DAILY WISCONSIN

Press

Newspaper Complains About Others’ Low Tax Assessments, Then Demands Its Own Assessments Be Lowered

The Gazette followed up with an editorial on the story where they concluded that absent changes in state law, and as lower assessments and settlements continue, homeowners should expect to pick up bigger shares of the tax burden. They are absolutely correct in that summation.

But who knew that at the time of their story in March, the Gazette’s parent label, Bliss Communications, hired a tax lawyer to, as lawyers are described in their editorial about the retailers, to “prey on the city” by filing an objection to their own property tax?

According to a city memorandum (File Resolution No. 2016-1333) from this week’s council meeting, Bliss Communications lawyered a “settlement” with the state by having $576,000 of assessed value knocked off its property on Parker Drive. The difference in value from the previous assessment translates to a $30,000 lower annual tax bill for the media company.

Bliss also had the assessed value for their facility on Wuthering Hills lowered by $709,500. That tax bill will be lowered by $35,000 for a combined difference of about $65,000 less annually for local taxing jurisdictions.

That means Janesville schools, the county and city combined must now refund Bliss that amount for their last tax bill and use those new lowered assessed values as the current baseline moving forward.

Via The Gazette Demanded a Lower Tax Bill. Now Janesville Gets To Pay The Price @ Rock Netroots.

Wrong Targets

But did you get sucked into that newspaper story? I can’t blame you because local officials and their media enablers across Wisconsin, particularly in Janesville, are leaving no stone unturned in their effort to point blame for the avalanche of budget shortfalls expected almost everywhere in Wisconsin, except to point blame where it belongs….

In other words, instead of naming businesses in an obvious effort to target them for public shame, why didn’t the Gazette call out the party holding the majority in our state houses, or name every member of the Wisconsin state senate and assembly (D or R) who either obstruct these reforms or allow the dark store hustle to remain workable and legal? Shame them instead.

The same goes for the so-called state aid formula that hasn’t been changed since 2000. The Gazette and their establishment minions point to it as a major problem fueling local budget shortfalls, but then dismiss pressure to update the formula with, “well, they don’t have the political will in Madison to fix it.” But they sure found the urgency and will to gerrymander electoral districts for their advantage…..

Via Rock Netroots: Janesville Newspaper Targets Businesses For Challenging Property Assessments.

Tagging

I can not be the only citizen of Madison perplexed as to why Isthmus writer Dylan Brogan thought it a great idea to follow a tagger in a nighttime journey to see a train car defaced.   Should I assume the local pusher was not able to take the reporter out for a look at how deals are made. Perhaps the local bank robber just thought better of including the press in his holdup.

The bottom line is there is no glory in tagging and certainly no reason to (excuse my bad pun) paint this element for anything other than what they are.  Criminals.  And to suggest in any way taggers are artists is akin to claiming a slicer on the golf course would be a great hire at a deli.

Via Tagging In Madison Is Vandalism @ CAFFEINATED POLITICS.

Changes 

We bloggers on MyCommunityNow and LakeCountryNow websites were informed by letter today that our blogs will be eliminated effective March 31, 2016.  The reasoning was that since the Journal Company is “on the verge of moving into new ownership” they “want responsibility for all of the content posted on our site”.  We were told we could still post comments to their content if we chose….

Blogging is in my DNA at this point.  To simply discontinue would be very difficult for me…and probably for those around me.  So, I will seek out a good proposition on a new site between now and the end of this iteration of Curmudgeon’s Corner, and will publish that new link a few times in the days remaining…as we were kindly told we were permitted to do under the new rules.

More to come…

Via Blogs Going Bye-Bye @ Curmudgeon’s Corner….

Schneider as Sophist 

Easily the most laughable analysis of the Trump phenomenon is by the Journal Sentinel’s Christian Schneider. He argues it is caused by mischief-making Democrats who want to see the Republicans nominate a loser. Does he offer exit poll information or any hard evidence whatsoever to prove his point? Nope.

Schneider has never operated as a journalist, just as a spin artist for the Republican Party. But in this case his fantasy is way out of touch even with the party his columns are meant to serve. That he functions as the only regular political commentator for the state’s largest newspaper is truly embarrassing.

Via Murphy’s Law: Will Priebus Destroy The Republican Party? @ Urban Milwaukee

Wisconsin Press Coddles Gov. Walker (Yet Again)

Yet again I get the impression that Associated Press does whatever it can to protect and/or repair Scott Walker’s image.

Compare the headlines and stories on Walker’s recent FEC filing:

From Washington Post (author – Jenna Johnson): How Scott Walker spent $90,000 a day to lose an election….

From Associated Press (author – Scott Bauer):  Wisconsin Gov. Walker raised about $7.4 million in run for president, spent about $6.4 million….

Via How AP and the WI press does damage control for Governor Drunken Sailor @ blue cheddar.

Janesville Gazette Distorts meaning of Tax Incremental Financing 

First of all, TIF districts were not designed or intended to be used by municipalities to “acquire” property or weaponized to allow private parties to acquire property through government force or below market value. But apparently, according to the newspaper’s new definition, that is how a TIF District works. The part about “charging” the cost of common areas and infrastructure to the district IS how it is supposed to be, but ironically, that’s not how the TIF works for Dollar General.

Via Local Tools Rework TIF Districts Into Tax Exempt Districts For the Oligarchs @ Rock Netroots.

Janesville paper’s trolling for Ryan

Paul Ryan’s loyal media tool, the Janesville Gazette, did what they do best when they recently published a one-sided rambling article with a bewildering troll-like title, “Janesville is his oxygen. Ryan and city go hand in hand” as one in a series of Gazette stories about people, events or things that helped insert Janesville into the national consciousness.

Via Rock Netroots: Waukesha, Not Janesville, Goes Hand In Hand With Paul Ryan

Newspaper Downsizing, Part 52 

“The four have been quintessential Cap Times staffers for years. As has become all too commonplace in this modern media environment, we offered voluntary retirement plans to anyone who either really wanted to put their feet up and retire or was inclined to pursue new opportunities. Either way, it’s never easy to say goodbye, even…

Scripted, Handled

“But what has troubled me most over this week concerning candidates and their dealing with the press is how Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is unable to stand on his own two feet to answer their questions. On Tuesday, Walker’s policy team held a press call with reporters to discuss the Wisconsin governor’s health care plan, as…

State Journal Lays Off Key Reporters, Keeps Lifestyle Spacewaster

Good thinking, gentlemen — 

EAGLE — The mulberries were ripe and sweet, an indigo bunting fluttered about and frogs in varying stages of development were prolific.Water from the spring, as it has for generations, continued to pour at 500 gallons per minute out of the ground of the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest at a constant 47 degrees. But much of the beauty of Paradise Springs has been lost — hopefully, for only a few more months.

Via On Wisconsin: The springs remain, paradise temporarily lost @ State Journal.