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Assessment meetings

To learn when and where the open book session and Board of Review meeting will be held in your city, town or village, contact your assessor. Go here  this link takes you away from this site

 

DOR Guides for Property Taxpayers

Go here  this link takes you away from this site

                Wisconsin Property   
                Taxes By County

You can choose any county from our list of Wisconsin counties for detailed information on that county's property tax, and the contact information for the county tax assessor's office.

 

Adams  $1,974   Tax Assessor

Ashland  $1,764   Tax Assessor

Barron  $2,242  Tax Assessor

Bayfield   $1,896  Tax Assessor

Brown  $2,900  Tax Assessor

Buffalo  $2,047  Tax Assessor

Burnett  $1,870  Tax Assessor

Calumet  $2,902  Tax Assessor

Chippewa  $2,123  Tax Assessor

Clark  $1,928  Tax Assessor

Columbia  $2,988  Tax Assessor

Crawford  $2,244  Tax Assessor

Dane  $4,149  Tax Assessor

Dodge  $2,884  Tax Assessor

Door  $2,357  Tax Assessor

Douglas  $2,076  Tax Assessor

Dunn  $2,823  Tax Assessor

Eau Claire  $2,616  Tax Assessor  Florence  $1,682  Tax Assessor  Fond du Lac  $2,624  Tax Assessor

Forest  $1,712  Tax Assessor   Grant  $2,051  Tax Assessor

Green  $2,976  Tax Assessor

Green Lake  $2,311  Tax Assessor  Iowa  $2,925  Tax Assessor

Iron  $1,520  Tax Assessor

Jackson  $1,962  Tax Assessor

Jefferson  $3,099  Tax Assessor

Juneau  $2,020  Tax Assessor

Kenosha  $3,520  Tax Assessor

Kewaunee  $2,361  Tax Assessor  La Crosse  $2,912  Tax Assessor  Lafayette  $2,331  Tax Assessor  Langlade  $1,791  Tax Assessor  Lincoln  $2,154  Tax Assessor

Manitowoc   $2,351  Tax Assessor

Marathon  $2,602  Tax Assessor

Marinette  $1,604  Tax Assessor

Marquette  $2,192  Tax Assessor

Menominee  $2,654  Tax Assessor

Milwaukee  $3,707  Tax Assessor

Monroe  $2,357  Tax Assessor

Oconto  $2,198  Tax Assessor

Oneida  $2,040  Tax Assessor

Outagamie  $2,779  Tax Assessor

Ozaukee  $4,033  Tax Assessor

Pepin  $2,531  Tax Assessor

Pierce  $3,542  Tax Assessor

Polk  $2,649  Tax Assessor

Portage  $2,536  Tax Assessor

Price   $1,775  Tax Assessor

Racine  $3,312  Tax Assessor

Richland  $2,200  Tax Assessor

Rock  $2,706  Tax Assessor

Rusk  $1,572  Tax Assessor

Sauk   $2,758  Tax Assessor

Sawyer   $1,759  Tax Assessor

Shawano  $1,972  Tax Assessor

Sheboygan   $2,875  Tax Assessor

St. Croix  $3,367  Tax Assessor  Taylor  $2,052  Tax Assessor

Trempealeau  $2,437 Tax Assessor

Vernon  $2,299  Tax Assessor

Vilas   $1,976  Tax Assessor

Walworth  $3,323  Tax Assessor

Washburn   $1,897  Tax Assessor

Washington  $3,502  Tax Assessor

Waukesha  $3,954  Tax Assessor

Waupaca  $2,411  Tax Assessor

Waushara  $2,125  Tax Assessor

Winnebago  $2,763  Tax Assessor

Wood  $2,078  Tax Assessor

What our members say

Dear Sir,

 

I recently was called by Terry Mulville  representing Wisconsin Property Taxpayers. I am delighted to say Terry is the most professional person I have ever had visit me for this organization.

 

Well read, well informed, easy to talk “with” always listening when he should be and staying on track. Very much a businessman and pleasant to converse with. Hope he stays on.

 

Scott Wichlacz

Manitowoc Motor Machining

2014 SESSION SCHEDULE

AT A GLANCE

May 2, 2014 to

Jan. 5, 2015

Bills sent to Governor

 

June 4, 2015

Inauguration

Wisconsin Acts

Continuously Updated

 

Wisconsin Blue Book

2013-2014

Published Biennially in Odd-Numbered Years

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

TWO
Differing Views  Where Do
YOU Fit In?

New articles on home page!

Agriculture

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.

(Click “Back” in your browser to return)

 

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.

 

For more information about who we are, what we do, and what we have helped to accomplish over the years,  go here

 

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WPT: The Voice of Wisconsin’s Property Taxpayers Since 1985

2014 3rd Quarter

download PDF

3rd Quarter Newsletter

in the mail now!

Click to read 3rd Quarter Newsletter!

WPT Publications

WPT Newsletters are published

4 times a year, and are mailed directly to our members. To view previous editions and other publications in our Media archive click the link below.

 

Publications

Independence day celebration at Governor Walker's residence on Lake Mendota.

Thank you for joining us

at the Wisconsin

Farm Technology Days!

 

James Borchardt of Edgar

David Dorn of Kewaskum

John Guzek of Green Bay

Joe Koshler of Chilton

Mark Nellessen of Rosholt

Cheri Zimmerman of Grand Marsh

Congratulations!  We are excited

to have you all on board!

                                        By Ag Member Rep     
                                        Donovan Dolph

 

I recently had the privilege of attending the 2014 Farm Technology  Days representing WPT (Wisconsin Property Taxpayers) and it was enlightening in many arenas. I had  an opportunity to spend some time with Mike Marsch (President of WPT) and Bert Vosters (Sales Manager of WPT Agriculture) and they gave me a greater insight into the importance and value of what we do. This alone was a valuable learning experience.  We had many people stop by our booth and they offered up their opinions. While the vast majorities believed in the principals that we believe in, there were a few that disagreed. Just another example of what a democracy is and the importance of freedom of speech. Many of the people that stopped by were already members of WPT, and many that weren’t expressed an interest in becoming supporters.

 

We handed out many Wisconsin Badger and Green Bay Packer schedules. It was surprising to me that so many people were looking for them and we were the first ones they found.

 

Overall, I think the event was a huge success. Attendance for the 2014 Farm Technology Days was reported to be just under 60,000 and from what I experienced, everyone enjoyed the event.

 

It’s great to be a part of an organization that is so positively accepted by it’s members.

How Property Taxes Work

 

August 1, 2011 04:18 PM ITEP

The property tax is the oldest major revenue source for state and local governments. At the beginning of the twentieth century, property taxes represented more than eighty percent of state and local tax revenue. While this share has diminished over time as states have introduced sales and income taxes, the property tax remains an important mechanism for funding education and other local services. This policy brief discusses why property is taxed and how property taxes are calculated.

 

Why Tax Property?

 

The property tax is rooted largely in the “benefits principle” of taxation. Under this view, the property tax essentially functions as a user-charge on local residents for the benefits they receive from the local policies funded by property taxes. These policies benefit local residents directly in the form of better schools and fire protection, and indirectly in the form of increased housing values.

 

The property tax also helps differentiate between families of very different means by taxing families with large quantities of wealth more heavily than those without such reserves. But the impact that property taxes can have on low-income families, and particularly the elderly, makes clear that the linkage of the property tax to the ability-to-pay principle is far from perfect.

 

Finally, the stability and enforceability of the property tax make it among the best options available for providing local governments with a predictable revenue stream that can be used to fund indispensable services like schools, roads, and public safety.

 

How Property Taxes Work

 

Historically, property taxes applied to two kinds of property: real property, which includes land and buildings, and personal property,

which includes

moveable items

such as cars, boats,

and the value of

stocks and bonds.

Most states have

moved away from

taxing personal

property and now

impose taxes

primarily on real

property.

 

In its simplest form, the real property tax is calculated by multiplying the value of land and buildings by the tax rate. Property tax rates are normally expressed in mills. A mill is one-tenth of one percent. In the most basic system, an owner of a property worth $100,000 that is subject to a 25 mill (that is, 2.5 percent) tax rate would pay $2,500 in property taxes. In reality, however, property taxes are often more complicated than this. The first step in the property tax process is determining a property’s value for tax purposes. In most cases, this means estimating the property’s market value, the amount the property would likely sell for.

 

The second step is determining the property’s assessed value, its value for tax purposes. This is done by multiplying the property’s market value by an assessment ratio, which is a percentage ranging from zero to one hundred. Many states base their taxes upon actual market value—in other words, these states use a 100 percent assessment ratio. A significant number of states, however, assess property at only a fraction of its actual value. New Mexico assesses homes at 33.3 percent of their market value, and Arkansas uses a 20 percent assessment ratio. Some states place a cap on increases in a home’s assessed value in any given year, which in many cases can lead to vastly different assessment ratios among similarly valued homes (For more detail, see ITEP Brief, “Capping Assessed Valuation Growth: A Primer”). And even when the law says properties should be assessed at 100 percent of their value, local assessors at times systematically under-assess property, reporting assessed values that are substantially less than the real market value of the property.

 

After the assessment ratio has been factored in, many states reduce a property’s assessed value further by allowing exemptions. The most common type of exemption is referred to as a “homestead exemption.” In Ohio, for example, the state allows an exemption for the first $25,000 of home value. Subtracting all exemptions yields the taxable value of a property. (For more on homestead exemptions, see ITEP Brief, “Property Tax Homestead Exemptions”).

 

The next step in the process is applying a property tax rate, also known as a millage rate, to the property’s taxable value. The millage rate is usually the sum of several tax rates applied by several different jurisdictions: for example, one property might be subject to a municipal tax, a county tax, and a school district tax. This calculation yields the tentative property tax before credits.

 

Many states allow property tax credits that either directly reduce the property tax bill, or that reimburse part of the property tax bill separately when taxpayers apply for them. Subtracting these credits is the final step in calculating one’s property tax bill—though taxpayers are often required to pay the pre-credit property tax amount, only to later have the amount of the credit refunded to them. (For more detail on one type of property tax credit, see ITEP brief, “Property Tax Circuit Breakers”).

 

Other Property Tax Issues

 

While property taxes on owner-occupied homes tend to receive the most attention, the presence (or absence) of tax on other forms of property also has important implications.

 

Businesses pay property taxes just like local residents. Property taxes on businesses are mostly borne by business owners. Business property taxes generally make the property tax less regressive, since business owners tend to be wealthier than average.

 

Property taxes also impact taxpayers who rent, rather than own their home. This is because owners of rental real estate pass through some of their tax liability to renters in the form of higher rents. The impact of property taxes on renters is of particular concern because renters tend to be significantly less well-off than their homeowner neighbors.

Non-profit entities are generally exempt from state and local property taxes. While these exemptions can make it easier for these organizations to pursue their missions, it can mean that local governments have difficulty raising the revenue needed to provide quality public services. This issue is most significant in areas with large non-profit hospitals and/or universities. PDF

 

Stay Informed

WPT is the voice of Wisconsin’s Property Taxpayers, your voice, in the Wisconsin State Legislature. Whether you have a comment, a thought to share, a question about your assessment or property tax bill, how your property tax dollars are spent, what’s going on in the Legislature, or any of a thousand property tax related questions we answer for our members, WPT wants to hear from you.

    If you are not a member, but would like to join the thousands of taxpayers

around the state who support

and rely on us to protect their

interests in the Legislature

click on the “Join Us Now!”

to get started.

MEMBER ALERT

A former employee Julie Mathias, who was terminated for theft and submitting false sales reports continues to wreak havoc with our members by making false derogatory statements about WPT while selling memberships for National Write Your Congressman (NWYC). When I informed NWYC of Julie’s lies back in January of this year, they informed me that the problem was between Julie and WPT. It seems they don’t take responsibility for the actions of their independent contractors. From what I understand Julie has recently been terminated by NWYC, but many of our members feel they were maliciously lied to and duped into believing untruths about WPT and that Julie misrepresented the NWYC product. When they requested a full refund from NWYC, they were told they’d only be receiving a pro-rated refund.

On their behalf, I have contacted the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. I’ve been advised to write NWYC requesting a full refund for all of our members who desire to disassociate with NWYC. If NWYC does not respond affirmatively, our members will file a formal complaint with the Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection. (DATCP)

If you want to be included in the letter to NWYC requesting a refund of your membership please let us know immediately.

 

Contact Mike Marsch, President @715-797-5622 or email wisproptax@wptonline.org

Current Issues

We are involved in everything that affects our members’ property tax burden. Some of the articles below may take you from WPTonline. Simply click your back browser to return.

VIDEO

Wiseye.org Live Webcast AIR click here

11/13/14 Legislative Council Study Committee on Tax Incremental Financing

On November 13, 2014, the Legislative Council Study Committee on Tax Incremental Financing held a public meeting to discuss ideas for pending legislation for the 2015-2017 session. The will discuss WLC: 0018/P2, relating to standing joint review boards, annual joint review board meetings, annual reports on tax incremental districts submitted to joint review boards and the department of revenue, department of revenue audits of political subdivisions failing to comply with annual reporting requirements, and granting rule-making authority; WLC: 0035/P1, relating to industrial zoning requirements in a tax incremental district; WLC: 0036/P1, relating to planning commission notice for amendment of a tax incremental district project plan; WLC: 0037/P1, relating to the department of revenue review and determination of industry-specific town tax incremental district project compliance; and WLC: 0038/P1, relating to authorizing any tax incremental district to use allocated tax increments donated from another tax incremental district. Pt 1, Pt 2

11/14/14 Rewind: Your Week in Review

Senior Producer Steve Walters from WisconsinEye and JR Ross of Wispolitics.com discussed the week of politics for the week of November 10th-14th in this week's Rewind.  Watch

Announcements

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Current News

Capitol Report        2014

4th Quarter | November

PDF use your back button to return

UPDATED

11/17/14

WPT Helping You Grow

Wisconsin’s Farm Economy.

 

Member's, if you haven't received
your 3rd QTR newsletter in the mail please contact us.

Our own Ag Member Representative Donovan Dolph - July 4th, 2014

These are our Farm Technology Days winners! They each will receive a 1 year Membership worth $200!

Not-so-lame duck eyes major tax reform move

BY JOSEPH LAWLER | NOVEMBER 16, 2014 | 4:30 PM

Rep. Dave Camp won't be able to list tax reform among his accomplishments as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, but he is looking to push through several major tax changes that would go a long way toward making the job easier for his successor.

 

As Congress tries to extend a package of expiring tax provisions known as "extenders," Camp, who is retiring at the end of the year, is aiming to make permanent key business tax breaks and deductions, a move that would not only satisfy corporate calls for certainty but also lower the baseline amount of tax revenues.

 

That would make it easier for his Republican successor, widely expected to be Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, to lower tax rates as part of a comprehensive tax reform.

 

Camp and other key players are holding their cards close to the vest as Congress debates tax and fiscal matters during the lame-duck session, but he has maintained that it is critical to make some of the 55 expiring provisions permanent.

 

“That would help cement his legacy,” said one analyst closely involved in Congress’ tax deliberations. “Obviously, he‘s going to fall short” on tax reform before he retires, the person said, but he could achieve more certainty for business and also “rebuild the baseline for tax reform, which would ease the job of the next chairman.”

 

Ryan has said that making some extenders permanent would be a crucial part of his own push for tax reform.

 

At an event in Washington in September, Ryan explained that Camp’s tax reform discussion draft, announced in February to little support, was doomed by Camp having to work with an official baseline that assumed that the extenders all expired and were not renewed, when in fact Congress regularly re-ups them.

 

Camp had to chase an “artificial revenue target,” Ryan said, meaning that, to lower rates, Camp had to cut popular deductions such as the one for mortgage interest for homeowners to make the plan revenue-neutral.

 

The difference in the baseline with and without the extenders included is about 0.3 percentage points of U.S. gross domestic product, said Ryan Ellis, a tax expert for Americans for Tax Reform, a group that advocates lower taxes. With all the extenders made permanent, federal revenues would be about 17.8 percent of GDP per year, rather than 18.1 percent, according to Ellis’ calculations.

 

“That’s a massive, in tax terms, difference,” said Ellis. “To the extent that number shrinks, it’s easier to do tax reform.”

 

Negotiations over how to pass extenders are continuing, and it's not clear how many, if any, of the provisions Republicans favor could be made permanent. Ellis suggested it wouldn’t be realistic for them to get enough extenders made permanent to close anywhere near half of the 0.3 percent of GDP gap between baselines closed.

 

Nevertheless, even individual provisions that both sides have said they would like to make permanent could have a sizable impact on the baseline.

 

Just the research and experimentation business tax credit, the provision most favored by both sides, would cost $80 billion over 10 years, according to the Committee for Responsible Federal Budget, which opposes renewing extenders without making up the lost funds elsewhere in the budget. That $80 billion would be money that wouldn’t have to be made up by closing other tax preferences in a tax-code overhaul.

 

Other outside analysts are concerned that some provisions will be included in the eventual extenders deal to reduce the baseline even though it would be bad policy.

 

Chuck Marr, director of federal tax policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan think tank, warned that he was concerned about bonus depreciation, a provision that allows business to take larger upfront tax deductions for certain businesses and was implemented in 2008 as a temporary stimulus measure.

 

The House passed a Camp bill to make bonus depreciation permanent over the summer, a step that Marr warned in a note published Thursday would be counterproductive and conflict with efforts to enact larger tax reform. Camp’s own broader tax reform moved in the opposite direction.

 

“There’s no question, I think, that the issue of revenue is a major parameter” in shaping the debate over taxes in the lame duck, Marr told the Washington Examiner. “House Republicans have been trying to make it so its easier to hit their target.”

 

But he argued that aiming to lower the baseline revenue was fiscally irresponsible. “You had to pay for unemployment insurance, you had to pay for sequester relief — it’s a double standard,” he said.

 

Gov. Scott Walker discusses plans for 2016

MADISON, Wis. —Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker recently won a second term in office, and spoke with WISN 12 News in his first sit-down interview since the election.  watch

Walker said he realized he was pulling ahead in the election when his campaign started running ads of him asking for the vote and laying out a plan for the future. He said his opponent ran attack ads almost exclusively.

 

Walker said for education, he wants to match reality and capacity.

 

“We’re not going to just open the door and find out there’s not enough capacity to handle it,” he said.

 

Walker said there may be some ways to get funds for education.

 

“But I think in all things, whether it’s the UW System, the technical college system, the public school system or anywhere else in state government, I’m willing to make more investments, but I want to invest for performance sake,” he said.

 

Walker said the higher he has gone in public office, the more he realized anyone who wants to be president “has to be crazy.”

 

“(It) doesn’t mean someone shouldn’t do it, it’s just that you shouldn’t do it because you want to or aspire to. You should do it because you’re called to. Right now, I still feel I’m called to be governor of the state of Wisconsin,” he said.

 

Walker said he did not feel called to the presidency today, but said he doesn’t know what the future might hold.

 

Walker said his staff is already deep into preparing his next budget, and that work will accelerate throughout the week.

 

Sales of existing homes in Wisconsin hit highest point in nearly a decade

By Rick Romell of the Journal Sentinel Nov. 17, 2014 9:49 a.m.

Sales of existing homes across Wisconsin jumped 9.6% in October compared with a year earlier — the strongest showing for the month since 2005, the Wisconsin Realtors Association said Monday.

 

The median price rose too, up 4.2%, to $148,000. Home prices have risen in 31 of the last 32 months, according to the association.

 

The strong October showing lifted sales for the first 10 months of the year to within 2% of the levels of 2013.

 

"We've clearly made up some ground, bringing us close to last year's very strong sales totals," association chairman Dan Kruse said in a statement.

 

Southeastern Wisconsin lagged behind the rest of the state in sales growth, but outpaced other areas in price increases.

 

In the four-county Milwaukee metropolitan area, sales were actually down slightly from October 2013. The median price, however, was up 9.4%. In a statement, Kruse said tighter inventories might be at play in southeastern Wisconsin.

 

DOT: New fees, tax hikes totaling $750 million needed for roads

Madison — Gov. Scott Walker's transportation secretary on Friday recommended boosting taxes and fees by more than $750 million over two years to help pay for roadwork.

 

The proposal comes at a time when Walker and Republican lawmakers have said they want to find new money to pay for roads, but have expressed a reluctance to increase taxes. They are expected to spend the coming months debating how to fund the Zoo Interchange, Hoan Bridge and other major projects when revenue from the gas tax has been stagnant.

 

The plan from Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb includes raising the gas tax by restructuring how it is calculated; imposing a new fee on vehicle purchases; placing an additional fee on hybrid and electric vehicles; and transferring money from the state's main account to pay for highways.

 

"I think there's a broad understanding in the state we need to deal with putting our transportation on a long-term, sustainable path," Gottlieb told reporters in a conference call.

 

"We feel this is a very balanced proposal."

 

The fee on vehicle purchases would be based on a percentage of the sale price and would apply to new vehicles but not used ones. It would add $800 to the price of a $32,000 car, Gottlieb said in a conference call with reporters.

 

In one of the most significant changes, Gottlieb is recommending altering how the gas tax — now 32.9 cents per gallon — is calculated. His plan would change the rate to 15.5 cents per gallon plus 8% of the average wholesale price of fuel. It would include a price floor to prevent the tax from dropping below a certain level.

 

The change would raise the price at the pump by about 5 cents per gallon, said Gottlieb. The typical driver would pay about $27 a year more in gas taxes because of it, he said.

 

The tax increase would be bigger for diesel fuel, rising by about 10 cents a gallon. That's aimed at having semitrailers and other heavy vehicles pay more because they put more wear on roads, Gottlieb said. Owners of passenger vehicles that use diesel fuel would be able to claim a credit to offset some of the fuel taxes they would pay.

 

The annual vehicle registration fee would remain flat, at $75 a year. But those who drive hybrid and electric vehicles would have to pay an additional fee of $50 a year. That is meant to ensure those drivers pay their share for roads because they use less fuel and thus pay less in gas taxes, Gottlieb said.

 

In all, the fee and tax increases would total $751.4 million over two years.

 

In addition, Gottlieb is seeking $573.6 million in income and sales tax receipts to help prop up the transportation fund. That would diminish the state's main account, which is used to pay for schools, health care programs and an array of other services.

 

Gottlieb, a civil engineer and former GOP lawmaker, submitted his proposal Friday to Walker. The governor must now decide what parts of it to incorporate into the overall state budget he submits to the Legislature early next year.

 

Walker tasked Gottlieb with finding new ways to generate revenue for transportation, but has also said he opposes raising overall taxes. Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said Friday the governor asked Gottlieb to "develop a thoughtful plan" and that he would now review it.

 

Once Walker introduces his budget, lawmakers will spend months reviewing and tweaking it. Both houses of the Legislature are controlled by Walker's fellow Republicans.

 

Craig Thompson, executive director of the Wisconsin Transportation Development Association, said he believed the governor was involved in developing the proposal and praised his administration for putting it together.

 

"I think it's a really thoughtful, comprehensive proposal that doesn't kick the can down the road," Thompson said.

 

Passing the proposal — particularly the gas tax increase and the fee on vehicle purchases — would be a "heavy lift," Thompson said.

 

His trade group is backing the plan, as is the newly formed Transportation Investment Coalition, which consists of transportation organizations, local units of government and chambers of commerce. The coalition's director is John Gard, a lobbyist and former Assembly speaker.

 

Last month, Walker floated the idea of replacing the gas tax with a sales tax. He indicated that would not immediately raise the amount people pay in gas taxes, but that it eventually would.

 

Gottlieb's plan differs, however, by charging drivers more in gas taxes right away. The higher gas tax would take effect toward the end of 2015, under his proposal.

 

By tying the amount of the gas tax to the cost of fuel, the state would in effect reverse a decision lawmakers made nine years ago. For two decades, the gas tax automatically rose by an inflationary amount every April, but in 2005 lawmakers and then-Gov. Jim Doyle ended that practice.

 

The gas tax has remained flat ever since, and tax collections have been stagnant as vehicles have become more fuel efficient.

 

Gottlieb has served as Walker's transportation secretary since Walker became governor in 2011, and he has long called for finding more money for roads. In 2013, he oversaw a task force that recommended raising the gas tax, boosting vehicle fees and charging a new fee based on how many miles people drove.

 

When that earlier plan was unveiled, it was shot down by key lawmakers within hours.

 

But the latest proposal did not get the same reception.

 

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) "is pleased that DOT officials are trying to come up with new ways to help fund our state's transportation needs," Vos spokeswoman Kit Beyer said in a statement.

 

Vos did not take an initial stance on the substance of the proposal, nor did other lawmakers. That's a contrast from two years ago, when Vos and others immediately balked.

 

Mike Tate, chairman of the state Democratic Party, railed against the proposal.

 

"No wonder Scott Walker didn't want to talk about what his second term agenda would look like — he's just doubling down on the broken promises of his first, failed term by again raising taxes on working families as soon as he possibly could," he said in a statement.

 

Gottlieb released his plan a week and a half after Walker won re-election against former Trek Bicycle Corp. executive Mary Burke.

 

Other state agencies submitted their budget requests in September, but the Department of Transportation has traditionally filed its requests after the fall elections, in part to give it more time to calculate how much federal aid it would receive.

 

Also last week, voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution that bars siphoning money from the transportation fund to pay for general state operations. That was done in response to a series of transfers over several years by Doyle and lawmakers that totaled more than $1 billion.

 

In recent years, officials have reversed the flow, with money now going from the general fund to the transportation account, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Since 2003, the transportation fund has netted $313 million in general tax money, after accounting for the transfers out of the transportation fund.

 

 

                                            Agriculture

Midwest Farmland Values Flat During Third Quarter

Wisconsin Ag Connection - 11/17/2014

 

Two years of drought, followed by a tough year in the farm commodities market, finally put an end to the rising value of Midwest farmland. According to the latest survey of agricultural lenders in the Seventh Federal Reserve District, agricultural property values between July through September were unchanged from the same time last year; but fell two percent lower compared to the previous quarter.

 

In the most recent questionnaire of 224 rural bankers, survey respondents noted that lower land values for Illinois and Iowa were offset by increases in Indiana and Michigan. Wisconsin farmland values remained the same.

 

"The downturn in crop prices of the past two years finally extinguished the trend of rising farmland values that had prevailed in the district since the fourth quarter of 2009," said Reserve Economist David Oppedahl. "The District's two percent quarterly decrease in farmland values for the third quarter of 2014 was the largest drop since the end of 2008. Besides Michigan, every district state experienced some kind of decrease in farmland values."

 

Oppedahl adds that agricultural credit conditions exhibited similar patterns to those of recent quarters. Repayment rates for non-real-estate farm loans were lower in the third quarter of 2014 relative to the same quarter last year, and loan renewals and extensions were higher. Funds availability was up a bit for the third quarter of 2014 relative to a year ago.

 

Meanwhile, the pickup in demand for non-real-estate loans compared with a year ago had lasted four quarters as of the third quarter of 2014.

 

"Given that 38 percent of survey respondents observed higher demand for non-real-estate loans than a year earlier and 15 percent observed lower demand, the index of loan demand climbed to 123--a height not reached since early in 2007," he said.

 

Looking ahead, Oppedahl says signs of an imminent downturn in farmland values are growing based on the near-term expectations of survey respondents. He noted that only one percent of the responding bankers anticipated farmland values to increase in the October through December period of 2014, and 43 percent expected no change; however, 56 percent forecasted farmland values to decrease.

 

Bankers further anticipated loan repayment rates to decline further this fall and winter, with the exception of Wisconsin.

 

State Agriculture Exports Still Breaking Records

Wisconsin Ag Connection - 11/14/2014

 

More and more of the food and other agricultural products grown by Wisconsin farmers continue to be enjoyed by consumers around the world. That's according to the state's agriculture department, which announced on Thursday that the value of agricultural exports increased 17 percent through the first nine months of 2014 when compared to the same time last year. Wisconsin shipped over $2.8 billion worth of products abroad from January through September of this year. That places the state 12th in the nation for the value of its agricultural exports.

 

State Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel says the most valuable export product for America's Dairyland is dairy-related products. Wisconsin exported $392 million of cheese and other dairy derivatives through the third quarter--which is a 19 percent increase over the same period in 2013.

 

"Wisconsin's agricultural sector continues to respond to worldwide demand for safe, high-quality food and products," Brancel said. "When these companies move into new markets, they strengthen their businesses, strengthen Wisconsin's economy and help feed the world."

 

Canada continues to be the top market for the state's agricultural goods. Wisconsin exported $1.3 billion of products to that country during the first nine months of this year.

 

Mexico, which is the state's second largest food customer, imported $250 million of products from the state this year. And China was third with $218 million in shipments.

 

Brancel says Wisconsin ranks first among U.S. states in exports of bovine genetics, whey, ginseng, processed sweet corn, mink fur skins and processed cranberries.

 

Exported agricultural products went to 138 countries between January and September.

 

Wisconsin cranberry referendum

Posted November 14, 2014 by Bob Meyer

Wisconsin cranberry growers have until December 6th to vote in a referendum to give the cranberry marketing board the authority to increase the checkoff.  If approved, the Board could increase the checkoff from the current 10 cents per barrel to 15 cents per barrel.  That vote could take place as soon as the Board is authorized.  In addition, the Board could vote to increase the checkoff to a maximum of 20 cents starting in 2017 and a maximum 25 cents in 2019.  A “yes” vote does not guarantee the increases but only gives the Board the authority to do it should they choose to do so.

 

At least half of the state’s affected producers must vote in the referendum to validate the outcome and more than 50 percent of those voting must vote in favor for it to pass.

 

Ballots were mailed to eligible cranberry producers on Thursday, if you do not receive one, contact Stacie Ashby at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Again the deadline to vote is December 6.

 

 

 

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