Just Fix It Wisconsin

Ask candidates their legislative priorities 9/7/2016

9/7/2016, Sheboygan Press – At a recent meeting of the Wisconsin League of Municipalities, the legislative priorities for the next session of the state Legislature were reviewed with municipal leaders across the state of Wisconsin.

The league stressed that when municipal leaders and residents talk to their state representatives, they do listen. So, as we are entering the final stretch of the next election cycle, I am sharing some of these priorities. I hope that you will consider the candidates’ positions on these issues and vote for state representatives who will respond to the needs of taxpayers by fixing the shortfall in transportation funding and stopping the shift of the property tax from businesses to homeowners.

The Sheboygan City Council recently approved the “Just Fix It” resolution. This resolution is sponsored by the Wisconsin League of Municipalities, the Wisconsin Counties Association and the Transportation Development Association.

The City Council urges the governor and Legislature to agree on and pass a sustainable solution for road repairs across Wisconsin that includes a responsible level of bonding and adjusts our user fees to adequately and sustainably fund Wisconsin’s multi-modal transportation system. These projects include the conversion of Highway 23 from two to four lanes.

The Just Fix it partnership is promoting a Turnout for Transportation at 7 p.m. Sept. 29. This unprecedented event will call on county, city, town, and village officials from all 72 counties in Wisconsin to meet in 72 simultaneous meetings to bring attention to transportation. These meetings will focus on critical projects in your region and the need for the state to find a sustainable solution. Stay tuned for more information on this event in Sheboygan County.

Another priority is the continuation of the personal property tax. In Sheboygan, all property is valued each year at market value and is assessed at 100 percent of market value as of Jan. 1.

Property, for tax purposes, falls into two broad categories: real estate and personal property. Within these categories are several subsections.

Locally assessed real estate is broken into single-family homes, condominiums and apartment buildings, commercial and agricultural properties. Personal property consists of machinery, furniture, fixtures and other types of property used in the course of business or commerce.

These two categories are assessed by the city assessor. The remaining tax base is valued by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and consists of manufacturing properties, both real and personal.

Last session there was a serious move to eliminate the personal property tax by the Legislature. While getting rid of a tax sounds quite attractive to many individuals, in reality the personal property tax that businesses and manufacturers pay on their equipment could be shifted to the property tax. This would increase the tax burden on homeowners.