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Budget Provision Would Close Dark Store Tax Loophole PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Kate Constalie   
Tuesday, 05 February 2019 16:43

menards-wiHuge win for homeowners and small businesses in Wisconsin predicted.

MADISON, WI – All across Wisconsin, large corporate retailers have taken advantage of the Dark Store tax loophole that allows them to shift their property tax liability onto homeowners and small businesses. In an effort to ensure tax fairness for working families and seniors, Governor Evers has announced that the 2019-2021 budget will include a provision to close this loophole.

jen-shillingSenate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling released the following statement after Gov. Evers announcement:

“Closing the Dark Store loophole will be a huge win for homeowners and small businesses in Wisconsin. This issue is impacting municipalities of all sizes across the state and it’s one of the reasons we saw a jump in property taxes last year. Given the overwhelming public support for closing this loophole, it’s clear that Gov. Evers is listening to the people of Wisconsin and connecting the dots as he drafts the state budget. Senate Democrats welcome this new era of restoring tax fairness and protecting Wisconsin communities, seniors and working families.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 February 2019 17:23
Governor Evers to Close the Dark Store Loophole PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Assembly Democrats, Aaron Collins   
Tuesday, 05 February 2019 16:07

menardsBudget provision will help residential and small business taxpayers.

MADISON – This morning, Governor Evers announced that his biennial budget will include a provision to close the “Dark Store Loophole.” Based on a Supreme Court decision, big box retailers are allowed to base their tax assessments on their value as a vacant store rather than a store in operation. Unfortunately, Republicans ended the 2017-18 legislative session without closing this tax loophole, therefore continuing to shift the property tax burden to residential and small business taxpayers. Assembly Democratic Leader Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) released the following statement on the Governor’s proposal:

gordon_hintz“Communities across the state asked us to fix this loophole. Local governments asked us for relief from costly legal fights against well-funded national retailers”, Rep. Hintz stated. “I am confident the Governor’s announcement today will give this effort the needed momentum to finally close the Dark Store Loophole this legislative session.”

To cite just a few examples of retailers using the Dark Store loophole to avoid paying taxes:

· Using the Dark Store Loophole, Menards reduced the value of its property in Fond du Lac, from $9.2 million to $5.2 million.

· A CVS property in Appleton reduced the value of its property from $4.4 million to $1.8 million. Local taxpayers are now on the hook for a $350,000 refund.

“Like Governor Evers, legislative Democrats want to be a partner for local governments. For too long, homeowners and small business owners have had to increasingly bear the burden of this tax shift so national retailers can receive an unfair tax break. Republican inaction, in effect, was making a decision to side with big box national retailers. The bill has had strong bipartisan support in the past. With Governor Evers’ announcement today, I am hopeful that we can close the Dark Store Loophole in a bipartisan manner this session.”

On November 6th, twenty three counties voted on referendums regarding the Dark Store Loophole. The results were overwhelming. Over 78% of voters supported closing this unfair tax loophole.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 February 2019 17:24
Part One: Water is Life PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Tuesday, 05 February 2019 11:01

lake-michigan-shoreFirst of three columns about clean water in Wisconsin, the importance of clean water for our biology as humans, and how our dependence on good quality drinking water warrants our greatest care.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 February 2019 17:24
POLITIFACT: "Pants on Fire" claim that Evers to blame for Foxconn changes PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Courtney Beyer   
Friday, 01 February 2019 13:30

foxconn-deal"Vos and Fitzgerald's claim [is] not only wrong, but ridiculous"

MADISON -- After news that Foxconn would, yet again, be changing its plans for construction in Wisconsin, Republican leaders Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald were quick to point the finger at newly-inaugurated Governor Evers, claiming a “wave of economic uncertainty” caused Foxconn to scale back its plans.

Politifact Wisconsin has designated the claim “absurd,” giving it a “Pants on Fire” rating.


robin-vosWhen we asked Vos and Fitzgerald to back up their claim, Vos spokeswoman Kit Beyer noted a series of changes in Evers’ economic policy positions over time. But she said Republicans had no direct evidence connecting Foxconn’s changes to Evers or any action by the new governor…

Meanwhile, Foxconn hasn’t explicitly laid out its current plans or the reasoning behind them — but several reports have pointed to market factors rather than political ones….

Nikkei claimed the Wisconsin delay was "as a result of negotiations with new Gov. Tony Evers," citing a company document. But its article did not quote from the document or provide additional details.

In any case, Foxconn disputed the Nikkei report and spoke positively of Evers…

"All interactions to date with Governor Evers and his team have been constructive…”

In addition, Mark Hogan, head of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., WEDC, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Evers has not sought to renegotiate the Foxconn agreement or to pursue any side deals with the company — as claimed in the Nikkei report...

Experts say it simply wouldn’t make sense for Foxconn — a major global player —  to take action in response to a governor who was just sworn in Jan. 7, 2019.

"It’s pretty clearly a partisan statement that doesn’t connect to how corporations work…”

Published reports attribute the potential changes to an array of market and economic factors, including labor costs in the U.S., declining consumer demand and the trade war with China. Experts say those are historically the kinds of factors that drive business decisions, not politics.

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 March 2019 13:22
Foxconn Played Walker and Republican Leadership PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
Thursday, 31 January 2019 16:58

walker-terry-gou-foxconnDeal’s Constant Changes Doesn’t Bode Well for Wisconsin Workers.

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 March 2019 13:22
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