Michelle Litjens, R - Town of Vinland
The Oshkosh Northwestern had an editorial today on a new piece of proposed legislation in the Wisconsin legislature.
Wisconsin assemblywoman Michelle Litjens, R-Town of Vinland, is sponsoring Assembly Bill 182, which would prohibit municipal utilities from placing tenants' unpaid utility bills on a landlord's property tax bill at the end of each year.
The bill has the potential to impact all customers. City Manager Mark Rohloff told The Northwestern the bill is "patently unfair to rate-payers who pay their bills every month" since they would face higher rates to cover unpaid delinquencies and the utilities' cost to try and collect unpaid bills.
Making the bill less palatable: Litjens and her husband, Tony, own and manage 24 apartment buildings in Oshkosh, according to city and Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions records. The properties total 133 units under Tony and Michelle Litjens and companies they control. Some of her buildings offer water costs included in the rent, while others have utilities charged to tenants. A search of the Litjens' properties found they owe, as of last week, $2,326 on the 15 properties where they receive a bill addressed to them. Tenants at their properties owe hundreds of additional dollars, city utility bill records show. . . .
While technically not against the Government Accountability Board's Standards of Conduct for state officials – because Litjens won't gain any more than a similar group of people – her sponsorship of the bill reeks of self-interest.Apparently Ms. Litjens believes the taxpayers of the community owning the water utility should pay the freight when she mistakenly rents to dead-beats.