Capitol Week-in-Review – April 27, 2017

Lawmakers Introduce Personal Property Tax Repeal Legislation 

On Monday, 2017 Assembly Bill (AB) 277 relating to the elimination of personal property tax in 2018 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee for further legislative review and consideration.

The Coalition to Repeal Wisconsin’s Personal Property Tax has reached out to the Chairman of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, State Representative John Macco (R-De Pere), to request a public hearing on AB 277. A public hearing will provide us with a forum to discuss the merits of this legislation as well as demonstrate broad small business support for the repeal of Wisconsin’s personal property tax.

Our Coalition has also produced a short video to help educate the general public about the personal property tax. Please free to share it with your friends, neighbors, peers and colleagues.

UI Tax Rates Projected to Fall Again in 2018

One of the factors used to determine an employer’s UI tax liability is the financial condition of Wisconsin’s UI Trust Fund.

The State of Wisconsin has four UI tax rate schedules – A, B, C and D. The highest tax rate (Schedule A) applies when the balance in the UI Trust Fund is less than $300 million. The lowest tax rate (Schedule D) applies when the UI Trust Fund balance exceeds $1.2 billion.

Last Wednesday, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) released the 2017 Unemployment Insurance (UI) Financial Outlook Report in which the Department stated:

“The economy is projected to grow throughout the projection period of 2017 through 2019. Employers are currently paying taxes based upon the second lowest UI tax schedule, Schedule C for tax year 2017. In the current projection, the UI Trust Fund balance exceeds $1.2 billion on June 30, 2017. This means that for 2018, the expected UI Tax Schedule will be Schedule D, the lowest UI tax schedule. It is expected that UI taxes will remain on Schedule D through the rest of the projection period.”

If the Department’s projections hold true, Wisconsin employers who participate in the UI program would experience a tax reduction for the third straight year.

Wisconsin AG Leads Coalition to Defend “One-In, Two-Out” Executive Order

Shortly after taking office, President Trump issued an Executive Order directing federal government agencies to repeal two regulations for each new regulation they issue. Soon thereafter, a trio of Washington, DC-based advocacy groups filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to block this order.

Last Monday, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a friend-of-the-court brief defending the President’s “One-in, Two-out” order. In their filing, they noted:

  • The executive order effectively reins in a bureaucracy that has implemented a far greater regulatory burden than Congress ever envisioned; and
  • Past presidents, of both political parties, have enacted similar mechanisms to ensure review of regulations within the executive branch. Such measures have instructed agencies to consider the cumulative costs, the impact on the national economy and the effect of rules on state and local government.

Twelve other states – Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Wyoming – have signed on to this friend-of-the-court brief.

We support the President’s Executive Order and appreciate Attorney General Schimel’s leadership on this matter. Since 2001, over 47,000 new federal regulations have been put in place. The “One-in, Two-out” directive is a simple step that should be taken to pare back the regulatory overreach of the federal government.