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WAUKESHA — Some bigbox stores in the city are furthering the monetary burden on taxpayers.
OZAUKEE COUNTY — The state Legislature is expected to come forward soon to close a tax loophole that big box stores have been using to slash their tax bills.
A battle pitting big-box retail giants including Menards and Wal-Mart against Wisconsin towns and cities is headed to the Legislature. Republican-backed proposals, written in conjunction with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, are designed to . . . .
Recently I went to Madison as part of a delegation of Stevens Point elected officials for the League of Wisconsin Municipalities’ lobby day. At the top of the agenda: a tax dodge that major retailers are using to avoid paying their fair share . . . .
Telegraph Herald Story March 13, 2017
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. . .
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.
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...
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.
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...
AP Wire Reports
By Rick Romell January 14, 2017Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
By Joshua Fechter January 12, 2017
December 31, 2016
By Nate Beck December 26, 2016Photo by Joe Sienkiewicz/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
Shannon Pettypiece December 8, 2016Photo by Alamy
By Geoff Bruce December 7, 2016Photo by Geoff Bruce/New Media Group
By Brittany Shannon Fox 6 News December 4, 2016Photo by Brittany Shannon
By Ralph Chapoco November 2, 2016 Photo by John Ehlke/Daily News
BY Liz Farmer | SEPTEMBER 2016Photo by Flickr/Brutal Social
Maria Halkas September 12, 2016Photo by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News
March 13, 2016
By John Sharp AL.comPhoto by John Sharp
The League is teaming up this year with several other municipal organizations, including Municipal Electric Utilities of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Rural Water Association, MEG -- Water, and MEG -- Wastewater for the first ever Municipal Government and Utility ...
Like any development strategy, creative economy development takes focus, energy, time, and resources, expands over time, requires consistent attention paid to big and small issue, and measures success along the way. It’s not a simple thing, to s...
The Seventh Circuit has become the first federal circuit court of appeals to rule that employees may bring sexual orientation discrimination claims under Title VII. This case directly affects state and local governments in their capacity as employers in I...
Making a technical change to the process by which a mayor is to inform council members that a special meeting has been called.
Allowing Financial Assistance Programs for Replacement of Lead Service Laterals
Allowing Municipalities to Publish Meeting Minutes on the Municipality’s Web Site in lieu of the Official Newspaper
Multiple Jurisdiction Health Departments Clean-Up Bill
January 26, 2017, Municipalities and the Property Tax
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 prohibits discrimination and is meant to ensure equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state, and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities. . . .
The spotlight and attention in Wisconsin city and village government is most often focused on city councils, village boards, planning commissions, community development authorities, and similar governmental bodies with the legal authority . . . .
League attorneys have received many questions about correspondence sent from the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Office of Open Government to Winnebago County relating to whether it is necessary to provide notice under the open meetings. . . .
In a 1984 Wisconsin Supreme Court decision, former Justice Louis Ceci penned, “Snow is ubiquitous in the state of Wisconsin during the winter months…”1 Although snow does not seem to be quite as “ubiquitous” in Wisconsin during the winter months . . . .
In recent years, many municipalities have enacted social host ordinances aimed at preventing adults from hosting underage drinking parties at private homes. Certain provisions in those ordinances are likely unenforceable. . .
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.”
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.
Wisconsin statutes regulating alcohol, and more specifically temporary beer andwine licenses, were recently modified to include chambers of commerce amongthe organizations eligible for Temporary Class B beer and wine licenses. . . .
. . . the United States Department of Labor has promulgated new regulations governing the application of minimum wage and overtime pay requirements to certain “exempt” employees.
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 . . .
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
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 . . .
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. . . .
When it comes to opposing governmental decision-making, “boogeyman” threats are not just the stuff of bedtime stories.
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 . . . .
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 . . . .
This article summarizes recent developments related to election administration and campaign finance laws which will be in effect for the first time in 2016.
Last July, the United States Department of Labor (DOL or Department) proposedupdating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations governingthe application of minimum wage and overtime pay requirements to executive,administrative, and . . . .
One of the most perplexing local government policy areas is sign regulation.The difficulties arise from sometimes incomprehensible free speech decisionsby courts and the uncertain impacts on regulation programs that seek to controlsigns . . . .
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently agreed torehear a case challenging the constitutionality of a city’s anti-panhandlingordinance in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Reed v. Gilbert, 135S.Ct. 2887 (2015) . . . .
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 disciplinaryaction...
La Crosse landlords challenged a city ordinance requiring landlords toparticipate in an inspection and registration program, asserting that theordinance was preempted by Wis. Stat. sec. 66.0104. The circuit court rejectedthe landlords’ arguments.
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. . . .
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.
April 14, 2017 The Wisconsin Economic Development Association along with award partners--the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the Wisconsin Counties Association and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities are soliciting nominations . . . .
April 10, 2017 The decision by state lawmakers to set aside Gov. Scott Walker's transportation budget has left county, city and town government leaders wondering what's next, especially since they would have been among the biggest winners . . . .
The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities (the League) are joining together in a new partnership designed to help municipalities learn more about and gain access to WHEDA financing tools.
Adults who let teenagers drink in their homes would be breaking the law under a proposal two Republican Wisconsin lawmakers are circulating. The bill would address what Rep. Andre Jacque and Sen. Van Wanggaard call the "social host" loophole . . . .
When it comes to negotiating fair property values, commercial real estate professionals and state officials have generally managed the process by knowing when to compromise and when to push back forcefully. . . .
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.
MADISON — Representatives from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association on Wednesday testified before the state Assembly Committee on Local Government to oppose a bill that would do-away with the newspaper publication of local government meeting minutes.
The city administrator and 2 aldermen from Reedsburg have made their voices heard in Madison. Stephen Compton, as well as Common Council members Calvin Craker and Jason Schulte, joined the League of Wisconsin Municipalities’ Lobby Day on Feb. 22.
January 24, 2017 - To Menard Inc., the store it opened in the Village of Howard in 2012 is worth $5.8 million — roughly the amount the Eau Claire-based home improvement retailer believes it would fetch if it were closed and sold off as an empty shell. . .
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 . . .
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.
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 . . . ."
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.
Some big-box retailers in Wisconsin have successfully challenged their tax assessments by claiming they should pay the same rate as a store that's closed and remains vacant.
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 . . .
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.
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.
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...
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 . . .
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.
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. . .
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
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. . .
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.
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.
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 . . .
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 . . .
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.
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 . . .
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. . .
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.
Madison used to have a number of ordinances guiding landlord behavior, but over the past six years, the state Legislature nullified many of them. Now, a landlord “best practices” program aiming to reinforce the policies in those ordinances . . .
The Kentucky Supreme Court declined this month to hear an appeal brought by Walgreens Co., presumably ending a longstanding legal battle between the pharmacy chain and Fayette County officials that threatened to strip hundreds of millions of dollars . . .
A battle pitting big-box retail giants including Menards and Wal-Mart against Wisconsin towns and cities is headed to the Legislature. Republican-backed proposals, written in conjunction with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, are designed to. . .
Cudahay Walgreens building sells for twice its assessed value.
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.
Walgreens boasts convenient locations, a wide array of products, and a killer tax strategy.
Is Walgreen Co. v City of Oshkosh a case that could have broad reaching tax implications?