NAIOP-WI Members Travel To Madison for Government Day
On February 26th, over a dozen NAIOP-WI members joined members from ten other real estate organizations for our annual Government Day to lobby state lawmakers on various legislative issues pending in the legislature. This annual trek to Madison is an important day for various organizations representing the real estate industry to come together and speak with one voice on issues important to our industry. This year, over 300 developers, property managers, and other real estate professionals met with lawmakers to discuss a variety of issues including property tax cuts, tax increment financing, and living wage ordinances. This is a critical part of overall lobbying effort, which resulted in numerous legislative victories over the last several years, as evidenced below. For those who were unable to attend this year, we hope to see you next year.
2013-14 Legislative Session Wrap Up: NAIOP-WI Enjoys Tremendous Success at the Capitol
With the 2013-14 legislative session scheduled to end on April 1st, NAIOP-WI has had its more successful legislative session ever. When the legislative session began in January 2013, NAIOP-WI’s legislative agenda consisted of approximately 15 legislative priorities aimed at improving the economic development climate in Wisconsin by cutting income and property taxes, reforming regulations, and creating incentives for new commercial development opportunities.
Over the last 15 months, we have worked closely with Governor Walker’s administration, legislative leaders, and legislators from both sides of the aisle to help pass our legislative priorities into law. In fact, almost all (10 out of 11) of our non-budget priorities received bi-partisan support, with five priorities receiving unanimous support. We owe thanks to all of the Wisconsin lawmakers (and their staffs) for supporting issues important to the commercial development industry.
Below is a summary of NAIOP-WI’s legislative priorities that have been or will soon be signed into law.
Cutting Taxes to Make Doing Business in Wisconsin More Affordable
- $406 Million Property Tax Cut (2013 Wis. Act XXX) — Reduces property taxes by using $406 million of state budget surplus to replace a portion of the property tax revenue used to fund technical colleges. (Bipartisan support)
- $100 Million Property Tax Cut (2013 Wis. Act 46) – Reduces property taxes by $100 million by using state revenue surplus to replace property tax revenue to fund public schools. (Bipartisan support)
- Property Tax Freeze (2013 Wis. Act 20, State Budget) — Places a 0.9% percent property tax cap on local levies for the next two years, but would allow increases based upon net new construction and gives local governments the power to carry forward up to 0.5% of unused levy authority to the next year. In addition, local governments may exceed the levy limits if approved through local referendum.
- Local Fees (2013 Wis. Act 20, State Budget) — Requires all revenue generated from local fees to be counted towards the levy limit which will discourage local communities from shifting funding for services from the property tax to local fees.
- Federalizing The Tax Treatment of Real Estate (2013 Wis. Act 20, State Budget) — Makes changes to the state income tax code to make it consistent with the federal tax code in the areas of depreciation of commercial property and the deduction of capital losses.
- Income Tax Reform (2013 Wis. Act 20, State Budget) — Cuts income taxes by approximately $650 million (over two years), eliminates numerous tax credits, reduces the number of income tax brackets from five to four, and reduces the tax rate in each of the tax brackets.
Removing Regulatory Barriers to Owning, Developing and Investing in Real Estate
- Vested Rights (2013 Wis. Act 74) — Provides greater certainty and fairness in the permit approval process by freezing development regulations for completed permit applications and provide that any subsequent changes in land use regulations will not affect the consideration of the pending application. (Bipartisan support)
- Shoreland Zoning After Annexation (2013 Wis. Act 80) — Encourage higher density development and streamline the regulatory process by eliminating the requirement for cities and villages to adopt shoreland zoning standards (NR 115) for property newly annexed or incorporated into city/village limits. (Bipartisan support)
- Landlord/Tenant Regulations (2013 Wis. Act 76) — Makes a number of changes to landlord/tenant law including state preemption of local regulations pertaining to limitations on tenant liability for damages, distribution of information to tenants, towing of illegally parked vehicles, and notice for disposal of tenants’ personal property.
- Subdivision Regulations (2013 Wis. Act XXX) — Revises state subdivision regulations (Wis. Stat. Ch. 236) to make it easier to divide commercial land by certified survey maps. (Unanimous support)
- Exemption From the Electrician Licensing Requirements (2013 Wis. Act XXX) — Exempts various routine building maintenance activities from the new electrician licensing requirements. (Unanimous support)
- TIF Decrement (2013 Wis. Act XXX) – Authorizes municipalities to lower the base value of an existing TIF district when the property is demolished or property values have declined, accelerating the generation of new taxable value and facilitating redevelopment. (Unanimous support)
- Special Assessment B bonds (2013 Wis. Act XXX) – Provides local governments with more flexibility to structure the principal and interest ratios of installment payments for special assessment B bonds, which will encourage more economic development opportunities by making special assessment payments more uniform and affordable in the early years of a development project. (Unanimous support)
Creating Incentives for Economic Development and Job Creation
- Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit (2013 Wis. Act 62) — Increases the state income and franchise tax credit for qualified rehabilitation expenditures from 10 percent to 20 percent. (Bipartisan support)
- Venture Capital (2013 Wis. Act 41) — Creates a $25 million fund-of-funds venture capital investment program to facilitate investments in venture capital funds, which, in turn, must invest in Wisconsin businesses. (Unanimous support)