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Foreign land ownership limits in Wisconsin may change under Walker budget

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

MADISON, WI (WRN) -  Wisconsin lawmakers are being asked to let foreigners own large amounts of land for the first time in 126 years. 

Governor Scott Walker’s proposed state budget would end a ban on foreign ownership of more than 640 acres. Many legislators including some Republicans don’t like the idea, including Westby Representative Lee Nerison. He said the issue should be debated on its own merits in a separate bill, and should not be buried in the state budget.

Governor’s spokesman Cullen Werwie says the current state law is in conflict with a treaty adopted by the World Trade Organization 18 years ago designed to stabilize international trading.

U-S Farm Service Agency statistics show about 118-thousand acres of private land in Wisconsin is already held by foreign owners.