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Wisconsin Legislative Review

Andrew Potts | with 0 Comments

Wisconsin Legislative Review

The Wisconsin legislative session has come to a close. Last week, Governor Walker completed the last bill signing ceremony at the State Capitol. What do these new laws mean for communities in Wisconsin? Here is a brief overview of some of the new laws:
Clean Water Fund and Safe Drinking Water Loan Programs (Act 7) – Brought Wisconsin’s rules governing the Clean Water Fund Program and the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program into line with federal law. Had this law not been enacted, several communities in Wisconsin would have had their funding requests denied due to the discrepancy between state and federal law. MSA’s President and CEO, Gil Hantzsch, testified in favor of this legislation in committee.
Additional Road Funds (Act 141) – Due to a surplus in the Wisconsin Department of Transportation budget, Governor Walker authorized an additional $43 million in transportation infrastructure projects. More details are covered in this blog post.
Distressed TID Relief (Act 183) – Due to the Great Recession, many Tax Increment Districts (TIDs) faced financial difficulties caused by declining property values. Rather than tax increment, these communities are seeing tax decrement. This law allows communities to request that the Department of Revenue adjust the base value of a TID in cases where tax decrement has occurred. This adjustment may only occur twice during the life of the TID and not in consecutive years.
Town TID (Act 193) – Grants authority to towns with a population of 3,500 or greater, $500 million or greater in assessed valuation and sewer and water service, to create a TID in a manner similar to Wisconsin villages and cities. This will provide an additional economic development tool for urban towns in Wisconsin. We will discuss this issue in more detail in a future blog post.
Expanded Use of Certified Survey Maps (Act 272) – Under prior law, a land subdivision that created more than four parcels required a subdivision plat. This law allows, in certain circumstances, for the less cumbersome CSM process to be used.
Survey Modernization (Act 358) – This piece of legislation made several changes to the regulation of surveyors by the State of Wisconsin. Items include: retitling the Registered Land Surveyor to Professional Land Surveyor, clarifying what types of surveying activity require a surveyor and removing exemptions for municipal employees from the licensure requirements.
Phosphorus Compliance (Act 378) – This new law, which MSA’s wastewater engineers followed closely as it went through the legislative process, provides an additional method for wastewater treatment facilities to achieve phosphorus compliance. A more thorough discussion of the bill is in this previous blog post by MSA’s Tom Fitzwilliams.

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