May 8, 2017          No. 19

2017-18, No.19
May 8, 2017

In this Issue:

Assembly GOP Transportation and Tax Reform Proposals

Email Legislators in Support of Dark Store and Walgreens Bills

Join us at Municipal Government and Utility Day May 10

In the News

Recently Introduced Legislation

Public Hearings
League of Wisconsin Municipalities
Ph:  (608) 267-2380
       (800) 991-5502


Like me on Facebook Follow me on Twitter View my profile on LinkedIn
How Does Assembly GOP Transportation Package Impact Municipalities?  

Last week, the Assembly GOP, led by Reps. Kooyenga, Nygren and Vos, announced their transportation and taxation packages, which they are proposing as amendments to the state budget.   

The transportation package contains a variety of ideas and proposals, including the following items affecting municipalities:
  • Public-Private partnerships would require state and local units of government to grant special consideration to any infrastructure project in which 10% or more of the cost is covered by a private interest or a coalition of private interests.
  • Requires roundabouts that are not currently under contract for construction be approved by the county or municipality that has jurisdiction over the highway on which the project is located.
  • Eliminates the ability of local governments to enact a local registration fee for motor vehicles (wheel tax) unless approved by referendum. Wheel taxes currently in place may be kept provided they were in place before April 1, 2017.
  • Allows counties to enact up to a 0.5% increase in the sales tax for purposes of funding local transportation needs. (Note: This provision includes a limit on the amount of revenue a county may raise by the sales tax. The allowable tax rate for metropolitan counties containing lots of retail businesses would be much less than 0.5%.) A referendum is required and may not be applied if the county has a wheel tax. The county must share the revenue with cities, villages, and towns in the county. Cities and villages with a wheel tax would be ineligible for the sales tax revenue. 
  • League staff was told by Rep. Kooyenga that the proposal retains the Governor's proposed increase in GTA and LRIP funding.
Read the Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo on the Transportation Package here.

Read the Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo on the Tax Reform Package here
Email Legislators in Support of Dark Store/Walgreens Bills

Rep. Rob Brooks, Sen. Stroebel and Sen. Roth are seeking co-sponsors for their  dark store and Walgreens reversal bills. The League has worked closely with the authors to draft and introduce these bills.  

The deadline for other legislators to co-sponsor the legislation is May 10. 

If you haven't already, please email your legislators and urge them to sign on as co-sponsors to:

LRB-0373, the Dark Store Bill; and
LRB-0372the bill reversing Walgreens v. City of Madison.

We have prepared a sample email for you to use,  here.
Joint Finance Committee Action on the State Budget

The Joint Finance Committee began voting on the 2017-19 state budget last week. In their first day of voting the committee addressed funding for clean water infrastructure. The committee specifically:
  • Approved the Governor's recommendation to provide an increase in general obligation bonding authority of $5,800,000 for the safe drinking water loan program.
  • Approved the Governor's recommendations to: (a) provide a clean water fund loan interest rate of 33% of the market interest rate for municipalities with a population of less than 10,000 and median household income of 80% or less of the median household income of the state; (b) provide a clean water fund loan interest rate for municipalities with a population of less than 1,000 and median household income of 65% or less of the median household income of the state; and (c) eliminate the clean water fund financial hardship assistance program. In addition, authorize a municipality that submits an application for clean water financing by the current law deadline of June 30, 2017, for 2017-18 financial assistance, to be eligible for assistance under the current law financial hardship assistance program.
  • Allowed loans approved under the clean water fund program to be for no longer than 30 years, to the extent allowed by federal requirements, if the DNR and Department of Administration determine that the length of the loan does not exceed the projected useful life of the project.
The committee meets twice this week. Here are the agendas for Tuesday and Thursday.

Tuesday, May 9
  • Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board
  • Secretary of State
  • Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
  • Military Affairs
  • Legislature
  • Justice (Including 911 next generation funding) 
Thursday, May 11
  • Financial Institutions
  • Public Service Commission
  • DSPS - Departmentwide
  • DSPS - Regulation of Professions
  • DHS - Medicaid Services Administration
  • Veterans Affairs
Municipal Government and Utility Day is this Week -- Join Us in Madison  

All city and village officials and staff are invited to participate in a half day of advocacy and networking in Madison this Wednesday, May 10. The League is teaming up this year with several other municipal organizations, including Municipal Electric Utilities of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Rural Water Association, MEG -- Water, MEG -- Wastewater, and the Wisconsin Transportation Development Association for the first ever Municipal Government and Utility Day at the state capitol. 

The theme for the day is investing in municipal infrastructure drives the state's economy forward.  

Agenda for May 10:

9:00 -- Welcome and Review of the Day's Agenda and Goals. -- Monona Terrace Convention Center

9:10 -- Address by Rep. Mike Kuglitsch (R-New Berlin), Chair, Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities

9:20 -- Address by Rep. Rob Brooks (R-Saukville), Assistant Majority Leader
9:30 -10:30 -- Divide into municipal and utility groups and receive briefings from staff on issues to discuss with legislators -- Monona Terrace Convention Center  

10:30 -- 12:30 -- Participate in meetings with your State Senator and State Representative and/or their staff in the State Capitol
12:30 -- 1:45 -- Lunch with Legislators; presentation by Larry Gigerich, Executive Managing Director, Ginovus, a national economic development consulting firm -- Monona Terrace Convention Center  

Lunch Only Option. If you are unable to attend the morning events, then please join us for the legislative luncheon. Register for l unch only here

No Cost. There is no cost for municipal officials and staff to attend the luncheon or to participate in any aspect of the Municipal Government and Utility Day at the State Capitol.

Register for the full May 10 Municipal Government and Utility Day here!
In the News

Just Fix it or Just Ignore It: The Consequences of Doing Nothing
So far this year, four states - Indiana, Montana, Tennessee and California - have passed significant, long-term transportation packages, including gas tax increases, for a total of 21 states since 2013. Read the TDA Fact Sheet here...

Assembly GOP transportation plan cuts gas tax, applies sales tax to gas, lowers price floor
A sweeping Republican proposal to fund transportation and cut taxes would flatten income tax rates, lower the gas tax and raise new funding for roads by applying the sales tax to gasoline. Read the article here...

Gov. Scott Walker pans increase in gas taxes for Wisconsin Read the article here...
Recently Introduced Legislation  

SB 217 , Avoiding the use of Federal Dollars on Local Transportation Projects. This bill, known as the federal swap legislation, would ensure that federal transportation dollars given to the state are not used to help fund local transportation projects. The goal is to make sure that the federal Davis Bacon Act and other federal requirements would not apply to local projects. By Sen. Stroebel (R-Saukville). The League supports this bill   Comment to the League about this bill .

SB 223 / AB 291Allowing TIF district project costs  to be incurred for territory located within an adjacent  city, village, or town. This bill, sought by the City of Brookfield, allows the project costs of a tax incremental district (TID) to include an expenditure incurred for territory that is within a city, village, or town that is adjacent to the city or village that created the TID, but only if the territory is within one-half mile of the boundaries of the TID and the governing body of the adjacent city, village, or town adopts a resolution expressing consent. By Sen. Vukmir (R-Brookfield) and Rep. Hutton (R-Brookfield). The League supports this bill. Comment to the League about this bill.
Public Hearings  

No public hearings on municipal bills are scheduled for this week.