Bill to Watch: Minimum-wage, Dark-stores Bill
Local minimum-wage ordinances
This bill would allow a city, village, town or county to enact its own minimum-wage ordinance. The current minimum wage in Wisconsin is $7.25 per hour. A memo accompanying the bill proposal said, “According to cost-of-living data, it costs more to live in Madison or Superior than in Sheboygan and Wausau. This is why it is necessary to allow local governments to set wage floors for their communities.” The bill is in the Assembly Committee on Labor and Integrated Employment, but it does not have a sister bill in the Senate, making it unlikely it will be passed before the end of the session.
AB-146 / SB-140
This bill would have closed the “dark-store loophole” that has been criticized for allowing large department stores to be assessed at the value of vacant storefronts, which significantly reduces property-tax revenue for municipalities. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council passed a resolution supporting the closure of this loophole in August 2018, and the Door County Board of Supervisors passed a similar resolution in March 2017. The bill will not be taken up this session. The League of Wisconsin Municipalities has stated that it will continue to seek a resolution to the loophole through the courts.