Wisconsin Assembly passes workforce housing bills

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Assembly passed a package of bills Tuesday touted by Republicans and the state’s building and real estate industries as a way to create more affordable housing for workers, reduce regulations and reform outdated practices.

A tight housing market, driven in part by a lack of inventory and decline in new construction, has resulted in rapidly rising housing prices in many areas, making it more difficult for people to purchase affordable homes. Republicans who authored the bills pitched them as a way to make Wisconsin an attractive state for workers, especially those in their 20s and 30s.

“We’re at a crisis here in Wisconsin and nationally,” said Republican Rep. Rob Brooks, of Saukville, who sponsored three of the bills.

Local governments have raised concerns about some of the measures, including one that would limit what information assessors could use when determining the value of a property for tax purposes. The Madison city assessor said the bill would result in shifting taxes paid by commercial property owners onto residential property owners, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

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