Exercise Your Right to Vote – Tuesday, April 5

he Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) is projecting a 40% turnout in next Tuesday’s statewide Spring General Election. Voters will elect a new member to a ten-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court and influence which candidate will represent the Republican and Democrat parties in the race for the White House.

We encourage members to exercise their right to vote. On Tuesday, the polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

If you have voting-related questions, please go to My Vote Wisconsin – a website operated and maintained by the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. On this site, you can register to vote, check your voter registration status, find your polling place and see what’s on your ballot.

PSC Releases Energy 2022 Report

State law requires the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) to prepare and publish a strategic energy assessment (SEA) every two years to evaluate the state’s current and future energy demands, how those demands will be met, and the reliability of the electrical system over the next seven years.

Last Thursday, the PSC released its latest SEA – Energy 2022 – based on data and information collected in 2015 and 2016 from Wisconsin utilities and power cooperatives. The key findings from the Energy 2022 report include:

1. More than 90% of the electricity generated in Wisconsin comes from three fuel sources – coal (65%), nuclear (15%) and natural gas (12%);

2. State law requires that approximately 10% of all electricity sales in Wisconsin come from renewable resources by 2015. Sales of electricity from renewable
resources surpassed 10% for the first time in 2013 and projections show this goal will continue to be met through at least 2020. The primary renewable
resources of electricity are hydro (3%); biogas (3%) and wind (2%);

3. Since the last SEA, electricity rates have increased for all customer classes both in Wisconsin and the Midwest. U.S. average electricity rates in the residential
class increased; whereas the rates for the commercial and industrial classes decreased. For 2015, the average rates (per kilowatt hour) are as follows:

Wisconsin Midwest U.S.

Residential $14.42 $12.06 $13.32
Commercial $11.06 $9.56 $11.01
Industrial $7.81 $7.09 $8.02

4. Forecasts indicate that Wisconsin will maintain an adequate and reliable electric supply through 2022. By then, Wisconsin’s electricity providers estimate they
will retire approximately 520 MW of existing Wisconsin-based electric generation. Electricity providers expect a combined need for an additional 200 to 700
MW of capacity and energy by 2020; and

5. Between 2016 and 2022, annual electric energy efficiency expenditures by electric utilities and the state-mandated Focus on Energy program are projected to
be in the range of $88 to $100 million.

Tax Filing Deadline – April 18

Federal and state tax returns must be received or postmarked by midnight on Monday, April 18. The deadline is extended this year because of the emancipation holiday in Washington, DC on April 15.

For state tax filing, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) offers the following tips to make the filing process easier.

a) Pay online. The DOR offers easy online payment taxes on its website.

b) Taxpayers must request an extension from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by April 18 to avoid penalties. Go here for more information. Taxpayers who file
an extension request with the IRS automatically receive an extension from the state. Taxpayers should keep a copy of their IRS federal extension application
(Form 4868) for their records.

c) Call the DOR customer service during off-peak hours at (608) 266-2772. Customer service hours are 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The
best time to call is Tuesday – Friday, especially in the afternoon. The call center is the busiest on Monday and during the lunch hour.

We sincerely hope you find this e-publication to be a valuable member service. Let us know what you think and how we can make it better by contacting the editor, Brian Dake, at bdake@wibiz.org.

John Gard
Wisconsin Independent Businesses