PLEASE ALSO READ: More voices, not less benefit a community
When the Franklin Common Council meets Tuesday night (July 17) they will almost assuredly vote overwhelmingly to approve sending $1200 to the WI League of Municipalities to lobby on behalf of cities, towns, and villages across the state including Franklin to lobby against the so-called “Dark Store Loophole.”
Essentially supporters of this lobby effort claim big outfits like Walmart aren’t paying their fair share of taxes, so local property owners must pick up the slack.
In reality this is an easy way to float a big fat excuse for big taxing and spending to voters. It’s an easy sell because the bumper sticker is pretty simple: Big companies bad. They don’t pay enough. Your taxes go up.
We’ll get into that more in a bit. But the League sends out a letter last month to municipalities throughout Wisconsin. You pay us just a paltry $1200 and we’ll fight the big bad dragons for you.
Franklin City Hall puts it on the agenda for the July 17th Common Council meeting.
Who will vote against spending the cash for lobbying? I predict no one.
Complete waste. The $1200, though a pittance, probably won’t work. And if the state Legislature somehow does approve taxing the big guys even more, then kiss more businesses and jobs in Franklin goodbye.
This issue came up in the state legislative session that was completed earlier this year. Went nowhere.
Who worked hard to try to get the so-called loophole removed?
Lots and lots of liberal mayors, village presidents and town officials.
Standing side by side with them like Tom Barrett on this anti-business measure: Our mayor, Steve Olson.
And here I thought he was a fiscal conservative. But there he was, sending a loud and clear message to large businesses that Franklin wants you to pay exorbitant taxes in order to locate here.
It’s a complex matter. No doubt about it.
Please, please take the time to read this lengthy blog (Especially the very end) that analyzes this issue in a way the city won’t and doesn’t want you to know about.
This is the narrative local governments have spun in the so-called “dark stores” debate. They’ve positioned the issue as greedy corporations attempting to shift their tax burden to homeowners. This makes for an interesting story, but it’s simply not true.
In reality, the property tax burden has actually shifted from homeowners to businesses over the last decade – the exact opposite of what your local politicians have likely told you.
Though complicated, it’s important you know more than just the :30 sound bite.
UPDATE: The Franklin Common Council voted 5-1 to allocate the $1200. Steve Taylor was the lone no vote.