JFC Republicans nix Evers plans to ease property tax limits

Budget BLOG

The Joint Finance Committee rejected a string of steps Gov. Tony Evers wanted to take to ease property tax limits on counties and municipalities.

But the committee agreed to give them a little bit of relief for the costs they incur managing storm water.

Currently, municipalities have to reduce their levies for any fees they collect to cover the costs of services that they had previously paid for through property taxes in 2013. The list includes garbage collection, fire protection, snow plowing, street sweeping and storm water management.

Evers wanted to repeal that and create an exclusion to state-imposed levy limits for services such as cross-border transit routes and emergency dispatch centers.

The committee, along party lines, rejected a Dem motion to approve Evers’ actions.

Instead, JFC unanimously approved a GOP motion to remove storm water management from the list of services. According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the impact on levies was not known, but expected to be minimal.

While Dems backed the motion, they complained it didn’t go far enough and the committee should’ve embraced Evers’ proposal on creating exclusions, particularly for transit routes.