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— A circuit court should’ve weighed in on whether the Department of Revenue’s guidance on a new tax exemption for personal property constituted an unpublished rule rather than deferring to the Tax Appeals Commission first, the state Supreme Court has ruled.
The ruling will make it easier to challenge DOR guidance and other advice in circuit court rather than going to the Tax Appeals Commission, an independent agency the Legislature created to hear disputes between taxpayers and the departments of Revenue and Transportation.
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce didn’t agree with a letter DOR sent the business group over its interpretation of the personal property tax exemption and filed the suit, which was dismissed by an Ozaukee County judge
Writing for the majority, Justice Brian Hagedorn found the question of whether the letter constitutes an unpromulgated rule doesn’t draw upon the Tax Appeals Commission’s expertise in tax matters. Rather, the question “goes to the authority and process by which an agency must adopt and administer the law.”
That is best answered by a court, not an agency that “has no unique expertise over whether a letter fits the definition of a rule.”
The dispute began after WMC asked Revenue how a new exemption would be applied. The business group argued that “machinery, patterns and tools that are not used in manufacturing” are exempt under the change even if that property is “located on manufacturing property.”
Revenue disagreed, and WMC filed the suit. It argued the DOR letter amounted to an unpromulgaed rule and was invalid.
After an Ozaukee County Circuit Court dismissed the suit, an appeals court upheld that ruling.
Though the state Supreme Court was unanimous in believing the circuit court should’ve heard the case, only liberals Ann Walsh Bradley, Rebecca Dallet and Jill Karofsky fully signed onto Hagdorn’s opinion. Meanwhile, Justice Pat Roggensack wrote her own concurring opinion that was joined by fellow conservative Rebecca Bradley.
— The Wisconsin Supreme Court sided with Kohler Co. to remove another barrier to its plan to build another golf course along Lake Michigan.
The 4-3 decision yesterday reversed an earlier Court of Appeals decision that the Friends of the Black River Forest could move forward with challenging a Department of Natural Resources land swap agreement with Kohler. The swap would have DNR giving 4.6 acres of Kohler-Andrae State Park in exchange for 10 acres west of the park.
Kohler’s Vice President of Golf, Landscape & Retail Dirk Willis said the company is pleased with the move and it has a strong track record of environmental stewardship.
“We look forward to developing our public golf course in the City of Sheboygan on property owned by Kohler Co. for more than 75 years, and are committed to creating a world-class golf course that respects the property’s natural character and opens up private land to the public for the first time,” he said.
Friends of Black River Forest said it was disappointed in the decision.
“Today’s decision sets a disturbing new precedent for Wisconsinites and their ability to fight arbitrary and oppressive agency actions that affect their daily lives–actions that may extend far beyond where and whether they enjoy Wisconsin’s natural resources,” the group said.
— Marshfield’s PreventionGenetics has received FDA approval for its diagnostic genetic test for obesity patients.
Developed in collaboration with Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, the test is the first FDA-authorized Class II molecular companion diagnostic device.
The companion diagnostic genetic test is intended to analyze genomic DNA isolated from blood or saliva. The test is intended to look for gene variants in adult and pediatric obesity patients 6 and older so they can be matched to targeted therapies.
PreventionGenetics is a germline DNA testing laboratory that offers genetic testing to patients and physicians.
See more details in the press release section below.
— Gov. Tony Evers is providing $9 million to the Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin through the Workforce Innovation Grant Program.
The group serves 53 counties in Wisconsin. It plans to use the grant to support its “Thinkability Wisconsin” initiative. The program will provide people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with education and training for manufacturing and hospitality careers, according to a release from Evers.
The program also seeks to improve societal expectations for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, form coalitions and implement public service campaigns to reduce barriers to employment.
The grant is part of $23.3 million Evers announced Wednesday that will be distributed through the Workforce Innovation Grant Program, which has so far given $150 million in grants, according to the release.
See more in a release below.
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The Phelps Hamus Group I Ameriprise Financial
Wisconsin REALTORS Association
The Phelps Hamus Group I Ameriprise Financial
Madison Gas & Electric
Wisconsin Technology Council
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– Milwaukee County using $22M in federal stimulus to catch up on deferred maintenance, other projects
– This former Bronzeville department store was covered with metal cladding in the 1970s. That’s now coming off as the building is redeveloped.
– Spike Brewing Co. just landed a prime spot with a shady past, but outlooks could be bright
– Glendale battery maker Clarios International revives possible IPO
– Greendale-based The Kinetic Co. acquired by Las Vegas-based company
– Meteorologist Brian Gotter leaving TMJ4 for position with MACC Fund
REAL ESTATE ^top^
– Smart-building skepticism pervades for some CRE owners as cybersecurity, flight-to-quality become bigger factors
– Here’s why CRE deal volume may not see dramatic slowdown in second half of 2022
– Stan’s Fit For Your Feet acquires Chicago-area shoe store
SMALL BUSINESS ^top^
– Milwaukee businesses held on better than expected during pandemic, but the ‘new normal’ remains a challenge
– ‘Crafty new scam’ targets Facebook Marketplace users, Better Business Bureau says
– Zywave names new CFO
– Visit Milwaukee, David Caruso and Plum Media will launch new television show
– Despite record gas prices, Wisconsinites expected to travel more this weekend than they have since 2000
– City of Madison again offering free summer bus passes to MMSD middle and high schoolers
– Wisconsin solar power projects delayed by months
– Kathleen Gallagher: Wisconsin homeowners who want to install solar panels face a fight with We Energies. Why the utility continues to win.
– PreventionGenetics: receives FDA approval for its companion diagnostic genetic test as a class II medical device
– Gov. Evers: announces $23.3 million to support early childhood education, reduce barriers to workers entering the workforce