News Flash

Posted on: April 6, 2018

Democratic legislators committed to closing ‘dark store loophole’

State Rep. Jimmy Anderson and other Democratic legislators are assuring Dane County Board members and other local officials of their commitment to legislation that would close the “dark store loophole” used by big box retailers to lower their tax. . .

The Herald Independent April 4, 2018 LWM in the News
Posted on: March 16, 2018

Bill would save municipalities money

A bill co-authored by 25th Dist. State Sen. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, would allow municipal officials to serve as election officials. The bill has passed both houses of the Legislature and awaits Gov. Scott Walker’s signature.

Bob Zientara, Barron News-Shield LWM in the News
Posted on: March 8, 2018

Homeowner's tax assessment will drop $800000 after court deems backyard trees agriculture

Plant the right kinds of trees in your backyard and you could save oodles on your property tax bill, after the state Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday in favor of a Town of Delafield resident.

Bruce Vielmetti, Wisconsin Journal Sentinel LWM in the News
Posted on: February 26, 2018

Walters: Push to expand Abele’s powers dies

A Capitol push to dramatically increase the powers of Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, and allow local government leaders to switch to biennial budgets, is now opposed by other county and local officials.

Steven Walters for GazetteXtra LWM in the News
Posted on: February 22, 2018

Is a Last-Minute Bill to Help Developers that’s Being Jammed through the Legislature Going to Create

At first glance, Wisconsin State Assembly Bill 770 (AB 770) looks to be a standard piece of Republican-sponsored legislation meant to clear away regulations on new housing projects. The legislation reads almost like a developer’s wish list.

Dan Shaw, Shepherd Express LWM in the News
Posted on: February 22, 2018

WalMart Wants Tax Refund Due to "Dark Store Theory"

Wal-mart is contesting the property assessment of its Minocqua store, contending the property is worth much less and thus it’s due a refund of thousands of dollars it paid in property taxes.

Dean S. Acheson, WXPR Radio LWM in the News
Posted on: February 19, 2018

City takes on 'dark store' tax strategy

MENOMONIE — The City Council may take action Monday on a resolution that would ask the state Legislature to act on ending “dark store” strategies in the city and state.

As defined by the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, “dark store theory” is . . . .

Ben Rueter Leader-Telegram LWM in the News
Posted on: February 6, 2018

Ballot is crowded as seven make bid for mayoral seat in Kaukauna

A newspaper editor, a school board member, a small business owner, three aldermen and a citizen feuding with City Hall all walked into the local union hall on Monday night. All came in with the same goal: to convince voters they're the best candidate. . .

Madeleine Behr , USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin LWM in the News
Posted on: February 6, 2018

Parks panel votes to borrow $25K for Hodag Park project

In a show of good faith, the city of Rhinelander parks, buildings and grounds committee voted Monday to earmark a $25,000 chunk of the city's next capital borrowing budget for improvements at Hodag Park. The funds would be combined with money raised . . .

Jamie Taylor, River News Reporter LWM in the News
Posted on: February 6, 2018

Green Bay Looks to Hire Someone to Address Rat Problem

Workers with the City of Green Bay are hearing a lot of complaints about rats on the west side of town. Another hire is needed to address the growing rodent problem, says Bill Paape, the city's neighborhood development manager. . . .

Patty Murray, Wisconsin Public Radio LWM in the News
Posted on: February 6, 2018

Sauk City begins wheel tax discussions

Communities across Wisconsin have been struggling to fund much needed infrastructure repair as state lawmakers allocate less and less of the state budget for roads, according to the state DOT. This has led many small communities to . . . .

Autumn Luedke, Sauk City Eagle LWM in the News
Posted on: January 24, 2018

Domestic abuse advocates concerned bill favors landlord rights over those of tenants

As a new landlord-tenant bill aimed at decreasing costs for landlords makes its way through the Wisconsin Legislature, advocates for domestic abuse victims are concerned with many of the bill’s provisions.

Haley Cleghorn, The Badger Herald LWM in the News
Posted on: January 17, 2018

Legislation to Allow Municipal Officials to Serve as Election Officials Passes State Assembley

Today, the State Assembly passed Assembly Bill 85, authored by Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison), Representative Ed Brooks (R- Reedsburg), and Senator Janet Bewley (D-Ashland), to allow municipal officials to serve as election officials.

State Rep. Lisa Subeck Urban Milwaukee LWM in the News
Posted on: January 11, 2018

Wisconsin Mulls Limiting Pro-Worker Local Ordinances

Business and labor clashed Wednesday over a Republican bill that would prevent local governments in Wisconsin from enacting a variety of ordinances pertaining to employment matters, including limits on working hours, overtime, benefits, and . . .

Scott Bauer, Beloit Daily News LWM in the News
Posted on: January 8, 2018

Portage Historic Preservation panel faces participation challenges

Erin Foley says she’s history. Doug Klapper, chairman of the city of Portage’s Historic Preservation Commission, says he’ll believe it when he sees a resignation letter from Foley, who says she’s been on the commission since 2008.

Lyn Jerde, Portage Daily Register LWM in the News
Posted on: January 2, 2018

Top 10: State law signed on eminent domain proceedings

It’s been a long fight for Bay City resident David Meixner, and he is tired. But he refuses to give up in the battle to save what he says is his land from eminent domain proceedings.

Sarah Nigbor, Pierce County Herald LWM in the News
Posted on: December 15, 2017

Dark store 'loophole' could be on the way out in Wisconsin

A Wisconsin tax loophole exploited by big box stores could soon be closed if two newly introduced bills get passed into law. Senate Bills 291 and 292 would change the way properties are assessed to prevent businesses from being assessed . . . .

Dominic Lynch, LWM in the News
Posted on: December 15, 2017

Republican Lawmakers favor Municipal Power Restriction

If the Republican lawmakers of Wisconsin have their way, municipalities in the state could lose all their regulatory power, like the ability to conduct systematic building inspections. These possible new bills are being sponsored by. . .

Danny Abramov, Financial Buzz LWM in the News
Posted on: December 15, 2017

Wisconsin roundup: Group says proposed change would protect bad landlords

The League of Wisconsin Municipalities opposes plans by Republican state lawmakers to limit the regulatory powers of city governments. The Senate Committee on Insurance, Housing and Trade held a hearing at the Capitol Wednesday. The change would end. . .

River Falls Journal LWM in the News
Posted on: December 15, 2017

Senate committee hears testimony on GOP bills that would change tenant-landlord relationship, limit

While sponsors of Republican legislation argue it would promote affordable housing and create a fair rental housing market, others say it would tilt power more toward landlords and limit municipal powers.

Abigal Becker, The Cap Times LWM in the News
Posted on: December 15, 2017

Wisconsin 'dark store' cases threaten to hike your property taxes

Appleton Post-Crescent -- Large chain-store retailers are trying to cut their property assessments by more than $700 million across Wisconsin — potentially forcing other taxpayers to pay more to fund local public services, a USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin...

Madeleine Behr, Doug Schneider and Haley BeMiller LWM in the News
Posted on: December 13, 2017

Dark Store Day Shines Light on Corporate Loophole

Local municipal leaders supported by the Wisconsin League of Municipalities urged people to contact their state representatives on Monday, Dec. 11, Dark Store Day.
Dark Store Day was formed from a growing concern . . . .

Ben Rogers, The Press LWM in the News
Posted on: December 13, 2017

City leaders gather in Ashwaubenon for "dark store day"

Mayors and village presidents from Brown County and the Fox Valley gathered for "Dark Store Day," a day created to raise awareness to the dark store loophole.
It's a tax avoidance strategy by commercial retailers such as Menards, Walgreens, and CVS . . .

Jordan Lamers, LWM in the News
Posted on: December 13, 2017

In Ashwaubenon, cities and villages demand legislature close dark-stores loophole

Local leaders from Oshkosh to Howard gathered in Brown County on Monday to demand state lawmakers change a law that they say shifts property tax burdens from chain retailers to homeowners and small businesses.

Doug Schneider USA TODAY NETWORK Green Bay Gazette LWM in the News
Posted on: December 13, 2017

Dark Store Day: 19 mayors speak out against tax loophole that allows some big box retailers to pay l

Nineteen city and village mayors, including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Monday, December 11th spoke out against so-called "dark store" practices. The mayors called it a tax loophole that allows big box retailers to pay millions less in taxes . . . .

Jonathon Gregg, Fox 6 LWM in the News
Posted on: December 13, 2017

Village Board reschedules vote on Foxconn bills

It may be a case of semantics, but the Village of Mount Pleasant is playing it safe when it comes to paying the bills related to the Foxconn Technology Group development project. On Dec. 4, the village’s Finance/Legal/License Committee recommended . . .

Ricardo Torres, The Journal Times LWM in the News
Posted on: December 13, 2017

State GOP lawmakers seek to limit municipal powers

State Republican lawmakers want to further limit the regulatory powers of Madison and other municipalities, including the ability to do systematic building inspections.
Two bills sponsored by Sen. Frank Lasee, R-DePere, and Rep. Rob Brooks . . . .

Dean Mosiman, Wisconsin State Journal LWM in the News
Posted on: December 11, 2017

Eau Claire lawsuit over development subsidies takes on statewide impact, draws in Milwaukee, Foxconn

A lawsuit pending before the Wisconsin Supreme Court involves a project in downtown Eau Claire, and its outcome will either reinforce or wipe out local governments’ main tool for financing large developments, including Foxconn Technology Group’s plant.

Sean Ryan, Milwaukee Business Journal LWM in the News
Posted on: December 11, 2017

In stagnant Wisconsin communities, rising public service costs could be problematic

Wisconsin municipalities know all too well what it means to do more with less, and they have for about the last decade. It all has to do with property tax levy limits.

Emilie Heidemann, Lodi Enterprise LWM in the News
Posted on: November 13, 2017

Noise survey circulated to Beaver Dam police, taverns and council members

City Attorney Maryann Schacht is looking for input from the police department, city council members and city taverns about possible changes to city noise regulations.
Schacht said a survey sent to tavern owners and city officials . . .

Ben Rueter for Daily Citizen November 11, 2017 LWM in the News
Posted on: October 31, 2017

Wisconsin Senate To Vote On Bill To Remove Lead Water Pipes

The Wisconsin state Senate will vote Tuesday on a plan that could help remove lead water pipes running underground in communities throughout Wisconsin.
There are at least 176,000 lead service lines that connect public water mains to Wisconsin homes. . .

Shawn Johnson for WPR News LWM in the News
Posted on: October 30, 2017

Council to examine duties of mayor

With a mayoral election in the offing, the Rhinelander City Council took some time this week to discuss how the position has changed since the city administrator position was added to the government's structure.

Jamie Taylor, River News Reporter LWM in the News
Posted on: October 30, 2017

Appleton named 48th best city to live in

The league of Wisconsin Municipalities Conference is in Appleton this week. A league made up of 601 cities and villages. "We often look to Appleton as an example of good strategic planning,” Gail Sumi, League of Wisconsin Municipalities.

ABC 2 LWM in the News
Posted on: September 25, 2017

NW Passage's Elliott to receive arts award

Northwest Passage and its Director Mark Elliot will be honored as a recipient of the “Arts In The Community Award” Oct. 19 in Appleton. Elliott has led Northwest Passage since 2000. The residential facility on Old Hwy. 35 between Siren and Webster . . .

Sept 22 Burnett County Sentinel LWM in the News
Posted on: September 21, 2017

Gov. Scott Walker vetoes quarry regulation restriction, says policy deserves full debate

Gov. Scott Walker has vetoed a last-minute provision in the state budget that would have stripped local governments of the right to regulate quarries.
Walker is scheduled to sign the $76 billion two-year spending package Thursday . . . .

Chris Hubbuch, La Crosse Tribune LWM in the News
Posted on: August 29, 2017

Baraboo joins tax fight against retailers

Baraboo is joining communities statewide in asking the state Legislature to close a tax loophole exploited by big-box retailers. On Tuesday, the City Council voted unanimously to support a resolution asking for legislation to eliminate the “dark stores”

Ben Bromley Baraboo News Republic LWM in the News
Posted on: August 21, 2017

Municipalities, Roads Feeling Effects of Budget Squeeze

Sturgeon Bay’s streets have deteriorated so badly that the city has convened a special committee to investigate funding solutions to improve them, but streets will get worse before they get better.

Myles Dannhausen, Jr. Door County Pulse LWM in the News
Posted on: August 21, 2017

Local Governments Could Have Less Discretion When Issuing Some Permits

Local governments would have less discretion to deny permits for things like frac sand mines under legislation being marketed as a "homeowner bill of rights."

Rich Kremer Wisconsin Public Radio LWM in the News
Posted on: July 31, 2017

Bartender License Application Revised

The city is implementing a new application process that officials say provides ways to make more accurate final decisions to approve or deny a bartender's license.

Beloit Daily News, July 27, 2017 ... LWM in the News
Posted on: July 25, 2017

Arts award nominees sought

Arts Wisconsin is seeking nominations for the 2017 Arts in the Community Awards presented in partnership with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities. The awards honor communities and civic leaders around the state for championing the arts . . .

The Country Today July 24, 2017 LWM in the News
Posted on: July 21, 2017

Wisconsin GOP moves to relax property regulations

Two Republican legislators introduced bills Thursday that would make it easier for people to sell and develop their land and for sand mine companies to win local permits. Local government groups blasted the bill as an attack . . .

Todd Richmond Associated Press LWM in the News
Posted on: July 18, 2017

Will Court Ruling Help Rich Homeowners?

Homes make up 72 percent of all real property in Wisconsin. Homeowners will pay more than two-thirds of the $9.6 billion in net property taxes that state and local governments will collect this year. The state Constitution requires a “uniform” tax system.

Steven Walters for Urban Milwaukee July 17, 2017 LWM in the News
Posted on: July 11, 2017

Sun Prairie's Astrella featured on League TV show

The June guest on the League of Wisconsin Municipalities' “The Local Perspective” is President of the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association, Deputy Clerk/Treasurer for the village of Summit and Sun Prairie resident Chris Astrella.

Chris Mertes, The Star LWM in the News
Posted on: July 6, 2017

Ephraim Trustees Embattled Over Sidewalks, Pedestrian Safety

Tensions are rising between Ephraim village trustees as the deadline for the village to submit changes to the upcoming highway resurface plan looms. Trustees clashed over the cost, moral responsibility and legal liability of constructing sidewalks . . .

Jackson Parr Peninsula Plus June 30, 2017 LWM in the News
Posted on: June 30, 2017

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules for Open Meetings Advocates

The Wisconsin Supreme Court sided with open meetings advocates Thursday in a case involving the Appleton Area School District. . .

Laurel White Wisconsin Public Radio June 29, 2017 LWM in the News
Posted on: June 28, 2017

How Big Box Stores Shift Their Property Taxes Onto Homeowners

Something called the “Dark Store Loophole” lets companies like Wal-Mart shift their property taxes to homeowners and small merchants.
This obscure [property tax dodge, which has been going on for more than two decades, has pitted Big Box retailers . . .

Al Norman HUFFPOST June 27, 2017 LWM in the News
Posted on: May 16, 2017

Alderman Johnson Represents Milwaukee at Local Government Day

Cavalier Johnson, Alderman of the 2nd District, joined local government officials and staff from across the state for the First Annual Local Government and Utility Day on May 10 in Madison. City and village officials, as well as municipal . . .

Milwaukee Independent May 15, 2017 LWM in the News
Posted on: May 4, 2017

GOP Lawmakers Unveil Bills Targeting Big Box Stores

Big box stores in Wisconsin are being targeted in a pair of Republican-backed bills unveiled Wednesday at the state Capitol. The bills unveiled Wednesday set up a fight pitting retail giants like Target, Menards and Walgreens against Wisconsin . . .

By Shamane Mills and The Associated Press LWM in the News
Posted on: May 4, 2017

Wisconsin lawmakers look to close ‘dark store’ loophole

Legislation being introduced at the Capitol could change the way major retailers have their property taxes assessed. The package of bills from Republican lawmakers would reverse a 2008 State Supreme Court ruling that changed . . . .

Andrew Beckett Wisconsin Radio Network LWM in the News
Posted on: May 4, 2017

GOP bills target 'dark store' big-box tax strategy based on Madison court ruling

May 4, 2017 Republican state lawmakers have unveiled a pair of bills they say would prevent owners of big-box retail stores from lowering their property tax bills while shifting local tax burdens to small businesses and homeowners.

Mark Sommerhauser Wisconsin State Journal LWM in the News
Posted on: April 25, 2017

Wisconsin business lobby fights funding plan to remove lead from drinking water

April 19, 2017 Wisconsin’s business lobby spoke out publicly Tuesday against a bipartisan legislative proposal to replace thousands of underground pipes that leach toxic lead into drinking water.

Steven Verburg Wisconsin State Journal LWM in the News
Posted on: April 17, 2017

Groups soliciting nominations

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 . . . .

Jennifer McBride La Crosse Tribune LWM in the News
Posted on: April 11, 2017

Transportation Shakeup Leaves Local Governments Wondering What's Next

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 . . . .

Shawn Johnson for WPR News LWM in the News
Posted on: April 26, 2017

Health Alliance Brings Together Statewide Partners

Across Wisconsin, opportunities to live a long, healthy life are not shared equally by all. Many of Wisconsin’s health outcomes lag behind national averages, and the state is home to some of the most extreme health disparities in the nation.

UW School of Medicine and Public Health LWM in the News
Posted on: March 28, 2017

Wisconsin lawmakers target adults who host underage drinkers

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 . . . .

CARA LOMBARDO Associated Press LWM in the News
Posted on: March 30, 2017

WHEDA and League of Wisconsin Municipalities launch new partnership

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.

WHEDA LWM in the News
Posted on: March 24, 2017

States Challenge Retailers on Dark Store Loophole for Tax Assessments

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. . . .

Donna Mitchell for National Real Estate Investor LWM in the News