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June 1, 2009 New landfill charges
Plan would make Wisconsin's garbage fees highest in nation, group
By Lee Bergquist of the
Posted: May. 31, 2009
Effect of Proposed Tax Increase
Examples of estimated annual tax increases to municipalities, based on
* *City of Milwaukee: *$2.3 million
* *Mequon:* $17,036 (2,399 tons)
* *Wauwatosa:* $52,650 (14,831 tons) *
* *Cudahy:* $62,278 (8,772 tons)
* *Oak Creek:* $55,131 (7,765 tons)
* *Caledonia:* $46,440 (6,541 tons)
* *Menomonee Falls:* $62,792 (8,844 tons)
* *Mount Pleasant:* $49,726 (7,004 tons)
* *City of Pewaukee:* $32,975 (4,645 tons)
* *City of Oconomowoc:* $34,603 (4,874 tons)
* *City of Waukesha:* $116,306 (16,381 tons)
* *New Berlin:* $60,696 (8,548 tons)
* *Town of Waukesha:* $19,370 (2,728 tons)
* *Greenfield:* $60,960 (8,586 tons)
* *Franklin:* $60,483 (8,519 tons)
* *Muskego:* $49,083 (6,913 tons)
* *Waterford:* $17,566 (2,474 tons)
* *City of Brookfield:* $94,523 (13,313 tons)
* *Hartford:* $25,844 (3,640 tons)
* *Glendale:* $26,964 (3,798 tons)
* *Brown Deer:* $18,878 (2,659 tons)
/*Wauwatosa has a cost-sharing agreement on tipping fee increases with
Source: National Solid Wastes Management Association
Lawmakers' decision to increase landfill charges will heap additional
costs on local units of government, and a trade group says it would
raise the tax to the highest in the nation.
The City of Milwaukee estimated that a recent vote by the
Legislature's Joint Finance Committee to sharply increase the tax on
waste would cost the city an additional $2.3 million a year.
Waukesha would pay an estimated $116,000 more annually, and Brookfield
would spend an additional $94,500, according to estimates supplied by
the National Solid Wastes Management Association.
Smaller communities would also pay higher garbage bills if the measure
passes both houses and is signed by the governor.
The tipping fees will increase the cost of doing business for
landfills, according to the solid waste group, based in Washington,
Based on the group's analysis, the higher tipping fees would make
Wisconsin's landfill tax the highest in the nation, pushing aside West
The tax is added to charges by landfill operators to dump garbage.
The committee's motivation was to find new sources of revenue to
repair the state's budget deficit. In this case, the tax would
generate $63 million, phased in over the next two fiscal years.
Environmentalists have also championed higher charges because the
funds have been used for recycling programs. In recent years, however,
the fees have also been earmarked for other uses.
Environmentalists have also viewed higher fees as a way to discourage
waste haulers from bringing out-of-state waste to Wisconsin
The influential committee recently voted 12-4 to more than double the
tipping fee from $5.90 per ton to $13 per ton.
Gov. Jim Doyle has also viewed garbage fees as a new source of
revenue. But he recommended a smaller increase, to $10.30 per ton.
Once the charges are rolled out over an entire year, the cost of the
new taxes could total nearly $50 million annually, according to the
Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
"I think there is a viewpoint developing in Madison that this is a
painless way to raise money," said Lynn Morgan, a lobbyist and
spokeswoman for Waste Management.
"But for local communities, this is very painful to provide money to
Said Jason Johns, a lobbyist for the National Solid Wastes Management
Association: "State leaders are so desperate for dollars that they're
taxing your garbage, and meanwhile, people in Wisconsin are worried
about putting food on the table."
The new charges would affect garbage from municipalities, hospitals
and schools, but not industrial waste from paper mills, foundries and
"This is the classic example of the underfunded mandate," said Patrick
Curley, chief of staff for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
Once the budget is approved, higher tipping fees and anticipated cuts
in shared revenue would mean Milwaukee must increase property taxes,
make cuts elsewhere or furlough employees, Curley said.
"Mayor Barrett doesn't have the intention of throwing this all on the
backs of the property tax payer," he said.
The Joint Finance Committee also shifted funding for recycling.
For Milwaukee, it would mean $300,000 less for programs such as
marketing, said Rick Myers, recycling specialist with the City of
The result: More waste that should be recycled will be dumped in
landfills, he said.
The amount of waste dumped into landfills, subject to tipping fees,
remained relatively constant at 9.2 million tons a year between 2004
and 2007, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
It dropped 9% to 8.4 million tons in 2008, and with the economy
reeling, it's projected to fall to 7 million tons this year.
Illinois waste dumped here
Out-of-state waste has been a significant source of garbage in
Wisconsin's landfills, amounting to one-fifth to one-quarter of waste
subject to tipping fees, DNR figures show.
In 2008, about one-third of 1.7 million tons of out-of-state waste
came from Illinois to three landfills in Kenosha, Racine and Walworth
Another one-third of out-of-state waste originated from Minnesota and
was shipped to landfills in Douglas, Eau Claire and Washburn
That's why the higher fees have a benefit, said one environmentalist.
"Residents are watching their roads being torn up by garbage trucks
from out of state. Seagulls are flying everywhere, and pollution leaks
from landfills," said Anne Sayers, program director for the League of
The league hailed higher fees as an impediment to bringing waste from
Traditionally, the cost of land-filling was lower in Wisconsin than in
many other states.
But setting aside the potentially higher charges, Morgan pointed to
DNR figures showing the Wisconsin's low-cost advantage may have
The average total charges at landfills near the border are the same in
Minnesota - $44 per ton - as Wisconsin, figures show.
In Illinois, the cost is $48 per ton.
City of Milwaukee estimate on what the higher tax on waste would cost
the city each year.
What's the impact in your community?
See the list on *Page 5B*.
EFFECT OF PROPOSED TAX INCREASE
Examples of estimated annual tax increases to municipalities, based on
*Mequon:* $17,036 (2,399 tons)
*Wauwatosa:* $52,650 (14,831 tons) *
*Cudahy:* $62,278 (8,772 tons)
*Oak Creek:* $55,131 (7,765 tons)
*Caledonia:* $46,440 (6,541 tons)
*Menomonee Falls:* $62,792 (8,844 tons)
*Mount Pleasant:* $49,726 (7,004 tons)
*City of Pewaukee:* $32,975 (4,645 tons)
*City of Oconomowoc:* $34,603 (4,874 tons)
*City of Waukesha:* $116,306 (16,381 tons)
*New Berlin:* $60,696 (8,548 tons)
*Town of Waukesha:* $19,370 (2,728 tons)
*Greenfield:* $60,960 (8,586 tons)
*Franklin:* $60,483 (8,519 tons)
*Muskego:* $49,083 (6,913 tons)
*Waterford:* $17,566 (2,474 tons)
*City of Brookfield:* $94,523 (13,313 tons)
*Hartford:* $25,844 (3,640 tons)
*Glendale:* $26,964 (3,798 tons)
*Brown Deer:* $18,878 (2,659 tons)
/*Wauwatosa has a cost-sharing agreement on tipping fee increases with
Source: National Solid Wastes Management Association
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balks at voter IDOctober 12, 2009 Judge backs Wisconsin law aimed at managed forest landsOctober 11, 2009 Utility fee to pay for district attorneys around stateOctober 9, 2009 AGRICULTURAL CENSUS INFORMATION NOW AVAILABLE October 8, 2009 Governor Doyle Announces $300,000 Grant for Wisconsin Counties AssociationOctober 7, 2009 NOTICE OF PUBLIC BUDGET HEARING FOR TOWN OF ASHFORD, FOND DU LAC COUNTYOctober 7, 2009 Fond du Lac County Board of Supervisors Meeting NoticeOctober 6, 2009 Appeals Court to consider whether local governments have authority to protect water quality from large livestock facilitiesOctober 6, 2009 Town of Ashford Meeting NoticeOctober 1, 2009 MATC, Johnson Controls to build state's largest solar power projectSeptember 30, 2009 Governor signs wind farm siting billSeptember 30, 2009 Governor Doyle Signs Bill Strengthening Wisconsin’s Wind IndustrySeptember 28, 2009 County Board of Supervisors MeetingSeptember 23, 2009 State Assembly passes bill making DNR secretary appointed by board, not governorSeptember 23, 2009 Assembly panel wants DNR to reconsider shoreline rezoningSeptember 23, 2009 New Fond du Lac County Treasurer SoughtSeptember 22, 2009 ASSEMBLY ADVANCES ELECTRONICS RECYCLING BILLSeptember 21, 2009 715 and 920 area code changes mean 10 digit dialing starting Oct. 17September 15, 2009 Fond du Lac County Air Quality Tip of the Month: Turn off the lights and breath easierSeptember 11, 2009 Critics say wind turbines hurt land valuesSeptember 9, 2009 Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation's Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Mercury Marine Incentive PackageSeptember 1, 2009 New Wisconsin phone fee starts todayAugust 27, 2009 Fall harvest weight limitsAugust 26, 2009 Stewardship FUnd purchaseAugust 24, 2009 Calumet County awaits wind turbine energy rulingAugust 23, 2009 Towns slowly embrace Internet as means of communicationAugust 23, 2009 Governor Doyle Announces Stewardship FundAugust 18, 2009 FDL County Healthy Air Tip of the Month - Let the "check engine" light work for youAugust 13, 2009 DNR proposes new water screeningAugust 12, 2009 CONFIRMATION OF EMERALD ASH BORER IN KENOSHA COUNTYAugust 11, 2009 Government Accountability Board report finds public opposes early voting proposalAugust 10, 2009 State requires bldg contractors to registerAugust 10, 2009 Study of voting changes endorsedAugust 6, 2009 USDA: Value of farm real estate in Wis. dipsAugust 5, 2009 State officials ask for patience over voter checksAugust 4, 2009 Wind Siting Reform Gains Strong Bipartisan Vote in CommitteeAugust 3, 2009 Agriculture contribution to economy studyAugust 2, 2009 Wisconsin works to verify voter informationJuly 28, 2009 Voting by mail must precede phone, Internet options, state saysJuly 27, 2009 Governor Doyle Announces $1 Million to Help Prevent Water PollutionJuly 24, 2009 Five-Year Election Plan to Be Reviewed July 24, 2009 Many Wisconsin workers will get raise today when federal minimum wage goes upJuly 24, 2009 New phone fees start in SeptemberJuly 22, 2009 Rosendale Dairy expands despite low milk pricesJuly 21, 2009 Emerald ash borer contained to two areas - for nowJuly 17, 2009 Emerald Ash Borer MonitoringJuly 15, 2009 Fond du Lac County Air Quality Tip for JulyJuly 13, 2009 State towns make the grade as most livableJuly 13, 2009 Wisconsin's minimum wage to rise 75 cents next weekJuly 10, 2009 Governor Doyle Signs Bill to Protect Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Also Awards Grant Providing Further Protections to Totogatic RiverJuly 9, 2009 NEW WEBSITE SHOWS WHERE LIVESTOCK SITING PERMITS ARE REQUIREDJuly 8, 2009 Governor Jim Doyle today signed into law SB 126 and SB 216 at the State Capitol in MadisonJuly 7, 2009 Video On Living With Wind TurbinesJune 24, 2009 Resources board approves shoreline regulation changesJune 24, 2009 American TV launches electronics recycling program June 23, 2009 Fond du Lac County Airport Terminal Open House/DedicationJune 23, 2009 Ag land assessment 'loophole'June 23, 2009 Changes to Wisconsin voting ???June 23, 2009 DNR spends nearly $9 million to preserve landJune 22, 2009 FCEDC receives $437,899 grant to help grow regional economyJune 22, 2009 FDL County Air Alert for Tuesday June 23, 2009June 22, 2009 State Budget Work To ResumeJune 22, 2009 New park-and-ride lot planned north of OshkoshJune 19, 2009 Dept of Employee Trust Funds. 2010 Rate increaseJune 19, 2009 Doyle signs three billsJune 18, 2009 AB 256 Wind Siting passes AssemblyJune 18, 2009 Budget changes proposedJune 17, 2009 Wisconsin Reports Record Export GrowthJune 17, 2009 Fond du Lac County Business Development NewsJune 17, 2009 Sign Up To Receive Air Alerts for Fond du Lac CountyJune 17, 2009 McNeilus Steel, Inc. breaks ground on new facilityJune 12, 2009 State Budget Bill AB75 Update; June 12June 10, 2009 DNR Proposal to change Shoreline RegsJune 9, 2009 Governor signs 3 bills into lawJune 8, 2009 Wi Windpower opportunities blowing awayJune 8, 2009 Proposed legislation re public land useJune 4, 2009 Hunting Ash BorersJune 3, 2009 Haulers garbage fees to be passed to consumersJune 1, 2009 New landfill chargesMay 27, 2009 Trash haulers worry about tipping fee hikeMay 5, 2009 Panel OKs closing walk-in centers for hunting, fishing licenses May 1, 2009 Legislators introduce wind siting bill April 29, 2009 Citizens file appeal of Rosendale Dairy PermitApril 27, 2009 Rural residents w/o high speed internetApril 26, 2009 New broadband technologies can connect even the most remote placesApril 23, 2009 Emerald Ash BorerApril 21, 2009 Prevailing wage measure worries municipalitiesApril 21, 2009 Governor Doyle Approves Transit Projects for Federal Recovery and Reinvestment FundingApril 20, 2009 Town of Ashford Liquor Applications for 2009-2010 Licensing PeriodApril 20, 2009 Mowing the Lawn and What To Do With Grass ClippingsApril 20, 2009 Stimulus money could bring broadband to rural homes - Complete an Online Survey To Help Distribute Grant MoneyApril 14, 2009 Officials: Landfill plan stinksApril 13, 2009 Uniform siting rules for wind power projects sought April 11, 2009 Wind turbines complicate weather monitoringApril 9, 2009 Legislation regarding wind energy production being circulatedApril 8, 2009 Managed Forest Law Getting Another LookApril 8, 2009 Spring Election ResultsApril 7, 2009 Emerald ash borer jumps across stateApril 6, 2009 Notice of Town of Ashford Board of Review Meeting 5/11/2009April 6, 2009 Town of Ashford Open Book NoticeApril 6, 2009 Town of Ashford Annual Meeting April 11, 2009April 6, 2009 Notice of Town of Ashford Board of Review Meeting 5/11/2009April 5, 2009 Informational tools aim to protect wetlands, help landowners.March 26, 2009 Update on State Budget by Senator Joe LeibhamMarch 25, 2009 Fond du Lac County Spring Roads PostingMarch 25, 2009 Fond du Lac County Candidates and Referendum Questions for April 7, 2009 ElectionMarch 23, 2009 Governor’s proposed budget includes farmland preservationMarch 18, 2009 Wasps May Help Locate Ash BorersMarch 17, 2009 Fond du Lac County Current Highway ProjectsMarch 16, 2009 Mapping Wisconsin Communities WorkshopsMarch 9, 2009 DOT Implements Spring Thaw RestrictionsMarch 9, 2009 Government Accountability BoardMarch 9, 2009 Gottlieb and Hopper Introduce Transportation Fund Protection AmendmentMarch 5, 2009 Bill Proposed That Would Eliminate Spring ElectrionsMarch 2, 2009 DNR approves expansion of Rosendale dairy farm to 4,000 headFebruary 28, 2009 Shared revenue cut hits communities unevenly Wealthier areas to lose a larger portion, lower dollar amountFebruary 26, 2009 Online Voter Registration SuggestedFebruary 26, 2009 Milw Journal on Fed Transportation moniesFebruary 20, 2009 Old Shingles To Cover New RoadsFebruary 19, 2009 Low turnout prompts call to move spring vote to fallFebruary 19, 2009 Low turnout prompts call to move spring vote to fallFebruary 16, 2009 Town Of Ashford and Auburn Water TestingFebruary 11, 2009 Outline of Plan From Governor Jim DoyleFebruary 2, 2009 Some lawmakers want to ditch spring electionsJanuary 27, 2009 Oregon Farm Receives Dane County Agricultural Grant to Grow, Market Healthy BerryJanuary 26, 2009 Mega dairy hearing draws hundredsJanuary 26, 2009 WDOT Seeking Comment
January 25, 2009 PSC Final Report on Great Lakes Wind EnergyJanuary 15, 2009 Minnesota, Wisconsin consider sharing to cut costsJanuary 12, 2009 Purchase ensures wetlands preservationJanuary 9, 2009 Southeast Wisconsin Woodland Owners ConferenceJanuary 7, 2009 KOHL & ISRAEL INTRODUCE WEEKEND VOTING BILLJanuary 5, 2009 Statewide Solar Power Project PossibleJanuary 5, 2009 DNR Hearings on Proposed Rosendale DairyJanuary 2, 2009 2009 IRS Mileage RatesJanuary 1, 2009 2009-10 Assembly GOP Committee AssignmentsDecember 28, 2008 Midwest States May Work Together To Buy Road SaltDecember 26, 2008 Wisconsin Manure To EnergyDecember 19, 2008 Rosendale Dairy denied varianceDecember 17, 2008 Frozen road law goes into effect Dec. 22December 16, 2008 COMMERCE OFFERS WINTER SEASON MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR PRIVATE ONSITE WASTEWATER TREATMENT SYSTEMSDecember 15, 2008 Cedar Ridge Wind Farm begins producing emissions-free energy December 14, 2008 Give Wind Farms a Fair Chance - A Wisconsin State Journal editorial dated December 12, 2008 December 9, 2008 Wisconsin Boasts Most Manure-To-Energy Projects December 9, 2008 Waste Morphs Into Energy - More Methane Could Reduce Costs December 2, 2008 64 more acres sought for Harrington Beach State ParkNovember 11, 2008 Doyle: Deficit Could Reach $5 Billion or MoreNovember 7, 2008 PSC Adds Two New Area Codes to Supplement the 715 and 920 Area CodesOctober 29, 2008 New Factory Farm in Rosendale Threatens Significant Impact to the EnvironmentOctober 22, 2008 Governor Doyle Dedicates Major Addition to Kettle Moraine State Forest