bill.