A legislative fix for a mistake that cost Verona taxpayers more than $100 on average last year has passed the state Senate.
Senate Bill 269, sponsored by Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) is specific to Verona and the accounting error the city was unable to have corrected before passing its 2019 budget – inadvertently adding $56 million to a tax-increment financing district.
Should the bill pass, the city would then be tasked with refunding taxpayers and other taxing districts, a job that could become lengthy and complicated.
According to a release from Erpenbach’s office, the bill passed unanimously. It still needs to go through the Assembly, as Assembly Bill 306, and then be signed by the governor. A public hearing in an Assembly committee was scheduled for Oct. 16.
“Unfortunately, current law did not allow a correction and this bill is designed to allow Verona to protect homeowners and businesses in the city,” Erpenbach wrote in the release. “This is the type of straightforward yet vital legislation that we need to come together to pass.”
The passage followed a Sept. 27 public hearing. The item was originally included in the governor’s budget, but removed.
An email from an Erpenbach staffer to Mayor Luke Diaz said the office would work to help move the legislation through the Assembly.
The mistake was mostly a result of a missed decimal point that listed the value of TID 6 at $56 million a year ago and a failure to recognize the mistake in a subsequent review of the districts. It resulted in an increase in tax bills of more than $100 on average and the subsequent termination of the assessor’s contract.