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WTC's new dorm in downtown La Crosse isn't owned by the college. Not yet. The building is privately owned on private property. That's why the city says the tech school needs to pay up for property taxes on the $8 million building. Leading to problem number one, says TC president Lee Rasch; the university can't legally pay property taxes and so that burden would fall on the students who live in the dorm. But, Rasch also contends that the dorm is operated like a college program and so should be exempt from taxes. That dispute goes to the city council next month. Nearly a quarter million in property tax dollars is at stake in that dispute.
Not only is Wisconsin making headlines all over the state with what's going on in Madison, but across the country in newspaper headlines and on TV. And it sure has caught the attention of one 6th grade teacher from Utah. Oh ya....she is also the Vice President of the National Education Association.
So is this big news we're making here in the Badger state, Lilly Eskelson? YES!
Officials in other states are also keeping a close eye on the situation, mainly because they're attempting similar legislative measures in their states. Leaders in Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Tennessee and Michigan are all considering limits to public employee pensions and benefits.
Someone in Tomah was quite bored Wednesday, so they went around smashing out car windows. Tomah Police say they have recieved 16 complaints of windows being taken out.
Police say it appears as if the windows had been shot out with a pellet gun or similar weapon.
Tomah Police are investigating.
A couple of big dollar property tax disagreements could be decided by the La Crosse city council in the next month. One involves WTC and its new dormitory on La Crosse street. Worth eight million, says city assessor Mark Schlafer, but not actually owned by the tech school which had entered into a lease agreement with an option to purchase with a corporation called Paul and Pauline's corner which owns the land and the building. TC says the building's property exempt, Schlafer disagrees. Nearly a quarter million dollars in taxes are in play with that dispute. Tens of thousands also could be at stake regarding a dispute involving the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The shrine wants the entire pilgrim's center to be tax exempt. Schlafer says only a portion of it deserves that consideration.