Governor Walker Proposes Changes to Wisconsin Real Estate Law

April 4, 2013

Lawmakers are considering a change to Wisconsin Real Estate Law that would allow foreign investors to purchase larger pieces of land in the state. An article from The Badger Herald discussed both sides of the controversy and the effects a decision in the matter could have on the state’s economy.

Current law states that foreign entities may only own a total of 640 acres of land in Wisconsin. This includes American companies with more than a 20 percent foreign share. Governor Scott Walker has proposed changes to regulations overseeing the sale of land in his most recent budget proposal that would allow these entities to own more land than this designated amount.

Opponents of the changes say they are only being pursued because of a recently passed mining bill. Gogebic Mining, LLC, has made it clear they would like to sell large parcels of land to Chinese corporations.

Those in favor of the alterations have argued the current laws, which have been in place since 1887, are outdated and are prohibiting the advancement of Wisconsin’s economy. Thomas Larson, a Vice President with the Wisconsin Realtors Association, stated current laws are “repelling” companies from coming to the state and the alterations could add thousands of jobs.

At Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham, our team of Appleton personal injury attorneys know Wisconsin real estate law, and we’re here to help if you are buying, leasing, or exchanging property.