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Gov. Walker makes an important announcement

Governor Scott Walker called for a special session today at the State Capitol, pushing for legislation to bring property tax relief to Wisconsin.
MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) - Governor Scott Walker called for a special session Thursday at the State Capitol, pushing for legislation to bring property tax relief to Wisconsin.

The Senate Bill 132, historic tax credit legislation is designed to increase the state historic tax credit from 10% to 20%, as well as offer a state match of 20% for buildings constructed prior to 1936.

The legislation also streamlines the credit approval process and decouples the credits from their federal counterparts, allowing flexibility for future projects in Wisconsin.
Representatives Chad Weininger (R) of Green Bay and Andre Jacque (R) of De Pere and Senator Rick Gudex (R) of Fond du Lac have co-authored the legislation.

"The Governor recognizes that increasing our state's historic tax credits will bring more investment dollars to our state, and more jobs," said Rep. Weininger.

"This proposal not only brings investment dollars and jobs to our state, but it has the ability to revitalize our downtown waterfront areas throughout the state," said Sen. Gudex.

But local Democrats worry this could impact the future of school funding from the state.

“That’s something we’ll definitely have to take a look at.  Whether this will be a one-time injection into the equalization formula going forward,” said Green Bay Democratic Rep. Eric Genrich.

Appleton Democratic Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber agrees.  She said, “They’re shifting money and they are really not fixing the future of our schools.”

But Senate President Mike Ellis said it won’t impact school aid. 

“The entire allowable increase will be paid for with state aid, leaving no need for a property tax hike.  That’s the big element," said Sen. Ellis.

The bill is currently awaiting an executive session in the Joint Committee on Finance, before it can be voted on by the state Senate and state Assembly.

It would then go to Governor Walker for signing.
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