By Jim Dickrell
, editor Dairy Today
The Dairy Business Association (DBA) of Wisconsin is sounding the alarm over a proposed 1,100% increase in the state's Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit fee.
The proposal, which has already passed the state's Joint Finance Committee on a 12-4 partisan vote, would also add an annual fee based on a farm's animal unit numbers.
"This massive WPDES fee increase coupled with a new annual tax and uncertainty on future tax increases on Wisconsin's most regulated dairymen will cause additional hardship for Wisconsin's signature industry at a time when milk producers' cost of inputs have inflated 50% and milk prices have deflated to the lowest in history,” says Laurie Fischer, DBA executive director.
Under the proposal, the application fee will jump to $1,200 and an initial annual fee of $345. But the $345 fee only applies until the rules are written, and then will likely increase, based on the farm's number of animal units.
Fischer tells Dairy Today that DBA hopes to kill the measure in either the state Assembly or Senate in the coming days. If it fails, it will seek the Governor's veto.