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.

From $384 million to $0?

Tomorrow’s [2.3.16] Assembly Ways and Means Committee meeting had an interesting last-minute addition to it, and it involves a huge business tax giveaway that you may have thought was dead.

You may remember me referencing this “economic substance” bill when they tried to jam it through a public hearing last month. At the time, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue estimated that it would cost the state up to $384 million a year, which is certainly not anything that can be done when there’s only $64 million of breathing room in the budget over the next 17 months. The bill seemed to be put underground after that.

Well, it’s BAAAACK!

Via Jake’s Economic TA Funhouse: $384 million tax cut now “clarified” to $0?

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.


Despite her desperately transparent vote just days before the election, make no mistake: Mary Burke raised taxes by the legal limit on the school board and she crafted and promoted policies in the Doyle-Burke Administration that led to massive tax hikes and record job loss. Wisconsin simply can’t afford tax-and-spend Mary Burke. Via WisGOP Response…

Eighteen months

The indictment charged that Mangold filed tax returns in which he underreported his income, sometimes to the level of zero income, for the years 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2006. Via West Bend emergency doctor sentenced to prison for income tax evasion @ JS Proof and Hearsay Blog. 

Four million a year, forever

The referendum is a money-grab pushed by so-called conservatives who have never met public spending for their private interests that they didn’t like.  They’re not, in fact, true conservatives at all. These sort of polices have wrecked the Right in Whitewater, but that won’t stop a few elsewhere from hoping they can dupe their own…

Millions in taxes

Records show Burke, her mother and three siblings living in Wisconsin paid a total of $1.77 million in personal income taxes in 2012. That would mean the five Burke family members reported a total adjusted gross income of at least $22.8 million during that year. Via Burke, family paid $1.7 million in 2012 state income taxes…