Madison, WI—Yesterday, Senate Bills 122, 123, and 144, authored by Representative Rob Brooks (R-Saukville), were signed into law by Governor Scott Walker.
Senate Bill 122 makes the filing of an official bond by local units of government permissive, not mandatory. Under current law, certain municipal officials are required to file an official bond. This bond is intended to protect the municipality and taxpayers against loss of public funds in the event that the public official fails to perform the duties of their respective office.
“Most municipal officials are covered under employee dishonesty insurance, which makes obtaining an official bond a duplicative process. Senate Bill 122 provides a common sense reform to an outdate mandate,” said Representative Rob Brooks.
Senate Bill 123 guarantees that property taxes will be appropriately distributed to local taxing units, specifically schools, technical colleges, municipalities, and counties. Currently, municipal treasurers collect most property tax payments in December and January and then retain a portion of the property tax and allocate the remainder to other taxing entities.
“Wisconsin’s surety bond threshold is no longer adequate to cover the state and county tax levy if a municipality is unable to distribute property taxes,” Representative Brooks opined.
Lastly, Senate Bill 144 designates heat energy as a renewable resource, as defined under Wisconsin’s Renewable Portfolio Standards. Including this new technology in Wisconsin’s Renewable Portfolio Standards will encourage more industries and manufacturers to promote waste heat recovery procedures to lessen utility expenses and potentially use the recovered heat for future energy investment.
“Senate Bill 144 will further encourage manufacturers to transform their waste heat into a useful, sustainable byproduct. In so doing, manufacturers, utilities, and local governments will save money on energy costs, create jobs, and protect the environment,” Representative Brooks stated.