Property Taxpayers United for Fairness and Reform Since 1985
3rd Quarter 2014
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May 2, 2014 to
Jan. 5, 2015
Bills sent to Governor
June 4, 2015
Bills Signed by the Governor
as of February 21, there were 132 bills signed into law since the beginning of the 2013-14 Session.
Property Tax Bill Estimates Under January 2014 Special Session Proposal Read Here
2013-15 and 2015-17 General Fund Budget Under January 2014 Special Session Bills Read Here
Distributional Information on Proposed Individual Income Tax Rate Reduction Read Here
Wisconsin Alternative Minimum Tax and January 2014 Special Session Bills Read Here
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Who We Are
and What We Do
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.
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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 action alerts.
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.
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Campaign 2014 Candidate Interviews
WisconsinEye Senior Producer Steve Walters and WisPolitics Editor JR Ross broke down the week of June 23-27 in Wisconsin politics at the WisconsinEye studio in Madison. Watch
WPT AG Member Reps believe we should keep our eye on the foreign land ownership bill. Below are some articles relating to this:
Wisconsin legislative interest returns for foreign land ownership bill
January 17, 2014 8:30 am • By Jessica VanEgeren| The Cap Times
A bill dealing with the ability of foreign investors to purchase land in Wisconsin without living here was pulled from the state budget last April, but there is a new push to bring it back before the Legislature.
On Thursday, members of the Assembly Organization Committee, chaired by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, voted 5 to 3 along party lines to request an official opinion from Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen on whether sections of state law and an international treaty known as the General Agreement on Trade in Services, or GATS, had conflicting stipulations on foreign land ownership.
The current law, enacted in 1887 and upheld by the state Supreme Court in 1976, bars foreign individuals or corporations from owning more than 640 acres in the state. GATS is a treaty among World Trade Organization members enacted in 1995 that was designed to stabilize international service trading.
“We hope that your opinion can be delivered as expeditiously as possible given the uncertainties associated with these provisions and the continuing legislative interest in this subject,” said the letter to Van Hollen.
Gov. Scott Walker tried to remove the acreage limit and the need for foreign individuals to live in the state through a budget provision but the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee removed it before the budget was approved last spring.
Walker argued state law conflicted with the international treaty.
While there has been no shortage of speculation behind what is driving the proposal to loosen restrictions on land purchases by buyers from outside the U.S., Thomas Larson, vice president of legal and public affairs with the Wisconsin Realtors Association, takes some of the credit, according to a March 2013 Capital Times story.
“We want to encourage people to buy property,” Larson says. “It seemed strange to us that we would have a provision in state law that prevents land ownership.”
Larson also said the proposal originally pitched by Walker “would benefit people (investors) who are interested in land for other purposes than farming.”
Under current state law, foreign corporations cannot farm on land they own. Walker’s proposal did not change that.
As noted in a Wisconsin State Journal article, at the end of 2010, foreign investors had a tiny stake in Wisconsin, according to a report from the federal Farm Service Agency.
Foreign-owned land in the state comprised 118,211 acres, or just 0.5 percent of privately owned land in the state. But that total more than doubled over the previous five years, the report showed.
Sawyer County had the most foreign-owned land: 28,741 acres by a single Danish owner — all of it forest, as is about 62 percent of the state's total. Lafayette County was second with 16,136 acres, more than 15,000 of it cropland, also with Danish owners. Just 641 acres in Dane County were owned by foreign investors. Read
MISCELLANEOUS PROPERTY PROVISIONS
Extended Great Lakes Region: Future Global "Food Basket"
By Pete Hardin - The Milkweed Publication Read PDF
Some Canadian Farm Papers Report Chinese Ag/Food Investments By Pete Hardin - The Milkweed Publication Read PDF
By John Schmid of the Journal Sentinel July 4, 2014
A strong burst of hiring in June signaled an acceleration of the nation's economy as employment growth topped 200,000 for the fifth straight month — the first time that has happened since the Internet boom of the late 1990s.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported Thursday that the unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 6.1%, its lowest level since September 2008, the month that the financial crisis plunged the nation into its deepest downturn since the Depression.
Employers added an estimated 288,000 net new non-farm jobs in June, far exceeding expectations on Wall Street. The upbeat report was a welcome surprise following nearly five years of sputtering on-again, off-again job creation.
"We are actively in hiring mode," said Marilyn Morrissey, an executive at Sargento Foods Inc., the largest maker of cheese in Wisconsin, the nation's leading cheese producer.
With three cheesemaking facilities in Wisconsin — Plymouth, Kiel and Hilbert — Sargento has added 500 positions since the economy hit its low point five years ago, and now employs about 1,700.
The privately held cheesemaker has reached a point where it's difficult to find workers. Noting that Sargento's plants are located in the state's heavy manufacturing regions, where unemployment already is falling, Morrissey said, "pretty much any kind of skilled positions are difficult to fill, including the engineering field. Finding people is difficult."
Elsewhere in northeastern Wisconsin, industry routinely posts new positions on the home page of the Manufacturing Alliance consortium. Those potential employers cover a gamut including Romo Durable Graphics, Marinette Marine Corp., Great Northern Corp. and Plexus Corp.
"The last time the economy saw payrolls expand by over 200,000 for five consecutive months was in 1999 to 2000," said Brian Jacobsen, an economist in Menomonee Falls for Wells Fargo Funds Management.
Markets surged on the news. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 92.02 points, or 0.5%, to close at 17,068.26, its first close above 17,000.
Despite several months of promising job creation, however, many still feel as if the long and drawn-out recovery has passed them by.
While the nation has made up the over 8 million jobs destroyed by the 2008-'09 recession in purely mathematical terms, it has not yet created jobs for the new generation of young graduates who entered the workforce since the downturn. Their numbers, which are not reflected in the statistics, are nearly as great as the total of lost jobs, meaning the economy still needs to add millions of jobs just to replicate the levels of prerecession employment.
The nation's broadest measure of unemployment — which includes people who want a job but have given up searching, as well as those working part-time because they cannot find full-time jobs — remains stuck in double digits. That broader index, nonetheless, ticked down a tenth of a percentage point to 12.1%, the lowest since October 2008.
All areas hiring
In June, hiring was spread broadly across the economy.
Nearly all the gains were in the private sector, which added an estimated 262,000 net new jobs. The government sector, which has lost jobs for the past three years as often as it has gained them, added an estimated 26,000 positions last month.
Manufacturing payrolls increased by 16,000, rising for the 11th straight month. Construction jobs advanced for the sixth consecutive month.
Average hourly wages also rose, up 6 cents in June from May on private non-farm payrolls.
Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.
June's jobs report is the latest indicator that the economy is accelerating. U.S. auto sales in June grew at the fastest pace in eight years, according to Autodata Corp.
Thursday's national jobs data didn't break out figures for Wisconsin or other states for June. Those will be released in two weeks.
The monthly jobs report typically comes on the first Friday of each month, but the release was moved forward by one day this month because most government offices are closed Friday for the July Fourth holiday.
Walker administration knocks White House report
on Medicaid expansion
Capitol Report 2014
3rd Quarter | July
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Fall 2014 General Election
Partisan Primary -- Tuesday, August 12, 2014.
General Election -- Tuesday, November 4, 2014.
The most current lists are linked here. These lists reflect the ballot access decisions of the Government Accountability Board at its June 10, 2014 meeting.
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The Wisconsin Farm Technology Days!
WPT Helping You Grow
Wisconsin’s Farm Economy.
Portage County August 12-14, 2014
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