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Thursday, January 23, 2020

City Punishes Farm Family. Then Punishes Taxpayers With The Bill.

From the "we have to destroy the farm in order to save it" files comes another story about the misleadership and really bad decisions from within Janesville's backward if not corrupt city hall.

Before I begin, I must give the Janesville Gazette another one of those rare once or twice a year credits for the story.

This time it revolves around a couple ...well, here's the Gazette's quick take ...

The city took their land, but it wasn't in lieu of a six figure debt payment as the local Janesville Gazette suggests. The city took their land to punish the couple for not being able to afford to pay the city's demand. That's right. The couple said they can't afford to pay and with dwindling farm activity and other pressures, said it would take 170 years of their modest annual farm rent income to pay the city's bill.

So it was agreed and the city took their land.

It's one thing if the couple requested the curb, gutter and sidewalks, or fell behind on property tax. But they did not. The $130K bill for unrequested, unnecessary public works literally fell from the sky into their mailbox.

Why is the land NOT in lieu of the $130K road cost? Because according to the newspaper story, the city will replant the land (not sell it to recoup the money) with native wildflowers and turn it into a park while holding the property in a covenant for the family in case the family at some point in the future can afford to pay the ransom.

So how does the city pay the bill with the land they confiscated? They don't. Who pays? Unsurprisingly, the Gazette doesn't dig into that because well, THAT would ruin everything.

And so it is. They force $130K worth of needless public infrastructure on this family, get $130K in land value AND still collect the $130K from taxpayers snookered to pay the bill. It's a Win-Win double jackpot for the city! No eminent domain necessary. They'll all get raises and special commemorative coins from the city manager for this one.

What many in Janesville see as an obvious, bold act of extortion and an affront to common sense and decency, is turned into a "gift" trope by the city with the protectionist Gazette in tow. All in all, this story like dozens of eye-opening raging stories before it, is likely to just die on the vine. But to the folks running city hall, it's just another day and week in Janesville Wisconsin.

1 comment:

Maynard McKillen said...

MIghty corrupt, those City Hall hallways in Janesville. This is what passes for "Public Service" ??? And how so?
Petty tyrants throw their weight around just because they can, just because it stokes some massive egos.
Looks like the one-percenters in that bedroom community formerly known as the City of Janesville finally got the feudal estate they've been pining for...

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