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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Walker's Reckless Business Scheme Circumvents Water Conservation Rates

Remember when Janesville city officials incorporated a water rate billing plan developed by the environmental advocacy group Clean Wisconsin? The idea was that Janesville water utility customers would be rewarded for conserving water by paying less per unit of water as their water usage decreases, a reverse of the current billing system. In other words, the end of volume discounts.

Well, Walker and his "open for business" advisors found a way to get around the water conservation measure for his corporate contributors in the deceptively titled "budget repair bill." Excerpt:
The most remarkable of these credits is the Water Consumption Credit. The credit allows industrial enterprises to defer up to $300,000 a year in payments to the municipal water company. This credit can be claimed each year from 2009 until 2020. Credits such as this, along with the relatively tax-free Development Opportunity Zones and Enterprise Zones have resulted in the loss of millions of dollars in tax funds that have been funneled right back into the pockets of big business.

Back then when the Janesville city council approved of the new water rate plan, I thought the Janesville business establishment and their politically active lobbyist group (Forward Janesville) were eerily quiet about the impact it could have on volume users.

In addition to Janesville being declared a tax-free Development Opportunity Zone, industrial users will now also have the luxury of state taxpayers picking up their tab for water usage. So the "little people" in Janesville are not only paying a little more for our household water to help conserve water, we're also footing the bill for the biggest industrial consumers.

Locally, before you thank Forward Janesville for this outrage ask them, "what else is there that we don't know?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can see no one from Janesville is protesting the tax raising hand-outs Walker is bestowing on wealthy corporations, but just insinuate that a public sector worker is getting a 3.2% raise spread out over five years and all hell breaks loose.

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