T. Wall plays with zoning laws for fun and profit

Think about this: I remember watching the once-sleepy village of Middleton, Wisconsin as it was transformed from a farm town. Much of the land along the Beltline highway that was corn fields is now strip malls filled with big box stores and other modern conveniences.

Fast forward to 2009. Likely Republican senate candidate and official zillionaire Terrance Wall has turned one of the few remaining undeveloped parcels in Middleton into a shady tax loophole.

One Wisconsin Now has found out that Mr. Wall has been able to exploit zoning laws to get out of paying property taxes on some primo property located just outside of Madison. Although the land is adjacent to several large hotels and the posh Greenway Station strip mall, Wall succeeded in having it rezoned as farm land. Looking at photos of the land, it is clear that this isn’t farm land at all. The high-rise buildings all around there and the overgrown plants show that it’s a carefully neglected parcel of land. In no way is it farmland.

According to One Wisconsin Now, “In 2008 Wall owed $34,000 in property taxes on the $2 million properties. Reclassifying the 2+ acres of prime commercial development, located behind the Marriott Hotel and adjacent to the West Beltline near Middleton, reduced the value to just $600.”

Six hundred dollars. That’s the rezoned value of land that otherwise has been made to be worth over two million dollars.

Rather than rightfully paying $34,000 in property taxes, Mr. Wall dumped the burden on the rest of Middleton.

It’s almost ironic when you consider that I remember when the land actually was farm land.

We will now add this to Wall’s trick of using a Delaware post “office” box to avoid paying Wisconsin business tax (a “small” business this is not!), and we see a man whose primary interest seems to be making as much money as he possibly can. The interests of the people of Middleton and of Wisconsin were shoved aside for the benefit of one in pursuit of this goal

Wall does not deserve to be our senator.

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Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.

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