Wisconsin Property Taxpayers, Inc. (WPT) is the voice of Wisconsin’s property taxpayers
in the State Capitol, working to reduce the statewide property tax burden and reform
Wisconsin’s antiquated and regressive property tax system.
Founded in 1985, WPT represents
the interests of thousands of commercial, agricultural and residential property taxpayers
throughout the state who volunteer their financial support and personal commitment
to the organization and its objectives.
WPT is the only statewide taxpayers’ organization
registered with the Ethics Division of the State’s Government Accountability Board
to lobby exclusively for property tax relief and reform. (Click “Back” in your browser
to return to WPTonline.org) WPT’s experienced government relations specialists, field
representatives and technical support staff conduct a variety of activities including
legislative analysis, policy and opinion research, media relations, public information
and legislative liaison service, to increase public and legislative support for the
organization’s public policy objectives.
WPT regularly communicates with members
through personal contact, newsletters, member surveys, policy briefs and legislative
WPT assists members in dealing with local property tax issues and answers
members’ questions related to assessments, property tax exemptions, state laws and
administrative rules, and provides information useful in appealing and reducing their
property tax liability.
For more information about who we are, what we do, and what
we have helped to accomplish over the years, go here
Spring hearings votes: No to tundra swan hunt, yes to statewide trolling
By Paul A. Smith of the Journal Sentinel April 16, 2014
It's no to a tundra swan hunt, yes to statewide motor trolling, no to allowing people to enter private property without permission to retrieve wayward dogs and yes to a ban on baiting just before and during the gun deer hunting season.
Dane County had the highest attendance with 538, Milwaukee County was second with 269.
The ballot this year featured 58 items. Only one - statewide motor trolling with at least one line - was a proposed rule change.
Motor trolling has been permitted in most Wisconsin waters for many years but prohibited in some counties and select waters.
The DNR presented information that shows motor trolling has no negative impact on fish populations. As a result of a compromise plan reached last year by the DNR and congress, the agency proposed to change Wisconsin regulations to allow motor trolling with three lines per angler in 55 counties and one line per angler in 17 counties.
The rule would, for example, allow musky anglers statewide to trail a sucker behind the boat as they cast another line.
Any water previously open to motor trolling with three lines per angler would be unchanged, regardless of county.
The public supported it by a vote of 3,646 to 2,250.
Among advisory questions, the public opposed the idea of a tundra swan hunt in Wisconsin. The vote was 3,199 against, 2,439 for. MORE
Marilyn asked where we spend the 35% of our members' money that we don't spend on lobbying?
The answer is that we do a lot more than lobbying. We help our members deal with local assessors. We research and answer their questions about everything from "does my sugar bush qualify as ag land?' to "should they be taxing me for the land my neighbor claims as his under the adverse possession law?" That's not lobbying. We answer questions from our members about how to pay their taxes and how to stay in their homes without sheriffs' liens. Why they do or don't qualify for certain tax exemptions including what the law is regarding sales taxes on agricultural land, goods and equipment. We alert our members to upcoming referendums on school and local financing. We tell them weekly about what is going on in the capitol. We send them quarterly reports (Newsletters) about what we and the state government is working to kill or accomplish. None of this qualifies as lobbying. It's customer service. Public information. We also respond to requests from local assessors and government officials about how to resolve tricky assessment and taxation decisions. We have helped and advise land owners (including members of the State Legislature, including Terry Musser) to minimize their property tax burden.
Taxpayers Foot Nearly a Million Dollar Legal Bill to Defend Act 10 By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter Published: 7:14 AM April 22, 2014
Nearly $1 million.
That’s the price tag to date Wisconsin taxpayers have paid to outside special counsel in defense of Act 10, Gov. Scott Walker’s signature law reforming public-sector labor union collective bargaining in the state.
The tally is considerably higher, when factoring in the man hours and dedicated resources of the state Department of Justice, perhaps running into the millions of dollars, according to one legal expert.
But a precise accounting is difficult because the DOJ hasn’t tallied the legal costs directly associated with the defense of Act 10.
The state’s cost for special counsel, paid to Madison-based law firm Michael Best & Friedrich for about two years of service, was $961,035.61, according to contracts released by the governor’s office last year.
But the DOJ is "no longer using special counsel, or outside counsel, for Act 10 litigation," according to agency spokeswoman Dana Brueck.
The DOJ doesn’t account for the in-house costs associated with cases like Act 10. MORE