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Hudson City Council opposes legislators' tax proposal

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River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The Hudson City Council went on record Monday night in opposition to limits on local governments' ability to levy property taxes as proposed by two Republican legislators.

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The so-called Taxpayer Protection Amendment introduced by State Sen. Glen Frothman and Rep. Jeff Woods would limit a municipality's annual growth in revenue from property taxes and fees. Revenue growth would be limited to the average rate of inflation over the past three years or the annual percentage increase in state personal income plus 60 percent of the increase in property values, whichever is less.

The resolution from the Wisconsin League of Municipalities that the City Council endorsed said the amendment "fails to recognize that Wisconsin municipalities are a diverse group with great variation in economic conditions, tax base and reliance on shared revenues."

The amendment would "severely restrict" Hudson's ability to foster economic development because the growth formula would be capped at 60 percent of new construction, and the revenue limits would apply to debt service and tax incremental financing levies, the resolution says.

Council members offered few comments on the resolution, which passed by a unanimous voice vote.

Mayor Jack Breault indicated that the state-imposed revenue limits would be too restrictive.

The resolution says the Legislature should instead lessen the residential property tax burden by:

  • Working with local governments to fundamentally reform how local government is structured and financed in Wisconsin;

  • Reducing the number and scope of property tax exemptions created for special interests, which have unfairly shifted the burden onto homeowners;

  • Providing municipal officials with flexible tools to control property taxes; and

  • Increasing state funding of shared revenue.
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