Bill Clarifies Personal Property Aid Payments Made to TIF Districts Continue after Districts Close
At the League's request, four state legislators are introducing legislation fixing a technical problem with the personal property aid program the Legislature created last session to reimburse taxing jurisdictions, including TIF districts, for the lost revenue caused by exempting machinery, tools, and patterns from the personal property tax. Rep. Steffen (R- Howard), Rep. Ohnstad (D-Kenosha), Sen. Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) and Sen. Ringhand (D-Evansville) are currently seeking other co-sponsors for LRB 4540.

The bill clarifies that personal property aid payments the state makes to a TIF District continue after the TIF district terminates, but transfer to the municipality and other taxing jurisdictions. 

The Department of Revenue reads current state law to say that any personal property aid payments being made to a TIF district for exempt personal property existing in the district terminate when the TIF district closes. Terminating the aid payments when the district closes makes no sense since:

 *  The exempt personal property continues to exist in the community after the TIF district closes.

 *  If the personal property had existed outside a TIF district the community would continue to receive aid payments indefinitely.

 *  Computer aid payments made to a TIF district transfer to the municipality after the district closes.

We asked DOR staff to suggest language that we could include in a bill to make it clear to the Department that the personal property aid payments are transferred to the municipality and other taxing jurisdictions after a TIF district closes.

LRB 4540 was drafted using the language DOR staff recommended.

Action step: Ask your state legislators to contact Rep. Steffen's office (608-266-5840) or Sen. Bernier's office (608-266-7511) and sign on as a co-sponsor of LRB 4540.
Advocate for Your Community
League's Fall Lobby Day is November 6
All municipal officials and staff are invited to participate in the League's fall Lobby Day on November 6. The day begins at 9:30 a.m. with a legislative briefing provided by League staff before walking to the Capitol for legislative meetings. After Capitol visits we reconvene for lunch. The event concludes at 1:30. We'll provide you with handouts and all the information you need to talk with your state legislators about legislation affecting cities and villages.

Register for the November 6 Lobby Day here.
In the News
Municipalities Largely Ignore DNR Request For PFAS Testing; Group Recommends Work At Sources
“I think it will be quicker, kind of jump over the initial step that the [DNR] was recommending of testing and go right to the potentially known or likely sources,” said Curt Witynski, the Deputy Director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities (LWM).

The group is concerned PFAS testing protocols haven’t been finalized, and a test of elevated levels in a city’s wastewater treatment plant could set off unfounded public fear.

The League and its partners instead want to work directly with industries potentially emitting PFAS compounds and encourage them to find alternatives. Read the story here...

Sewage treatment plants pass on DNR request for PFAS testing
The Municipal Water Coalition, whose members include the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, the Municipal Environmental Group, the Wisconsin section of the American Water Works Association and the Wisconsin Rural Water Association, announced last week its members want to develop a way to screen for commercial and industrial users that might be contributing PFAS into the system.

The group said utilities should work with those polluters to reduce the amount of PFAS in the waste stream but contends that without certified labs and state surface water standards testing will not provide “meaningful information.” Read the article...

IN DEPTH: Communities in south-central Wisconsin on path for bike trail expansion
The YMCA in Beaver Dam is not easy to get to.

Beaver Dam native and common council president Cris Olson said he remembers when the YMCA was downtown.

“My parents didn’t have to drive me there,” he said. “I was able to get there by myself.” Read the story...

Check out the 265 photos in the League's 121st Annual Conference Facebook album (scroll down.) More than 600 local officials and partners from all over the state attended the conference this past week in Green Bay.

It's early next year! Please save the date for the 122nd Annual Conference, October 7-9 in La Crosse.

ICYMI - Protecting Our Data: What Cities (& Villlages) Should Know About Cybersecurity
Every hour, 26% of local governments report a cyberattack. But according to a new National League of Cities (NLC) analysis, done in partnership with the Public Technology Institute, nearly a quarter don’t have a cybersecurity plan that is designed to protect government information systems from attack. Access the NLC Guidebook here..

AB 568, Reimbursing local agencies that provide services as part of an urban search and rescue task force. Under current law, when a regional structural collapse team responds to an
incident, the team must make a good faith effort to identify the party who is responsible for the structural collapse and provide that information to the Division of Emergency Management to seek reimbursement from that party. Any reimbursement to a regional structural collapse team is limited to the amounts collected by the Division of Emergency Management. Under the bill, this limitation
on reimbursement is removed, and DMA must reimburse within 60 days local agencies that provided services as part of an urban search and rescue task force if agencies apply for reimbursement within 45 days of the conclusion of the task force's deployment. DMA may seek reimbursement for those services from any responsible

The bill also allows DMA to reimburse a local agency for any increase in contributions for duty disability premiums because an employee incurred an injury while performing duties as a member of an urban search and rescue task force. By Rep. Rohrkaste (R-Neenah). The League supports this bill. Comment to the League on this bill.

AB 577, Prohibiting possession of a firearm by person who has committed a crime of domestic violence or by a fugitive from justice. By Rep. Mursau (R-Crivitz). The League supports this bill. Comment to the League on this bill.

AB 545, Impersonating a public officer, public employee, or employee of a utility . By Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety on Thursday, October 31, at 1:00 p.m. in 225 Northwest, State Capitol. The League supports this bill.