Dear Governor Walker
Thank you for all the great pro-economic development things you have recently signed into law – mining bill, state budget initiatives (including income tax reform, property tax freeze, and local fees) and the venture capital bill.
There are many issues of interest to the commercial real estate industry. Here are three top issues that I, on behalf of my fellow members of NAIOP, would like to highlight:
Property tax reform – Over the next year the next big initiative may likely be on eliminating the corporate income tax. While this would surely help improve Wisconsin’s overall tax climate, property taxes remain the most onerous tax that both businesses and individuals pay. The real estate industry needs to continue to remind our leaders that property tax reform is much needed in Wisconsin, which would also help us attract employers and jobs to the state. The commercial side of the real estate industry is where our economic development is created and it is still struggling to recover from the apply-named Great Recession. This reform is essential to accelerating that recovery.
Local economic development tools – Local communities need a more flexible regulatory environment and better tools to be able to attract businesses and jobs to the state. These tools include loosening restrictions on Redevelopment TIF’s, expanding B Bond financing and increasing the number of municipal liquor licenses.
Wetlands – I appreciate that you signed a major wetland regulatory reform into law last session, but the changes under the law won’t mean anything unless we update the wetland mitigation guidelines (between DNR and Army Corps.) and other administrative rules to make it easier to create wetland banks and purchase credits in the areas where economic development is most likely to occur – namely, Southeast Wisconsin. As it stands, mitigation is not a reality, only a hoped-for possibility
Thank you for your great work in leading our State back towards its days of national economic leadership. I and my fellow leaders of the commercial real estate industry, through our representative organization NAIOP, look forward to working closely with you in getting Wisconsin back into the national top ten.
J. Michael Mooney
Chairman – MLG
13400 Bishop’s Lane, Suite 100
Brookfield, WI 53005