Below are some of the major provisions in the 2015-2017 State Budget supported by the WBA:
- An additional property tax cut
- Prohibit automatic fire sprinklers in one and two family dwellings by administrative rule change
- Statewide uniform standards for shoreland zoning (NR 115)
- Statewide electrical standard for commercial buildings
- Delete education grants at the Department of Safety and Professional Services
- Timelines for the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission (CARPC)
- A waiver to the building code for certain religious sects
- Elimination of the Multifamily Dwelling Code Council
- Prohibition on local governments from imposing time of sale requirements
- Federalizing the lead paint standard for enforcement of the lead paint renovator rule and an increase in the maximum fine for non-compliance from $1000 to $5000
- Retain current law for the historic tax credit
Also, late in the budget negotiations, the legislature also agreed on and passed significant changes to prevailing wage laws in Wisconsin. Starting on January 1, 2017, prevailing wage rates will not be required on projects paid for by local units of government (towns, villages, cities, counties, school districts, technical colleges and municipal utilities).
State projects will still require prevailing wage rates to be used, but the rate will be federalized by using existing Davis-Bacon wage rates established by the federal government. Allowing local projects to not use prevailing wage rates is expected to save these units of government tax dollars that may be available for continued property tax reductions or to increases services to local property taxpayers.
We are happy to report so many substantial wins that will help WBA members, homeowners, potential new homeowners, and those that may be looking to remodel an existing home.
The recently passed state budget is one more example of WBA members working hand in hand with fellow WBA members and WBA staff members to advocate on behalf of sound public policy changes to improve housing in Wisconsin.
Thank you for your past efforts; we are looking forward to working on additional issues contained in the WBA Advocacy Agenda in 2015 and 2016.