Everything you need to know for the week ahead.
MARCH 11, 2019
PROPERTY TAXPAYER OF THE WEEK


This week, we are proud to introduce Weekly Insider readers to longtime WPT member and Property Taxpayer of the Week, Zander Press Inc. of Brillion. We had the opportunity to learn a bit from Beth Wenzel, who along with her two sisters Darcy and Kristine, co-owns the company.

The company has a very long history. Very long.

"Zander Press Inc. has been a Wisconsin corporation since 1965, but it's been a family business for just a bit longer," she told us. "The Brillion News was first published on September 7, 1894."

"Yes, 125 years ago!" she exclaimed.

"About five years after that, Otto Zander gave up his post as a country school teacher, moved his family to Brillion, and used his entire savings of $450 to purchase The Brillion News, and the rest is history. Actually, it's all history. The pages of The Brillion News represent the written history of Brillion, and as a family, we have accepted the responsibility for four generations and 120 years."

How cool is that?

Zander Press Inc. currently has 16 full-time employees, but the beloved company's deep roots in Brillion also attract several retired individuals who show up to offer a hand.

"[They come] a few hours here and there when we need," Beth said.

The has also evolved into a commercial print provider, and Beth tells me that more recently, digital printing, wide format and web services are also offered by Zander Press Inc.

"Thankfully, not everyone believes print is dying," she said. "There has certainly been a lot of attrition in the print industry. Technology is changing rapidly, and those changes come with a price tag and not every print company was able to adapt and survive."

We asked Beth to share her biggest source of pride when it comes to the family company.

"We have so many things to be proud of and more so, to be thankful for!" she said. "We've been responsible for recording the history of our area for 120 years, and in the same time, have provided meaningful employment to over 100 people over the years. We've done well enough to be able to support nearly every organization in the area with their fundraising."

We also asked Beth if there are any challenges with state government. Like many WPT members, they see the partisanship in Madison.

"Personally, I'm involved in local government," she explained. "and even though at a local level we don't worry about which among us is Democrat or Republican, we do have to worry about how bi-partisan the state is and how shifts in control cause programs to change. It's very hard to plan."

And when we asked about any specific issues to which she might pay attention, Beth told us that she joins WPT so we can do the worrying for her.

"Zander Press has been a WPT member for 22 years. As a business owner, I can focus on my business and know you folks are out there focusing on the tax issues."

We thank Beth for taking time to share a bit about herself and Zander Press Inc., and wish her and her family and employees another 125 years of success. To learn more about the company, visit http://www.zanderpressinc.com.

NEWS FROM THE CAPITOL  
AND AROUND WISCONSIN 

GOV. EVERS SAYS WEDDING BARNS WILL NOT NEED TO OBTAIN LIQUOR LICENSES
If you own a barn in Wisconsin and rent it out for special events and weddings, Governor Evers delivered good news on Friday. Those who own such properties will not need to obtain a liquor license in order to serve alcohol on their property, according to the first term governor, putting to rest a question that has sparked both debate and legal action in the past year.

Last week Thursday, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and Governor Evers requested that a Wisconsin judge toss out a lawsuit brought against the administration by conservative group Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL), seeking clarity on the law and regulations surrounding wedding barns.

The Wisconsin Tavern League advocated heavily for a bill that would have required the same type of license for wedding barn owners as a local bar. Free market conservatives argued that wedding barns are private venues hosting private events on private property, which would not constitute a "public space." Wedding barn owners are still required to have licensed bartenders serve alcohol.



DNC CHOOSES MILWAUKEE TO HOST DEMOCRAT PARTY CONVENTION IN 2020
After a lot of anticipation from local and state party leaders, the Democratic National Party has chosen Milwaukee to host its national convention next summer. Wisconsin's largest city edged out Miami, FL and Houston, TX to become the first Midwestern city to host the democrat convention since 1996.

Wisconsin democrats praised the decision, after the party and their 2016 standard bearer, Hillary Rodham Clinton, entirely ignored the Badger State, and became the first democrat presidential candidate to lose Wisconsin since Ronald Reagan won the state in 1984.

The effort to win the convention bid was headed up by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore, and Alex Lasry, the executive vice president of the Milwaukee Bucks, and son of Mark Lasry, the team's owner. Based on the past five DNC conventions, Milwaukee is positioned to gain more than $200 million during the four day event.

"The convention represents a tremendous opportunity for Milwaukee and Wisconsin to be on the world state," Governor Tony Evers said in a statement. "This is the chance to show the world what Wisconsin truly is: a great place to live, work, and visit."



BUDGET INCLUDES AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION
As part of his first state budget, Governor Evers has included a plan that would automatically register Wisconsin residents to vote.

If the proposal was enacted, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation would work with the election commission to implement the change. In other states with automatic voter registration, when an individual applies for or renews their drivers license, the state would automatically register that person, or ask if they would like to be registered.

Governor Evers last week also directed transportation officials to design a plan that would keep the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) open for extended hours in order to assist individuals with obtaining identification cards to vote.

The voting registration plan is one of many pieces of non-fiscal policy that is included in the first term governor's $83.4 billion spending plan, which would theoretically run from July 1st of this year to June 30th of 2021.



EVERS PROPOSES $2.5 BILLION CAPITAL BUDGET
Governor Evers last week Thursday unveiled his capital budget, which included $2.5 billion in new building projects throughout the state, and about $1 billion of that amount going towards construction projects within the University of Wisconsin System.

$2 billion of the $2.5 billion plan is from new borrowing, and includes a $109 million science and health science building at UW-Eau Claire, $128 million expansion of UW-Madison's veterinary school, $130 million for a new chemistry building at UW-Milwaukee, $100 million for a new state office building in Milwaukee, and more.

Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan said that a backlog of construction projects lead to the large size of the capital budget, which was larger than any proposed by former Governor Scott Walker. For example, Governor Walker's 2015 capital budget borrowed only $100 million.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald called the proposal "alarming," and said GOP senators will continue reviewing and discussing the plan. "Senate Republicans are committed to protecting hard-working Wisconsin taxpayers," he said.

You can view the entire capital budget by clicking here.


DOA SECRETARY SAYS FOXCONN AIR AND WATER PERMITS WERE DEEMED APPROPRIATE
After a thorough review by the Department of Natural Resources, DOA Secretary Joel Brennan told a group of reporters and attendees at an event last week that all of the air and water permits that were granted to Foxconn in Racine County were deemed appropriate.

The comment comes after Governor Tony Evers directed the Department of Natural Resources to re-review all of the water and air quality permits that were issued to the Chinese tech giant, who is expected to create 13,000 jobs at an advanced manufacturing site in southern Wisconsin.

"Moving forward, we expect that additional permits will be required as Foxconn finalizes its plans," a spokesperson for Evers said, "and those permits will be issued in accordance with the highest possible environmental protections."

A report last week also showed that taxpayers have doled out around $225 million to infrastructure projects in the direct vicinity of the Mount Pleasant site. According to officials, there is still over $155 million worth of work to do on local roads projects, and nearly $170 million remaining on I-94.


WEEKLY MEMBER POLL RESULTS

  What are your general feelings about the overall budget?  
 
I wish Evers wouldn't have included so many of his priorities. By including some of the fringe items, it hurts the chances of the moderate ones. It's a bad PR move and hurts the chances of moving the debate forward.

Taxin' Tony is at it.

spend spend again no one held accountable to justify return to tax payers on increase

To much giving our money for things that are not needed.

This budget is dead on arrival, this man has no perception of working on bipartisan measures. I guess I could go along with the increase in gas tax and the fees to support roads, but not the zoo exchange or the rails.

A 10% increase in state budget is extreme but I know he was going to raise taxes and destroy what was done in the last eight years working toward a balance budget

Wisconsin will be going backwards sooner than expected. SAD

liked gas tax increase, getting some scientists back in the DNR, don't like eliminating farm and manufacturer tax credits, caps on charter schools

More taxes, more useless programs, more inflation, we never learn. We were on a good path and now we are going off the rails.

Wow. Just, cannot believe how bad it is.

More spending, higher taxes. Government redistribution of wealth

all tax increase

lots of items have nothing to do with the budget. Tax tax tax

More dollars for government programs , easier for people to stay on unemployment, more assistance to illegals. It is simply and expansion of socialist ideologies that will slow our economy and lead us towards socialism and ultimately freedom. I wish these socialist people would leave the greatest country on earth and allow capitalism to reign and succeed rather than take this country down from within

removing tax incentives on mfg; tuition for ILLEGAL ALIENS

Greatly increased spending caught my eye. So also the projections for more revenue. If all of these taxes increase, the revenue will decrease quickly.

Planned Parenthood, no way!



 
Do you support the ability for local governments to raise your property tax by an automatic 2% annually?
     
     Local government official here. Guess what? 99% of us are fiscally conservative. Yes, really. We're taxpayers too. We're trying to do more with less. We're trying to fix potholes and pick up your garbage. We'd like to fix up the parks too, and sometimes we have a little left over to do that. Feel free to show up at a meeting and look at the budget, see if you could do any better! We're not going to raise the levy by 2% because we feel like it. It'll be because the street lights are 70 years old, or the sidewalks are broken, or your sewers need more capacity.
 
yes they need more funds but it must provide a return in investment
 
I don't need our property taxes going up.. Its getting hard to even get the payments paid now.
 
The county and township is always increasing but their services aren't worth what they are charging me, poor garage pickup and terrible roads this winter, sick of driving on a sheet of ice for the last 6 weeks!
 
We need controls even of our local government
 
NO Most of them get to greedy
 
someone has to be responsible for capping local spending
 
Make them show why it should be raised. Prove to me what "value" the government entity has created to deserve a raise in taxes
 
I think they should have to explain to the local tax payers what they need the money for.
 
If it's voted on in a referendum, yes, but not just automatically.
 
Yes and no. I think they are wasting a lot, and I mean a LOT of money. They need business owners to help them figure out how to trim the fat.
 
Farmers and meant other tax payers are struggling. They have to cut spending
 
too high no
 
They will keep raising no mater if they need it or not
 
They have run just fine witout this. More tax
 
No they need to live within their means
 
no. There is no limit to local govt "needs".
 
Fix roads
 
I'm a local official. Without an increase we can not keep up with the expenses especially road repairs
 
If they can they will, bottom line
 
 


  
What do you think of Gov. Evers' plan to raise the gas tax by 8-cents per gallon but repealing the 14-cent minimum markup on fuel?  
   


Small local stations will be at the mercy of the big chain stores

Absolutely yes. The Min Markup Law is preposterous and ONLY because pols in Madison ignore the will of the people does it stand. -- Increasing the gas tax is the right way to raise funds for roads. 8 cents? Did you know the avg price per gallon just went up 17 cents this month? 8 cents is nothing.

Shoudl have been a more well rounded plan. Also there was no mention of DOT accountability with the funds why ALREADY get from gas tax and registration fees.

in the middle no one want to pay more tax but we need better roads, minimum markup law is outdated

Leave the gas tax alone.. Prices are just right now.

Something needs to be done to add to the transportation budget, but spend this money wisely, some of his "pet projects" need to be put on hold, our rural roads are in terrible shape, Milwaukee residents need to buy more busses and help Ever's support of the Green Deal. The roads would be fine there if all the residents would ditch their cars!

Repealing the minimum markup is to gas wars and destroying small family gas stations. Also I think we to raise regristration fees on autos for more money for the transportation fundse

more money is needed for road repair

Many people have been against the minimum mark up in the past.

I think that the gas tax is fine, but don't jerk around the minimum markup. Leave that alone. The budget mostly stinks. But I like the part about CAFO's being hit with more fees...

How are we going to collect from electric car people?

Will hurt small businesses, which in the long run will hurt consumers.

Amtrak does not need my money

If price at the pump goes down, how can you argue with that?




Do you support the Governor's plan to increase K-12 spending by $1.4 billion over the next two years?
 
   
 
I like most of it, but not the massive increase in special ed funding. Sorry. Fix the school funding for the majority of kids first.

Sounds good to the "feel good" crowd. In reality ... not so much

extra funding is needed but schools need to be held accountable currently funding is hugely mis appropriated

I think Governor is over spending..

He is so against charter schools and school choice, that is of one the reasons I didn't vote for him. The parents that send their children to private schools, are still paying property taxes that support the failing public schools. The problems with our education system and society in general is the fact that we have raised a generation that have not learned to respect authority and feel entitled to have things they were they want them. The moral compass of our society is all but gone and probably lost forever because of the radical ideas those on the left are continually pushing. This is what happens to a Post Christian country!

He was our superindent for our state in the pass years and never was impress with his job. We have a problem small school s are hurting and wealthing small school are rich in land values and do not get state of their situayion

NO, Who voted for this guy anyway!!!!!!

some good some bad

NO. Money will not fix the problem. Much of thee problem is created by state policies that favor a single parent family. Change families back into families and I bet we see major achievement in our schools

Yes I think the money should be spent to improve technical and stem education.

I think our schools need some more money, but how it's divided is my issue.

Knee-jerk reaction. BAD policy. Obviously a policy by someone who doesn't have any life experience outside the government systems....

Throwing more money at a problem doesn't mean the outcome will be better

Public education is nothing more than indoctrinating from K-12. The really good teachers are not allowed to TEACH.

Tax tax tax

Fewer students, why spend more?

If the same level of school funding omes off my property taxes.

A giant fail

Takes the pressure off of property taxes

I'm in favor of 2/3rds funding




Share any of your budget thoughts here. What are your most and least favorite parts about this budget? What industry do you work in, and how will this budget impact you? Do you support prevailing wage? Repealing Right-To-Work? Which items stood out to you the most?
 
Undoing a lot of the Walker items that were working in Wisconsin. Pandering to the left.

I'd like to start taking bets on when the budget will be passed. I am setting the over/under on +6 months late. The GOP will pass their budget their way, and I believe Evers will veto the entire bill and send it back. The the real fun will begin and the two branches of government will have to do something it hasn't in 8 years -- find a way to COMPROMISE for the people of Wisconsin. 6 months? Who am I kidding. This may never happen.

Tony pledged "no tax increases" in his campaign. He obviously lied.

I feel we were on the right track it just needed some minor adjustments, the Governor wants to repeal all republican legislation poor poor poor setting up to be a short timer

Getting planned parenthood back.. we don't need this.

The only thing I like is the increase in gas tax, at least something may be done to address our roads, the republicans failed at that attempt for 8 years! I am NOT in favor of toll roads, I hate driving on toll roads. We are welding/fabrication shop. The depressed ag economy is hurting our business. If work does not pick up, we will have to lay off workers. The prevailing wage is a joke, do not change this back! Leave Right-To-Work alone. No need for the extra administrative positions or the raises. Do not even think of messing with the minimum wage, that would hurt the state's economy for years to come. Too many jobs in the tourism industry cannot pay the wages Evers is talking about. He came into this position unprepared. He is throwing out tons of political wishes from the far left spectrum and appears to have not thought about the consequences. Our new Attorney General is showing his true colors already as well, I'm if he and Evers could allow infanticide to become law in Wisconsin, they'd attempt that as well! Elections have consequences people, too many voted for change, and are getting what they deserved, but not particularly what they were hoping for!

Truck registrations going up 27%. Fuel taxes are going up. Everyone prepare to pay more for everything!

His health plan is a disaster along with repealing right-to work law. His plan on raising taxes to pay forhis liberl thoughts

I own a business, and NO to all of the above. I just wonder how many businesses will call it quits in the next 4 years. Sad

Under Tony's budget plans I cant help but wonder how many businesses will look elsewhere. I'm seriously considering!! This man has NO business common sense!!

Again, here goes all the wasteful spending on education, just to satisfy teacher's union. They get plenty.

Consumption tax is the way to go. Get rid of income tax as it penalizes the worker. Everybody consumes something : wheather it is food, clothes, fuel, alcohol, etc. Then every one has skin in the game. You don't want to pay the tax you don't buy the item. Period

I work in agri-business. I would like to see the minimum wage raised in Wisconsin, so people with lower paying jobs could improve their lives with work rather than government assistance.

I'm self employed and am scared of our governor. He's as left wing as it gets so far and his views on public funded abortion, planned parenthood, and the minimum wage is frightening. I liked the path we were on with local control and less taxes. His loosey goosey attitude about spending MY hard earned tax dollars is amazing. He was a poor state superintendent and he's living up to his name. I'm all for helping people, but I want to help people that have a chance to get on their feet, not just continue with their hands out. I give him a D right now. I'd give him an F, but it's not fair only a couple months in.

Why repeal Right-To-Work? It 's a business decision that should be made by the business owners.

roads do need attention,everything else I am against. Seems he is way too far left. Zero dollars to planned parenthood,we as a society need to protect the lives of the unborn,our constitution demands it and common sense should tell us that it is not moral to kill people for convenience. I work in the agriculture industry

Tax & spend, tax & spend, tax & spend...typical Dem.

Why do we need to repeal the right to work act ???? I'm in the cheese making business If you increase the min. wage people that are getting this wage are going to work less because it will cut in to the funds they get from the State. The cutting of the voucher will just dump more kids into a system that we can not fix right now. Why in the heck would we need 5 more people at the DNR to look at CAFO's as the reg. are already here we should look at some of these so called family farms.

state is going backwards

No money for illegals what so ever

DO NOT repeal Right To Work. The unions are just a slush fund for the democrats

We shall see where this garbage goes

South Korea just tried introducing larger minimum wage hikes. It immediately shot up unemployment and raised prices to customers. It had a reverse effect. Speaking of unemployment, why doesn't a recipient have to prove s/he is looking for work??

Budget undoes what kick started Wisconsin's economy.

Too many and not enough time today to list. Bring back Scott!

Unemployment for those at substantial fault? Really?? That tells you where he is coming from - ANTIbusiness

Lots of ideology

THIS WEEK'S MEMBER POLL
 
It is the policy of WPT, Inc. to publish all comments that are submitted by members each week, often including broad differences of opinion within the weekly responses. Our organization values our role in fostering dialogue within our membership each week, but does not take responsibility for the individual views and opinions expressed herein.     
 
LEGISLATION  
BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW OR VETOED   
No bills to report.
BILLS IN CIRCULATION

LRB-2247  Memo Property Taxes (Ballweg, Joan ) Due dates for paying property taxes. Deadline: Friday, March 15, 5 pm

LRB-0977  Memo Emergency Responder Tax Credit (Mursau, Jeff ) Creating two tax credits for volunteer emergency responders. Deadline: Friday, March 15

LRB-2191  Memo Fire Fighter Tax Credit (Nass, Steve ) A volunteer fire fighters and emergency responders tax credit and making an appropriation. Deadline: Tuesday, March 19, 5pm

LRB-0164  Memo Sexual Contact With Animal (Jacque, Andre ) Sexual contact with an animal and providing a penalty. Deadline: Tuesday, March 19

LRB-1830  Memo Paternity Testing (Krug, Scott ) Presumption and conclusive determination of paternity on the basis of genetic test results and orders that may be granted on the basis of genetic test results. Deadline: Friday, March 15, 4pm

LRB-1246  Memo Traffic Violation Penalties (Miller, Mark ) Penalties for certain traffic violations where highway maintenance workers are present and providing a penalty. Deadline: Friday, March 15

LRB-1639  Memo WRS Rehires (Brandtjen, Janel ) Law enforcement and fire fighter annuitants in the Wisconsin Retirement System who are rehired by a participating employer and granting rule-making authority. Deadline: Wednesday, March 20, 5 pm

LRB-0761  Memo Massage Therapy (Sanfelippo, Joe ) Violations of the law relating to the practice of massage therapy or bodywork and providing a penalty. Deadline: Friday, March 22, Noon

LRB-1816  Memo OWI (Kerkman, Sam ) Release of person after arrest for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Deadline: Thursday, March 14, 5 pm

LRB-1722  Memo Veterans Graves (Kulp, Bob) Care of the graves of veterans and making an appropriation. Deadline: Friday, March 15

LRB-2146  Memo Credential Status (Kooyenga, Dale ) Retired credential status for certain professionals holding credentials granted by the Examining Board of Architects, Landscape Architects, Professional Engineers, Designers, and Professional Land Surveyors; extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures; providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures; and requiring the exercise of rule-making authority. Deadline: Thursday, March 21