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April 1, 2020

3/20/2020 10:17:00 AM
Legislators Hunt Amish

Dear Editor,
Once again the state legislators are lowering the boom on the Amish communities. AB 612 was introduced by Assemblymen Kulp, Ballweg, Tusler, Bowen, Krug, Novak, Olenburg, Plumer, and Thiesfeldt cosponsorfed by Senator Marklein and Olsen.
This bill is supporting the idea of licensing Amish buggies. The idea is to collect fuel tax for the roads. Some Townships will indicate there is damage from the horse shoes and they must fix it.
This all sounds reasonable at face value but there are problems in the details. Cashton is the largest Amish community in the state. They would generate no more than $25000 a year. This is a very small amount of the township budget. The ill feelings in the community would far outweigh the revenue generated.
When Amish take over a property they will generate more property tax. This is because they split the farm and put buildings on more of the property increasing the original tax base. They pay school and county tax on these properties and do not use the services. There has never been any consideration for these unused tax services.
Who would enforce the license? The township is not going to hire anyone, it would be cost redundant. The county would not stop buggies to enforce a township issued license issue.
This bill states anyone other than Amish can use non-licensed buggies on the roads.
Over the years there have been many attempts to generate more road revenue. We have seen the Lotto, Casino gambling, Gas Tax increase, Sales tax and more. The issue appears to be in the use of these monies not a shortage.
We do not need to infringe on our neighbors to cover up our on shortfalls.

Stephen Krueger
Norwalk, WI

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