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Governor Evers to Close the Dark Store Loophole PDF Print E-mail
News
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
News
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
Read more...
 
POLITIFACT: "Pants on Fire" claim that Evers to blame for Foxconn changes PDF Print E-mail
News
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.

EXCERPTS FROM POLITIFACT:

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
News
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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Senate Democrats Tout Comprehensive Health Care Protection Bill PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Kate Constalie   
Thursday, 31 January 2019 16:47

affordablecareWant immediate action in Wisconsin to protect vital services and coverage.


MADISON, WI – As Legislative Republicans continue their effort to overturn key Affordable Care Act (ACA) protections, Senate Democrats are urging immediate action to protect vital services and coverage. Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) has introduced The Comprehensive Health Care Protection Bill that would safeguard children, families and seniors.  

jennifer-shilling“For the past eight years Legislative Republicans have made it their mission to undermine the health care marketplace, limit access to coverage and protect the profits of wealthy insurance executives,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “Local families I’ve heard from say they can’t afford more out-of-pocket costs, especially those with pre-existing conditions and seniors living on a fixed income. Senate Democrats are committed to working with legislative leaders and Gov. Evers to put the health and wellbeing of Wisconsin residents first, protect the Affordable Care Act, expand Badgercare.”

The Comprehensive Health Care Protection Bill includes the following provisions:

·         Prohibit insurance companies from discriminating based on a person’s pre-existing condition.

·         Prohibit lifetime and annual limits under health policies and plans.

·         Require coverage of and prohibit cost sharing for preventive services under health insurance policies and plans.

·         Require health insurance policies to cover essential health benefits specified by DHS with limits on cost sharing.

·         Require health plans to permit enrollment regardless of health status or gender.

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 March 2019 13:23
 
Walker and Republicans Failed Taxpayers on Foxconn Fiasco PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Kate Constalie   
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 16:58

walker-terry-gou-foxconnFoxconn’s reputation for abandoning projects and failing to deliver on thousands of promised jobs has been well documented says Democratic leader.


MADISON, WI – Once again questions are being raised about the future of Foxconn in Wisconsin as the foreign mega-corporation rolls back its plans for a high-tech manufacturing plant and misses jobs targets. Having originally promised a massive cutting-edge Gen 10.5 factory near Racine, then announcing a smaller Gen 6 facility, Foxconn will no longer focus on LCD manufacturing according to a recent report by Reuters. Despite the scaled-back plans, millions of taxpayers dollars have already been spent subsidizing this corporate project and building infrastructure that may never be utilized.

jennifer-shilling“The Walker administration and legislative Republicans failed to put in place stronger safeguards to hold Foxconn accountable and protect Wisconsin taxpayers,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “Their negligence has put home-grown businesses at a competitive disadvantage while committing taxpayers to decades of economic costs and liabilities for a project that continues to shrink in size and scope. At some point, Republican politicians will need to wake up and realize that these massive taxpayer handouts to foreign corporations are busting our budget and preventing Wisconsin families and businesses from getting ahead. Democrats want to increase oversight and accountability to ensure that Wisconsin communities and workers are protected.”

Foxconn’s reputation for abandoning projects and failing to deliver on thousands of promised jobs has been well documented. Development plans by Foxconn in places like Pennsylvania, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Brazil all failed to materialize or meet promised expectations.

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 March 2019 13:23
 
Evers Admin Appointee Responds to Wednesday's Foxconn News PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by Evers Press Wisconsin   
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 16:03

foxconn-wisconsin-plantDOA Secretary-designee Joel Brennan urges caution after Reuters report that Foxconn Technology Group is reconsidering plans to make LCD displays in Wisconsin.

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 March 2019 13:23
Read more...
 
Genrich Advances a Platform for Green Bay's Future PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by GBP Staff   
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 14:56

green_bay_citydeckCandidate for Mayor has asked people throughout the community for their thoughts, and come up with a plan.

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 March 2019 13:24
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Lawmakers Need to Walk the Talk for Bipartisanship PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 11:20

wisconsinThe legislature is considering a middle class tax cut for Wisconsin. Sen. Jeff Smith writes about how a new legislative session can turn the page for bipartisanship and his goals for cultivating good ideas and building trust across the aisle.

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 March 2019 13:24
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Democrats Urge JFC Co-Chairs to Hold Vote on ACA Lawsuit PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by Joint Finance Committee Democrats   
Tuesday, 29 January 2019 10:04

healthcare-familyDemocratic members of the Joint Committee on Finance want State to withdraw from the partisan political lawsuit.

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 March 2019 13:24
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Governor Announces $31 Million in State Support for Marinette Marine PDF Print E-mail
News
Written by Evers Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 25 January 2019 11:02

littoral-combat-shipShipyard expansion ensures Marinette Marine maintains a workforce of 1,500 employees, adds additional 400 full-time positions.

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 March 2019 13:24
Read more...
 
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