Latest Transportation Proposal Precludes Personal Property Tax Repeal
Late last week Governor Walker, in an attempt to break the impasse on the state budget, proposed redirecting $203.5 million he had slated for income tax cuts in his budget bill and instead using it for transportation purposes. The proposal would further reduce bonding amounts for highway projects. Speaker Vos immediately expressed support for the proposal on behalf of the Assembly GOP. However, Sen. Fitzgerald said that his GOP caucus was not willing to support the proposal because it would mean giving up repeal of the personal property tax. The Senate GOP budget proposal calls for using the the $203.5 million designated for income tax cuts to help pay local governments for the lost revenue caused by repeal of the personal property tax, which the Senate would like to accomplish in the second year of the biennium.
While there is no deal yet, and the Joint Finance Committee is not scheduled to meet this week, some are feeling more confident that a final budget deal might be reachable sooner than later.
Legislators Circulating Property Rights Bills
Last week Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake) and Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) announced at a press conference their plans to introduce two bills that they dub homeowners' property rights legislation. The bills make many changes to state law ranging from guaranteeing the right to fly the American flag to establishing new standards for issuing conditional use permits. The League, the Counties Association, and the Towns Association issued a joint statement opposing the bills.
A link to each bill is provided below:
LRB-2630, Substandard lots (i.e., reversing
Murr), conditional use permits, Variances, establishing an inverse condemnation process for regulatory takings claims, and nonconforming structures.
LRB-2628: Authorizing creation of
TID Districts for Workforce Housing, reduce impact fees on a workforce housing development by 50%.
The League and other local government jurisdictions are in dialogue with the authors of these bills. We are seeking changes that will make the bills less onerous. In the end, however, we will likely maintain our opposition unless significant changes are made to the bills.
In the News
Wisconsin GOP moves to relax property regulations
Curt Witynski, assistant director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, said Thursday his group opposes the bill. He said the measure bypasses local zoning boards and leaders who know what their communities would accept.
"Wisconsin has long cherished the role of local government in safeguarding the interests of its citizens," Witynski said. "People that make decisions that impact a community should answer to their community - not to Madison."
Read the full article in the Charlotte, NC Observer...
Recently Introduced Legislation
No new bills affecting municipalities were introduced last week.
No public hearings on municipal bills are scheduled for this week.