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Friday, January 13, 2017

#3 Local Story 2016: Janesville Gazette Preys On The City

"Janesville Gazette Preys On The City."

Pretty harsh words, uh? I agree, but preys on the city was how the Janesville Gazette described lawyers demanding lower property tax assessments for Janesville area big box retailers and other businesses. Never mind the business owners and boards who made the decision to hire the lawyers, they're practically victims if you believe the Gazette. It's those damn lawyers, they started this. * eyeroll *

But who knew that soon after those dark store articles and editorials by the Gazette, that Bliss Communications, the Gazette's parent company, had done a little bit of lawyering up for themselves and challenged the property tax assessments on their two main buildings in Janesville?

According to a city memorandum (File Resolution No. 2016-1333) from July, Bliss picked up a "settlement" with the state and had approximately $65,000 total shaved from their annual tax bills on the two properties. From this point forward, Janesville homeowners and small businesses will get stuck with the tab.

To add some political irony to this, the Janesville Gazette and the local business swamp, Forward Janesville, have endorsed every local tax hike proposal and referendum imaginable on the premise that Janesville taxpayers must take on greater tax obligations, put more skin in the game and "invest" in their community ...or else face an economic "death spiral."

How do you like them apples?

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