November 15, 2010
Wirch Proposes Sale of Governor’s Mansion
State would save on operating costs and benefit from sale
In response to a request from Governor-elect Scott Walker for ideas to trim state expenditures State Senator Bob Wirch is recommending that the State of Wisconsin sell or lease the Governor’s Mansion in order to save tax dollars and to reduce the structural deficit.
The Governor’s Mansion is on 3.7 acres of land situated along the Lake Mendota shoreline in the Village of Maple Bluff. The value of the Mansion alone is $1.5 million. The combined Mansion and land value is believed to exceed $2.5 million. Operating costs for the Mansion are $265,000 annually – including a 4.5 member staff.
While property tax exempt, it is estimated that if taxes were paid on the property the amount collected would be approximately $31,915 based on 2009 mill rates.
“The Governor’s Mansion is a significant expense for Wisconsin taxpayers,” Wirch stated. “Over the course of one four-year term, it costs taxpayers more than $1 million simply to operate.”
Arizona, California, Idaho, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont do not have Governor’s Mansions according to a Wisconsin Legislative Council review.
“When I go to my office in Madison, most days I pack my lunch in a cooler,” Wirch said. “I’ve been a brown bag guy since the days I worked on a factory floor. People want to see their state government provide basic services and cut the waste and frills. Selling or leasing the Governor’s Mansion will demonstrate to the people of the state that we are listening to them and responding.”
“This is not a partisan matter for me,” Wirch added. “When Governor Doyle entered office eight years ago I put this idea on the table to save tax dollars. It is an idea we should have moved forward with eight years ago. The condition of our budget today makes it an even more prudent proposal.”
“Change should start at the top. It is hard to set a good example if you are living in a Mansion,” Wirch concluded.
The website for submitting suggestions to Governor-elect Walker is www.transition.wi.gov