Posted on: February 23, 2017

Appleton city assessor wants to close “dark store” loophole costing taxpayers money

February 22, 2017 The city of Appleton is trying to close a Wisconsin tax loophole that could be costing average taxpayers money. It’s called the dark store method, and it allows big box stores to lower their property tax assessment. . .

Brittany Schmidt for WBAY
Posted on: February 15, 2017

'Dark store' cases could cost millions in taxes

February 13, 2017 HOWARD - An aggressive move by some major retail chains is putting homeowners in parts of Brown County and a number of other areas of Wisconsin at risk of a property tax jump in the coming years.

Doug Schneider , USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
Posted on: February 21, 2017

County Board Asks State Lawmakers to Address Business Tax Loopholes

Washington County officials have expressed their support regarding a measure that has impacted one municipality and has the potential to affect others throughout the nation. Members of the County Board of Supervisors approved an advisory resolution...

by Ralph Chapoco, West Bend Daily News
Posted on: February 15, 2017

Fighting the “Dark Store Loophole”

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February 13, 2017 With a resolution recently adopted by the Milwaukee Common Council, the city joins municipalities across the state, and nation, in a fight against a legal loophole allowing large corporations to massively reduce their property taxes.

By Graham Kilmer for Urban Milwaukee
Posted on: January 27, 2017

Boxed In

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A highly informative documentary film explaining the complex, yet devastating “Dark Store” tax loophole issue facing Wisconsin communities. This is a hot topic the League of Wisconsin Municipalities has been fighting for more than a ye...

Read on...

See the video on YouTube
Posted on: January 27, 2017

‘Dark store’ loophole gains foothold

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AP Wire Reports

The Mining Journal
Posted on: January 27, 2017

Retailers seek tax cuts with 'dark store' theory

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By Rick Romell January 14, 2017Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Posted on: January 27, 2017

Cities brood over 'dark store' tax lawsuits

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By Nate Beck December 26, 2016
Photo by Joe Sienkiewicz/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

USA Network-Wisconsin
Posted on: January 27, 2017

How Big-Box Retailers Weaponize Old Stores

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Shannon Pettypiece December 8, 2016
Photo by Alamy

BloombergBusinessweek
Posted on: January 27, 2017

Brookfield sends message to combat big retail loopholes

By Geoff Bruce December 7, 2016
Photo by Geoff Bruce/New Media Group

Brookfield Elm Grove Now
Posted on: January 27, 2017

Dark store theory: The move big box retailers are making that could cost you big bucks

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By Brittany Shannon Fox 6 News December 4, 2016
Photo by Brittany Shannon

Fox 6 News
Posted on: January 27, 2017

West Bend asks governor, legislators to close tax loopholes

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By Ralph Chapoco November 2, 2016
Photo by John Ehlke/Daily News

Daily News
Posted on: January 27, 2017

Big-Box Stores Battle Local Governments Over Property Taxes

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BY Liz Farmer | SEPTEMBER 2016
Photo by Flickr/Brutal Social

Governing
Posted on: January 27, 2017

Should Lowe's 'dark store' strategy in Texas concern D-FW taxpayers?

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Maria Halkas September 12, 2016
Photo by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

Dallas News
Posted on: January 27, 2017

Lowe's lawsuits could start chain reaction; loss of state revenue 'unconscionable'

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By John Sharp AL.com
Photo by John Sharp

AL.com

Home

4 Stories
Posted on: February 14, 2017

Mobilitie’s applications to place poles in ROW

Poles in ROW

Here is the introduction to Attorney Gallucci's memo: 

"Last April we provided a memorandum addressing certain questions regarding the authority of municipalities to regulate the placement of mobile service support structures in local ROW. T...

Read on...

Additional Info...
Posted on: February 8, 2017

League's Curt Witynski on WisconsinEye Newsmakers

Curt on Newsmakers

Immediately following the Governor's Budget Address, Curt, Mark and Mike sat down with Steve Walters of WisconsinEye to talk about the Governor's proposed budget.  They discussed shared revenues, transportation aids, economic de...

Read on...

Watch the show on WisconsinEye here...
Posted on: February 5, 2017

League Building Inspectors Institute Details & Registration

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Attending the League's Building Inspectors Institute provides the following: 

Credits: 12 hours Commercial Building Inspector Certification, 12 hours UDC Construction Inspector Certification, 6 hours UDC HVAC Inspector Certification. (t...

Read on...

Details and Registration...
Posted on: January 7, 2017

Stay Informed - Sign up for the League's E-Newsletters

Legis Bulletin Banner

The CAPITOL BUZZ is sent with breaking legislative news. If you sign up, you'll get three or four emails a month. The LEGISLATIVE BULLETIN is sent on Monday's but only when the Legislature is in session. The LEAGUE LETTER is sent once a month to keep you ...

Read on...

Sign up through Constant Contact here...

Posted on: January 27, 2017

Property Tax Memo for Assembly Ways and Means

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January 26, 2017, Municipalities and the Property Tax

PDF

Posted on: December 19, 2016

Cats, Rats, Courts and the Constitution

A federal court decision might be notable simply because it begins with, “Rats. This case is about rats. Giant, inflatable rats . . . Cats too – inflatable fat cats, wearing business suits and pinkie rings, strangling workers.”

Daniel Olson December 2016
Posted on: December 19, 2016

Municipal Authority to Regulate Drones

In the past year, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned aerial systems (UAS), also known as drones, has proliferated with affordable models making the popular technology increasingly accessible to both commercial and recreational users.

by Claire Silverman November 2016
Posted on: November 23, 2016

Alcohol Law Changes Allow Municipalities to License Wine/Beer Walks

Wisconsin statutes regulating alcohol, and more specifically temporary beer and
wine licenses, were recently modified to include chambers of commerce among
the organizations eligible for Temporary Class B beer and wine licenses. . . .

January 2016 Claire Silverman
Posted on: November 15, 2016

FLSA Overtime Changes Take Effect December 1, 2016

. . . the United States Department of Labor has promulgated new regulations governing the application of minimum wage and overtime pay requirements to certain “exempt” employees.

Full reprint
Posted on: November 15, 2016

Constitutional Home Rule Authority Diminished

The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently held that the City of Milwaukee’s longstanding charter ordinance1 requiring city employees to reside in the city is unenforceable following the legislature’s enactment of Wis. Stat. § 66.0502 . . .

Full reprint
Posted on: November 15, 2016

DPPA Exemption Authorizes Release of Unredacted Uniform Traffic Accident Reports

For several years now, law enforcement record custodians have been navigating difficult, uncharted terrain when responding to requests under Wisconsin’s public records law for law enforcement records

Full reprint
Posted on: November 15, 2016

Significant Changes to FLSA Overtime Laws Effective December 1, 2016

On May 18, 2016, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) announced its Final Rule updating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations governing the application of minimum wage and overtime pay requirements . . .

Full reprint
Posted on: November 21, 2016

Municipal Home Rule In Wisconsin

Common council and village board members may find
it helpful to have a general understanding of municipal authority. The general rule is that municipalities are creatures of the state and have only the powers given them. . . .

June 2016 Claire Silverman
Posted on: November 22, 2016

Beware the Liability Boogeyman

When it comes to opposing governmental decision-making,
“boogeyman” threats are not just the stuff of bedtime stories.

May 2016 Matt Dregne and Kyle Engelke
Posted on: November 22, 2016

The 2015-16 Legislative Session Turned Out Well for Municipalities

Thanks to increased lobbying efforts by municipal officials, the 2015-2016 legislative session was one of the best for municipalities in years. Dozens of items helpful to cities and villages . . . .

May 2016 Curt Witynski
Posted on: November 22, 2016

Wisconsin's Recreational Immunity Statute: How Much Protection Does it Offer?

Many Wisconsin municipalities own property used to provide residents and visitors with opportunities for recreation. These include municipal parks, playgrounds, pools, beaches, golf courses, tennis courts, skating rinks, hills used for sledding . . . .

Additional Info...
Posted on: November 22, 2016

Election Law Changes Impacting You and Your Municipality

This article summarizes recent developments related to election administration and campaign finance laws which will be in effect for the first time in 2016.

February 2016 Michael Haas
Posted on: November 22, 2016

Changes to FLSA Overtime Laws Now Predicted for Late 2016

Last July, the United States Department of Labor (DOL or Department) proposed
updating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations governing
the application of minimum wage and overtime pay requirements to executive,
administrative, and . . . .

February 2016 Claire Silverman
Posted on: November 23, 2016

Sign Regulation and Reed v. town of Gilbert

One of the most perplexing local government policy areas is sign regulation.
The difficulties arise from sometimes incomprehensible free speech decisions
by courts and the uncertain impacts on regulation programs that seek to control
signs . . . .

November 2015 Daniel M. Olson
Posted on: November 23, 2016

On Rehearing, Court Concludes Anti-Panhandling Ordinance is Content Based

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently agreed to
rehear a case challenging the constitutionality of a city’s anti-panhandling
ordinance in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Reed v. Gilbert, 135
S.Ct. 2887 (2015) . . . .

November 2015 Claire Silverman
Posted on: November 23, 2016

Disciplinary Process - Police and Fire Commission

Police officers and firefighters manage difficult and often dangerous situations. Fortunately, most protective services employees are dedicated public servants,
and smaller communities may see years go by without need for formal disciplinary
action...

October 2015 Paul Schwarzenbart
Posted on: November 23, 2016

Rental Property Inspection and Registration Program's Notice Requirement Preempted

La Crosse landlords challenged a city ordinance requiring landlords to
participate in an inspection and registration program, asserting that the
ordinance was preempted by Wis. Stat. sec. 66.0104. The circuit court rejected
the landlords’ arguments.

October 2015 Claire Silverman
Posted on: November 23, 2016

Court Upholds Bus Rule Prohibiting Weapons

Wisconsin Carry, Inc., a self-described “gun rights organization,” sought a declaratory judgment that a rule prohibiting persons from traveling in city buses with weapons. . . .

October 2015 Claire Silverman
Posted on: November 23, 2016

What Was in the State Budget Affecting Municipalities?

On July 12, Governor Walker signed the 2015-2017 state budget bill into law as Act 55. Municipalities came out fairly well considering the state’s fiscal condition and the political dynamics in the state capitol.

September 2015 Curt Witynski

Posted on: February 20, 2017

Few challengers in local primary elections

February 19, 2017 When Keir Dvorachek filed his candidacy for Appleton District 15 alderman, he expected competitors to emerge. But that didn't happen. While he can rest a bit easier knowing he's alone on the ballot this spring, a challenger . . .

Madeleine Behr , USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
Posted on: February 20, 2017

Mayor Esser participates in League’s ‘Lobby Day’

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February 19, 2017 Sun Prairie Mayor Paul Esser met with State 46th Assembly Rep. Gary Hebl of Sun Prairie and State Senator Mark Miller at the State Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 15 to advocate on behalf of the City of Sun Prairie.

The Star (Sun Prairie)
Posted on: February 17, 2017

FOX 11 Investigates: Should government legal notices still be published in newspapers?

Flip open a newspaper and you may find a section of legal notices. They've been around since at least the 1800s. "It's a system that's worked for a lot of years and it still does work," said Beth Wenzel, fourth-generation owner . . . ."

by Robert Hornacek, Fox 11 News
Posted on: February 17, 2017

As Wisconsin Legislature Debates Roads, Local Officials Make Economic Development Case

February 16, 2017A recent survey of officials from the nearly 600 Wisconsin cities and villages belonging to the League of Wisconsin Municipalities shows economic development is the top priority of the group. Executive Director Jerry Deschane said . . .

John Davis, Wisconsin Public Radio
Posted on: February 10, 2017

Scott Walker's proposed budget largely a 'status quo' for Madison, municipalities

February 10, 2017 Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget largely offers status quo funding for the city of Madison, with new funding for transportation and concerns about some specifics like a cap on historic tax credit resources.

Dean Mosiman, Wisconsin State Journal
Posted on: February 3, 2017

Bill would let utilities offer loans to replace lead pipes

February 2, 2017 People who want to replace lead service lines into their homes and businesses could seek loans from utilities under a proposal in the Wisconsin Senate.

By CARA LOMBARDO Associated Press
Posted on: January 30, 2017

Lobbyist's legislative agenda hits close to home for Baraboo

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January 26, 2017 Baraboo is hardly alone in its struggles with road repairs, tax assessments and cell tower sites. On Tuesday, the executive director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities laid out for the City Council his organization’s legislative...

Ben Bromley Baraboo News Republic
Posted on: January 23, 2017

"Dark Store" Loophole Threatens Local Tax Dollars

Large retailers are using a legal tax loophole to challenge their property tax assessments, the latest one affecting the city of Rhinelander. The city was notified January 11, that Menards has filed a claim of excessive assessment . . .

WSAU News January 22, 2017
Posted on: January 5, 2017

Cities brood over 'dark store' tax lawsuits

Big-box retailers are suing Oshkosh, Fond du Lac and other Wisconsin cities to lower their property tax load with a legal loophole that opponents say will cause cities to raise residential taxes to make up the difference.

Nate Beck, USA Network-Wisconsin
Posted on: January 5, 2017

Cities Look To Voters, Other Revenue Sources To Fund Services

The leader of one northern Wisconsin city says they will be relying more on tax revenues it brings in from an oil terminal to help balance its budget in the future. Some cities are trying to find ways to maintain the same level of services. . .

WPR News December 22, 2016
Posted on: December 14, 2016

Jerry Deschane: Ask community members to run for office

Wisconsin not only has a workforce shortage, but in many cases it also has a candidate shortage. According to the 2016 State of Wisconsin Cities and Villages Report. . . most local government positions have one or fewer candidates on the ballot

Jerry Deschane for The Chippewa Herald
Posted on: December 8, 2016

Brookfield sends message to combat big retail loopholes

Brookfield’s aldermen unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night that urged Gov. Scott Walker and the state legislature to close loopholes that are causing property taxes in many municipalities to be shifted more onto the shoulders of residents. . .

Geoff Bruce, Brookfield Elmgrove NOW
Posted on: December 6, 2016

WECC's Energy Finance Solutions Launches PACE Wisconsin Program

WECC's Energy Finance Solutions (EFS) has launched PACE Wisconsin, a statewide program which enables commercial property owners to obtain low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation improvements.

Marketwired - December 05, 2016
Posted on: December 5, 2016

Dark store theory: The move big box retailers are making that could cost you big bucks

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Local municipalities are losing millions each year, and thousands of dollars are being spent on legal fees. It's an issue that's been steadily creeping into Wisconsin -- big box stores appealing their assessed values to pay lower property taxes.

Brittany Shannon - Fox 6 News
Posted on: November 28, 2016

Ashland Mayor Lewis Appointed to League of Wisconsin Municipalities Board

Ashland, WI – Mayor Debra Lewis was recently appointed to the League of Wisconsin
Municipalities Board of Directors. The 16-member League Board is responsible for
setting the strategic direction for the League.

The Wheeler Report
Posted on: November 28, 2016

Climate Corner: Wisconsin’s Most Innovative Counties and Municipalities Join Together

November 22, 2016 A diverse group of Wisconsin cities, villages and counties have joined with the Department of Natural Resources and several nonprofit organizations to help each other advance sustainability goals.

Curt Witynski for Door County Pulse
Posted on: November 18, 2016

City of Sturgeon Bay Supports “Just Fix it WI” Initiative

November 16, 2017 The Sturgeon Bay City Council went on record in support of the statewide initiative of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities urging the governor and state legislature to agree upon a sustainable solution . . .

Roger Levendusky for WDOR 93.9 FM
Posted on: November 14, 2016

Fix state's roads, transportation budget

November 12, 2016 “Just Fix It” was echoed from every corner of the state on Sept. 29 when thousands of local government leaders and concerned citizens brought attention to an issue that has moved to the forefront on their “to do” list . . .

Mark O'Connell, et.al., Daily Tribune
Posted on: November 7, 2016

Many local races around Wisconsin have few candidates

November 4, 2016 As Election Day nears, races for local offices in many parts of Wisconsin aren't drawing much attention. That's because there aren't many candidates.

Madison, WI (AP)
Posted on: November 7, 2016

West Bend asks governor, legislators to close tax loopholes

John Ehlke, Daily News

November 2, 2016 . . . aldermen and Mayor Kraig Sadownikow voted to approve a resolution asking Gov. Scott Walker and state legislators to protect residential property owners and independent business owners from a potential tax increase . . .

Ralph Chapoco, Daily News
Posted on: October 10, 2016

Two Dozen Attend Turnout for Transporation

October 10, 2016 Calumet County Highway Commissioner Brian Glaeser thanked the nearly two dozen people who attended the Turnout for Transportation meeting held Thursday evening at the Calumet County Courthouse.

Tri-County News
Posted on: November 7, 2016

Learn about Green Tier Legacy Communities at Nov. 9 Climate Change Program

November 3, 2016 "Wisconsin’s Most Innovative Local Governments: Green Tier Legacy Communities” will be the focus when Curt Witynski, assistant director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, speaks at the Climate Change Coalition. . .

Door County Pulse, Peninsula Pulse
Posted on: November 7, 2016

Rough Roads Ahead: Sustainable solutions sought for roads

Kim McDarison

October 6, 2016 Road reconstruction, repair and maintenance were the topics of discussion at a countywide “Turnout for Transportation” held Sept. 29 at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville.

Kim McDarison, The Milton Courier
Posted on: October 10, 2016

Municipalities Statewide Call for Road Funding

October 7, 2016 State legislators should be getting an earful about bad roads and the need for a better transportation plan from municipal leaders throughout the state. Aging roadways and culverts, a lack of money to fix them, political maneuvering. . .

John Lundstrom, Peninsula Pulse
Posted on: September 27, 2016

Baraboo seeks changes in highway funding

September 26, 2016 Baraboo is joining municipalities across Wisconsin in asking lawmakers to change the way road work is funded.

On Monday, the City Council’s public safety committee voted unanimously to approve a resolution. . . .

Ben Bromeley Baraboo News Republic
Posted on: September 26, 2016

Turnout for Transportation calls for solutions

September 22, 2016 Three local governmental associations will hold an event drawing attention to the need to find a sustainable solution to Wisconsin’s transportation challenge.

Milton Courier
Posted on: September 13, 2016

Appleton not alone in being sued over cell towers

September 6, 2016 Appleton isn't the only community in Wisconsin that's headed to the courthouse over cell towers. Although the state law regulating cell tower sites is relatively new, both Eau Claire and Prairie du Sac have faced legal hurdles . . . .

Madeleine Behr, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
Posted on: September 13, 2016

Our Views: Act 10's big winner: taxpayers

September 7, 2016 Protesters descending on the Capitol five years ago in a desperate bid to stop Act 10’s passage were right about one thing: They had a lot to lose.
But as a growing body of evidence suggests, their loss has been the taxpayers’ gain—

Gazette Editorial Board, Janesville Gazette Xtra

Posted on: February 27, 2017

Another Milwaukee area Walgreens store building sold

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Cudahay Walgreens building sells for twice its assessed value.

Additional Info...
Posted on: February 27, 2017

Retailers accused of bullying cities into lowering property tax assessments

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Community and business leaders often tout how new commercial developments will increase the local tax base. But two recent court rulings are eating into that idea — and other property owners may feel the tax bite.

Additional Info...
Posted on: February 27, 2017

Walgreens and CVS Declare War on Property Taxes

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Walgreens boasts convenient locations, a wide array of products, and a killer tax strategy.

Additional Info...
Posted on: February 27, 2017

Can Walgreen Stance on Property Tax Hurt Income Tax Position of 1031 Investors?

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Is Walgreen Co. v City of Oshkosh a case that could have broad reaching tax implications?

Additional Info...