“Dark Store” study committee postpones final votes, but adds provisions affecting schools

Yesterday (Dec. 11), the Legislative Council Study Committee on Property Tax Assessment Practices met to discuss three bill drafts making changes to the property tax assessment process, none of which would close the so-called “dark store” or “Walgreens” tax loopholes.

Although Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), the study committee’s chair, had hoped yesterday’s meeting would be the study committee’s final meeting, study committee members raised many questions and proposed several amendments to each bill draft.

One bill draft considered yesterday —LRB 0485/1—directly concerns school boards.

Continue reading “Dark Store” study committee postpones final votes, but adds provisions affecting schools

Fiscal memos on state support for school districts, school levy tax credit released

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) has released its annual memorandum providing information on the estimated percentage level of state support for K-12 education statewide and for individual school districts in the 2015-16 school year.

The memo estimates the state share of K-12 education in 2017-18 was 64.90 percent of partial school revenues, the same method used to calculate state support when the statutes mandated that state provide two-thirds of school costs.  That two-thirds funding mandate was in effect from 1996-97 school year through the 2002-03 school year.

Continue reading Fiscal memos on state support for school districts, school levy tax credit released

Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt will return as chair of Assembly education committee

State Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) returns as chair of the Assembly Committee on Education.  Rep. Thiesfeldt is a former teacher and administrator in two Lutheran elementary schools and a Lutheran high school.  He has chaired the education committee since the 2015-16 legislative session.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has announced the standing committees (including several new ones) for the state Assembly in the upcoming 2019-20 legislative session as well as the chairs.  Vice Chairs and the remaining committee members have not been announced yet.  The new session begins on January 7, 2019.

 

New members appointed to powerful legislative budget committee

Most of the 16 members of the powerful budget-writing Joint Finance Committee (JFC) have been set by legislative leadership.  Each house (Senate & Assembly) have 8 members each with 6 members from the majority party and 2 from the minority party.  Both houses have GOP majorities heading into the 2019-20 legislative session.  Assembly Democrats have not yet announced their two committee members. Continue reading New members appointed to powerful legislative budget committee

“Dark Store” study committee to meet tomorrow, perhaps for final time

A special study committee created to try to curb a practice that has resulted in shifting property taxes from “big box” retailers and pharmacy chains onto homeowners and small businesses may hold its final meeting tomorrow and a measure affecting schools is on its agenda.

The Legislative Council Study Committee on Property Tax Assessment Practices has thus far not to be able to resolve key differences among its members over what to do about these practices that have handcuffed local property assessors and municipalities.  The study committee is set to meet at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow (Dec. 11) in Room 412 East, State Capitol. Continue reading “Dark Store” study committee to meet tomorrow, perhaps for final time

Final meeting of Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding set

The Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding will hold what is expected to be its final meeting on December 19 at 9:00 a.m. in Room 412 East of the State Capitol in Madison.

Commission members will be discussing and finalizing the Commission’s recommendations for improving the school funding formula based on testimony received at previous public hearings.  No public input will be heard at this meeting. Continue reading Final meeting of Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding set

Extraordinary session passes bill requiring settlement funds to be deposited in the general fund and not the common school fund

The package of legislation passed early the morning of Dec 5 in extraordinary session by the Wisconsin Legislature contains the language that would require that the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) to deposit all settlement funds into the general fund and further, that all unencumbered settlement funds that are currently in the DOJ appropriation would lapse into the general fund.

WASB and others asked lawmakers to remove that language based on our view that those funds are arguably constitutionally required to be deposited into the common school fund established by Wisconsin’s original state constitution.  Read more on our position here.  WASB is asking Governor Scott Walker to veto the bill that contained these provisions. See our veto letter here.