Capitol Update

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Department of Revenue Performance: Bad Refunds Stopped
There has been a lot of media attention lately in regards to fraudulent tax refunds. Recently, Turbo Tax and HR Block were the targets of identity fraud. It’s important to note that Wisconsin is not immune to these types of attacks, and hackers often come from all over the world targeting anyone. Thankfully, the Department of Revenue has implemented a new system to cut back on fraudulent returns.

With the 2013-2015 state budget, The Department of Revenue (DOR), was able to implement a program to help identify tax fraud. The Department of Revenue was able to stop $49.7 million in fraudulent/inappropriate refunds in 2014 thanks to their identity verification efforts and related fraud prevention activities.

"It's common to hear about cybercrimes in the news on a regular basis, and identity theft is becoming more common. We are taking proactive steps to help protect our citizens against someone filing a false tax return by trying to use their personal information," said Secretary Richard Chandler. "Wisconsin is using technology to protect our tax dollars and scare away people trying to steal your identity."

With ID Verification, tax returns are selected based on analytics where various factors indicate a possibility of identity fraud. When the tax returns are selected, the department will require the taxpayer to take a short identification quiz or provide documents that prove their identity before they process the refund.

Taxpayers who are selected to take an identity quiz will receive an identity verification letter asking them to complete the quiz within 20 days. The four-question quiz can be taken online or by telephone. Once the quiz is complete, taxpayers will know whether or not they passed or failed the quiz.

If they pass, the agency will continue to process the return. If a taxpayer failed the first quiz, they will have the opportunity to take a second quiz. If they fail twice, the taxpayer must mail documentation to the department proving their identity. The department will not issue a refund until a quiz is passed or the proper documentation is provided and all information is complete to process the return. You can learn more about the Department of Revenue's ID verification program or report suspected tax fraud on the Department of Revenue website.

Take a look at the table below to see the total number of bad refunds that were adjusted and or stopped.

Bad Refunds Adjusted/Stopped

Bad Refunds Adjusted/Stopped Fraud Detection with Analytics Processing Fraud-CSI (Criminal Investigation Section) Earned Income Credit Homestead Credit Total for Specific Initiatives
FY14 $3,550,473 $13,099,311 $17,710,656 $15,299,425 $49,659,865
FY13   $3,434,613 $14,257,838 $12,480,794 $30,173,245
FY12   $1,702,300 $9,341,511 $16,694,458 $25,738,269







*Source: Department of Revenue



In the District


Congratulations, Don Neumann!
Congratulations to Don Neumann, who retired from the Hillpoint Volunteer Fire Department after 50 years of service. Thank you for all that you have done for your community. Thank you to all of our volunteer firemen for your service! Thank you for always being there when we need you.


Pictured L-R are:
Senator Marklein, Don Neumann, the Hillpoint Fire Chief Dave Gher, and Representative Ed Brooks


Old Settler’s Meeting and Pot Luck
I was able to take part in the Old Settler’s 139th Annual Meeting and Pot Luck in Reedsburg on Saturday, February 7th. It is said to be the best pot luck in Sauk County! We were given a history of Reedsburg Old Settlers through music. Forty nine settlers attended the first meeting 139 years ago. Thanks for the wonderful pot luck and for having me!


Helpful Information


Open Enrollment in the 17th Senate District


Open Enrollment in the 17th Senate District
-The inter-district public school open enrollment program allows parents to apply for their children to attend public school in a school district other than the one in which they reside.

What makes Open Enrollment different?
-Any Wisconsin resident in five-year-old kindergarten to grade 12 may apply to attend any school in Wisconsin during a specific time period.
-The 2015-16 school year open enrollment period begins on February 2, 2015, and ends at 4:00 pm on April 30, 2015.
-Both the home and potential school districts may deny the application for open enrollment based on criteria in state statute.
-Transportation to and from school is the responsibility of the parent.

Why does Open Enrollment exist?
-To give parents options for educating their children within the public school districts of our state.

How does funding work with Open Enrollment?
-The resident school district counts the pupil in membership for state aid and revenue limit purposes.
-For each regular education pupil, a uniform state-set amount is transferred from the resident school district to the nonresident school district in the final state aid payment each year.
-For 14-15 School Year total cost is: $6,635 per student.
-For children with disabilities, no aid transfer is made. Instead, the nonresident school district must bill the resident school district for the basic open enrollment amount plus any actual, additional costs to provide special education to the pupil.



2013-14 Open Enrollment Transfers In and Out of Selected School Districts


School District 2013-14 Pupil Membership In Out Net Percentage of Membership
Argyle 337 14 36 -22 -6.5%
Belmont 364 38 33 5 1.4%
Benton 242 30 26 4 1.6%
Black Hawk 393 22 47 -25 -6.4%
Boscobel Area 836 32 43 -11 -1.3%
Cassville 215 9 29 -20 -9.3%
Cuba City 632 62 62 0 0.0%
Darlington 791 43 41 2 .25%
Dodgeville 1,292 51 85 -34 -2.6%
Fennimore 758 32 20 12 1.6%
Highland 301 30 16 14 4.6%
Hillsboro 501 45 26 19 3.8%
Iowa-Grant 746 31 44 -13 -1.7%
Ithaca 337 81 40 41 12.1%
Lancaster 922 26 39 -13 -1.4%
Mauston 1,452 93 71 22 1.5%
Mineral Point 753 41 46 -5 -0.6%
Monroe 2,614 245 124 121 4.6%
Necedah Area 705 40 61 -21 -2.9%
New Lisbon 639 84 62 22 3.4%
Pecatonica 433 17 49 -32 -7.4%
Platteville 1,479 62 36 26 1.8%
Potosi 331 30 13 17 5.1%
Reedsburg 2,682 73 156 -83 -3.1%
Richland 1,396 72 133 -61 -4.4%
River Ridge 502 28 27 1 0.1%
River Valley 1,371 38 99 -61 -4.4%
Riverdale 717 13 65 -52 -7.2%
Royall 662 25 81 -56 -8.4%
Shullsburg 383 19 33 -14 -3.6%
Southwestern Wisconsin 587 23 42 -19 -3.2%
Weston 312 27 22 5 1.6%
Wonewoc-Union Center 370 43 63 -20 -5.4%

*Source: Department of Public Instruction




State Capitol - Room 8 South - Post Office Box 7882 - Madison, Wisconsin 53707 - Phone: (608) 266-0703

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