Be our guest: Vruwink calls on state legislature to give local government flexibility
Dear Representative Krug and Senator Testin,
While most local government operations continue during this extraordinary time, I write to encourage you to work with your colleagues and call for the convening of a legislative session specific to providing relief to local governments in need of flexibility during this unprecedented time.
Like our State and Federal counterparts, Local governments are looking for ways to help those impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. One way we can offer residents financial flexibility is by extending the deadline for property tax installment payments.
The City of Wisconsin Rapids is among many municipalities in Wisconsin that collect property taxes in installments. These installment dates are set by local ordinance within the parameters of state statute 74.12. Unfortunately, 74.12(1)(a) only allows a municipality to make a change to its tax due dates if enacted by August 15 of the preceding year.
We continue to receive feedback from the community, citing concerns over financial conditions related to the pandemic, such as layoffs and loss of income; and businesses that are having to choose between paying their 2nd tax installment and paying their employees.
The IRS recently extended their deadline to file and pay federal income taxes, financial institutions are offering to help impacted customers, grocery stores are offering special shopping hours for at-risk populations, and many more are doing what they can to support the community through the challenges related to our public health emergency. With the legislature’s support, I know that municipalities can be part of the solution, supporting our communities through this crisis.
Thank you for your consideration. Please let me know how I can be of service to you as you navigate this request, as I know that this emergency legislation will support our community in rebuilding from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zachary J. Vruwink
Wisconsin Rapids Mayor