Oct. 1, 2018 – Washington Co., WI – In-person absentee voting for the Nov. 6, 2018 General Election begins today in Washington County.
“The minimum requirement is to have two weeks voting in-person absentee prior to the election,” said West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann. “The clerk can set the hours for absentee voting in any General Election if the voter turnout is expected to be high, so we’re allowing more opportunities for people to vote absentee.”
The clerk’s office in West Bend will be from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1.
On Friday, Nov. 2 hours will be extended until 5 p.m.
“We will have four different lines at City Hall in West Bend,” said Justmann. “There will be two at the clerk’s office and two in the entryway.”
By Oct. 15 Justmann expects a higher voter turnout so more lines will be added as needed in an effort to keep wait times down.
Check with your the clerk in your city, town or village for its hours to vote.
Justmann said there are two sides to the ballot.
There is a referendum question for voters in Washington County whether the state legislature should take action to close the ‘dark store’ property tax law loophole.
Washington County Administrator Joshua Schoemann said, “The current ‘dark store’ loophole is a threat to this system and risks continued shifting of the property tax burden from commercial and industrial properties to residential taxpayers.”
‘Dark store’ refers to the practice of commercial taxpayers appealing their property tax assessments and, in many cases, owing less in taxes as a result. Commercial retailers argue on the grounds that their buildings should be assessed the same as a vacant building of the same size.
For voters in Washington County, the question will ask:
Should the state legislature enact proposed legislation that closes the Dark Store loopholes, which currently allow commercial retail properties to significantly reduce the assessed valuation and property tax of such properties, resulting in a substantial shift in taxes levied against other tax paying entities, such as residential home owners, and/or cuts in essential services provided by an affected municipality?
According to County Clerk Ashley Reichert, the Advisory Referendum – Property Tax ‘Dark Store Loopholes’ will be located on the back of the Nov. 6, 2018 General Election ballot. “As this referendum is advisory, it will empower the citizens of Washington County to share their opinion, in a non-binding manner, on the specific topic of Dark Store Loopholes,” she added.
There is also a referendum question for residents in the Town of Trenton.
The question will state: “Under state law, the increase in the levy of the Town of Trenton for the tax to be imposed for the next fiscal year, 2018, is limited to 1%, which results in a levy of $942,366. Shall the Town of Trenton be allowed to exceed this limit and increase the levy for the next fiscal year, 2019, and going forward permanently, for the purpose of improving and maintaining Town of Trenton roadways, by a total of $500,000, equating to 53.5885%, which results in a levy of $1,433,036?“
Voting “yes” means you approve the Town increasing the annual levy by $500,000 to be used for Town road repair and maintenance. Voting “no” means you do not approve the Town increasing the annual levy by $500,000 and therefore the Town will be limited to the state-imposed levy limit increase.
Click HERE if you want to see a sample of what questions will be on your ballot for Nov. 6, 2018.
Click HERE if you want to find out where your polling place is located.
Remember to bring identification to vote.