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Joint Finance Committee
member of the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC), I am
working to understand the specifics of each provision
contained in the Governor’s proposed budget and their
implications. The Joint Finance Committee is currently
considering and taking votes as to whether we will adopt, amend
or delete the Governor’s proposal and whether to include ideas
proposed by individual legislators. A final budget is expected
to be approved by the legislature by the end of June.
This week, I supported the following adjustments to the budget:
Property Assessment Policy – as a part of a wider sweep
to remove non-fiscal policy from the budget, the JFC removed
proposed changes to property assessments for municipalities and
counties. We will keep our property assessment policy
DNR Board & DATCP Board – two additional deleted
non-fiscal policy items were changes to make the Natural
Resources Board and the Board of Agriculture, Trade and
Consumer Protection into advisory committees. These
provisions were removed. (4/15/15)
Railroad Safety – provided funding for a Railroad Safety
Inspector position for the Railroad Commission to ensure
that railroads in our state are compliant and safe. I have
seen the railroad traffic increase significantly and
understand the importance of railroad inspections. (4/15/15)
Expansion – tripled funding for Broadband Expansion
Grants from the proposed $500,000 per year to $1.5 million
annually over the next four years. These grants provide
reimbursement for equipment and construction expenses
incurred to extend or improve broadband telecommunications
service in underserved areas of the state. (4/15/15)
Insurance Fund – the Governors original proposal would
end the program for local governments to get insurance from
the state. Our motion delayed the elimination of this fund
by 2 years so that local units of government will have time
to figure out new plans. The current program is operating at
a $1.4 million deficit and has been mismanaged, which
creates a large liability for the state. Regardless,
premiums will go up an average of 45%, so this will give the
local units of government the opportunity to shop around for
the best price on insurance. (4/17/15)
I look forward to
seeking common-sense budget ideas that will ensure quality
government programs and services for all of our residents and
taxpayers. As I continue to review the budget bill, I appreciate
Executive Summary of the budget, as well as full details, please
Click here for a printable version of this update.
In the District
Congratulations, Marie Hunt!
I want to congratulate Marie Hunt of Spring Green on being
awarded an honorary high school diploma from River Valley High
School. Marie was raised within a mile of my home farm in Wilson
Creek. Growing up, Marie lived too far from the high school and
had to leave school to care for her eight younger brothers and
sisters. If she had graduated on schedule, she would have
finished high school in 1928. Instead, she received her diploma
87 years later.
Marie was awarded an honorary degree by River Valley High School
last week at her assisted living center.
Congratulations on your accomplishment, Marie!
Wonewoc-Center Middle School Visits the Capitol
On Thursday, I was able to join Representative Ed Brooks to meet
with students from Wonewoc-Center Middle School as they finished
their capitol tour! I hope you enjoyed your visit!
Myself and Representative Ed Brooks and
students from Wonewoc-Center Middle School
Equalized Levy Rates (Mill Rates)
Public school property taxes are the largest component of our
tax bills. Recently, we have had the opportunity to analyze the
mill rates for the 17th Senate District.
Mill rates are the amount of tax payable per dollar of the
assessed value of a property. The mill rate is based on "mills";
as each mill is one-thousandth of a currency unit, one mill is
equivalent to one-tenth of a cent or $0.001. Property tax in
dollar terms is calculated by multiplying the assessed property
value and the mill rate and dividing by 1,000. As a property may
be subject to tax by a number of different authorities, mill
rates are set by each taxing authority to meet the revenue
projections in their budgets.
It is important to note that the different mill rates could have
different variances due to local referendums taking place. The
following table demonstrates the wide breadth of mill rates in
2014-2015 Mill Rate
|FYI: State Totals -
*Source: Wisconsin Department of Public
Approves Improvement Project at Mauston New Lisbon Union Airport
Governor Scott Walker announced a $266,667 project to install a
new automated weather observation system (AWOS) at Mauston New
Lisbon Union Airport. The funds will also cover the cost of
rehabilitating deteriorated airport pavements with crack filling
and seal coating.
David Montesinos, project manager with the Wisconsin Department
of Transportation (WisDOT), said that the project will make
travel to and from the airport safer by providing real-time
local weather and improving the existing pavements.
• State = $13,333
• Mauston New Lisbon Airport = $13,334
• Federal Aviation Administration = $240,000
Work on the project is expected to begin this month and be
completed by July 2015.
Mauston New Lisbon Union Airport is one of 98 facilities
included in the Wisconsin State Airport System Plan, which makes
it eligible for state and federal funding. Airport improvement
projects are administered through WisDOT’s Bureau of
*Senator Marklein is pleased to provide this
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