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Wis. legislators question DNR stewardship program

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Republicans on the Legislature's budget committee are complaining about the Department of Natural Resources' land stewardship program.

They peppered DNR officials with questions about the program during a hearing Tuesday, asking about how much the state owes for land purchases and how much the agency pays out to local governments to make up for lost property tax revenue.

DNR Budget Director Joe Polasek told the committee the agency expects to pay $81 million in each of the next two years on debt service. He says the DNR plans to pay $13 million in each of the next two years in lieu of taxes.

Rep. Dan LeMahieu, a Cascade Republican, says no one will be happy until Wisconsin leads its neighboring states in government-owned land.

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