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WPT Ag Report

AG News Archives and previous news articles that matter to our members.


Local Public Hearing times, dates and places.

Public Hearings

Eye On Lobbying Government Accountability Board

The Governor’s

2015-17 Budget

On February 3, 2015, Governor Walker delivered his budget address.

• Budget in Brief  READ

• 2015-17 Executive Budget (Complete Document) READ

• About the Budget Documents READ

• How to Read the 2015-17 Executive Budget READ

• Statewide Budget and Position Summaries READ


Although Wisconsin finished its budget on July 12, it was one of six states that had not enacted a budget by July 1. As of July 20, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina,  and Pennsylvania were still awaiting budgets for FY 2016. Of states with budgets in place, three enacted biennial budgets during 2014. (source: NCSL)

Wisconsin Acts

Continuously Updated


Wisconsin Blue Book


Published Biennially in Odd-Numbered Years

*an interactive almanac

of U.S. politics

New IoH law makes 20 changes

The bill makes more than 20 adjustments to the Implements of Husbandry (IOH) law, including:


• Clarifies in state statute that IOH with rubber tracks can legally operate on Wisconsin roadways.


• To alleviate the potential issuance of thousands of permits across the state, it authorizes an IOH or (agricultural commercial motor vehicle) Ag-CMV being legally operated with a permit to cross any intersecting highway under the jurisdiction of the maintaining authority that issued the permit.


• Provides the same weight, length, width and height limitations for transporting IOH by trailer or semitrailer from farm-to-farm, from field-to-field, or from farm-to-field to the same extent as if the IOH were being operated on the roadway.


• The special axle weight exemption given to Category B planting, tillage, cultivating and harvesting IOH is also given to Ag-CMVs that directly distribute feed to livestock, or directly apply fertilizer, lime, spray or seeds, but not manure, to a farm field.


• Ag-CMVs that have the capability to directly apply manure to a field, but are unable to due to field conditions, will be able to park on a road and off-load the manure to another piece of equipment for application, and still retain Ag-CMV status.


Earlier this month the State Senate and State Assembly unanimously approved Assembly Bill 113.

Differing Views  Where Do
YOU Fit In?

Who We Are

and What We Do

Wisconsin Property Taxpayers, Inc. (WPT)

is the voice of Wisconsin’s property taxpayers in the State Capitol, working to reduce the statewide property tax burden and reform Wisconsin’s antiquated and regressive property tax system.


Founded in 1985, WPT represents the interests of thousands of commercial, agricultural and residential property taxpayers throughout the state who volunteer their financial support and personal commitment to the organization and its objectives.


WPT is the only statewide taxpayers’ organization registered with the Ethics Division of the State’s Government Accountability Board to lobby exclusively for property tax relief and reform.

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WPT’s experienced government relations specialists, field representatives and technical support staff conduct a variety of activities including legislative analysis, policy and opinion research, media relations, public information and legislative liaison service, to increase public and legislative support for the organization’s public policy objectives.


WPT regularly communicates with members through personal contact, newsletters, member surveys, policy briefs and legislative action alerts.


WPT assists members in dealing with local property tax issues and answers members’ questions related to assessments, property tax exemptions, state laws and administrative rules, and provides information useful in appealing and reducing their property tax liability.


For more information about who we are, what we do, and what we have helped to accomplish over the years,  go here


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Capitol Report along with other

Pertinent updates

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WPT: The Voice of Wisconsin’s Property Taxpayers Since 1985

3rd QTR Newsletter is
in production now!

2015 1st Quarter

download PDF

WPT Publications

WPT Newsletters are published

4 times a year, and are mailed directly to our members. To view previous editions and other publications in our Media archive click the link below.



                Wisconsin Property Taxes

                By County

You can choose any county from our list of Wisconsin counties for detailed information on that county's property tax, and the contact information for the county tax assessor's office.


Adams  $1,974   Tax Assessor

Ashland $1,764   Tax Assessor

Barron  $2,242  Tax Assessor

Bayfield   $1,896  Tax Assessor

Brown  $2,900  Tax Assessor

Buffalo  $2,047  Tax Assessor

Burnett  $1,870  Tax Assessor

Calumet  $2,902  Tax Assessor

Chippewa  $2,123  Tax Assessor

Clark  $1,928  Tax Assessor

Columbia  $2,988  Tax Assessor

Crawford  $2,244  Tax Assessor

Dane  $4,149  Tax Assessor

Dodge  $2,884  Tax Assessor

Door  $2,357  Tax Assessor

Douglas  $2,076  Tax Assessor

Dunn  $2,823  Tax Assessor

Eau Claire $2,616  Tax Assessor

Florence  $1,682  Tax Assessor

Fond du Lac  $2,624  Tax Assessor

Forest  $1,712  Tax Assessor

Grant  $2,051  Tax Assessor

Green  $2,976  Tax Assessor

Green Lake  $2,311  Tax Assessor

Iowa  $2,925  Tax Assessor

Iron  $1,520  Tax Assessor

Jackson  $1,962  Tax Assessor

Jefferson  $3,099  Tax Assessor

Juneau  $2,020  Tax Assessor

Kenosha  $3,520  Tax Assessor

Kewaunee  $2,361  Tax Assessor

La Crosse  $2,912  Tax Assessor

Lafayette  $2,331  Tax Assessor

Langlade  $1,791  Tax Assessor

Lincoln  $2,154  Tax Assessor

Manitowoc   $2,351  Tax Assessor

Marathon  $2,602  Tax Assessor

Marinette  $1,604  Tax Assessor

Marquette  $2,192  Tax Assessor

Menominee  $2,654  Tax Assessor

Milwaukee  $3,707  Tax Assessor

Monroe  $2,357  Tax Assessor

Oconto  $2,198  Tax Assessor

Oneida  $2,040  Tax Assessor

Outagamie  $2,779  Tax Assessor

Ozaukee  $4,033  Tax Assessor

Pepin  $2,531  Tax Assessor

Pierce  $3,542  Tax Assessor

Polk  $2,649  Tax Assessor

Portage  $2,536  Tax Assessor

Price   $1,775  Tax Assessor

Racine  $3,312  Tax Assessor

Richland  $2,200  Tax Assessor

Rock  $2,706  Tax Assessor

Rusk $1,572  Tax Assessor

Sauk   $2,758  Tax Assessor

Sawyer   $1,759  Tax Assessor

Shawano  $1,972  Tax Assessor

Sheboygan   $2,875  Tax Assessor

St. Croix  $3,367  Tax Assessor

Taylor  $2,052  Tax Assessor

Trempealeau  $2,437 Tax Assessor

Vernon  $2,299  Tax Assessor

Vilas   $1,976  Tax Assessor

Walworth  $3,323  Tax Assessor

Washburn   $1,897  Tax Assessor

Washington  $3,502  Tax Assessor

Waukesha  $3,954  Tax Assessor

Waupaca  $2,411  Tax Assessor

Waushara  $2,125  Tax Assessor

Winnebago  $2,763  Tax Assessor

Wood  $2,078  Tax Assessor

DOR Guides for Property Taxpayers

Go here  this link takes you away from this site

2015 Assessors Guide for

Property Owners

Go here  PDF

Stay Informed

WPT is the voice of Wisconsin’s Property Taxpayers, your voice, in the Wisconsin State Legislature. Whether you have a comment, a thought to share, a question about your assessment or property tax bill, how your property tax dollars are spent, what’s going on in the Legislature, or any of a thousand property tax related questions we answer for our members, WPT wants to hear from you.

    If you are not a member, but would like to join the thousands of taxpayers

around the state who support

and rely on us to protect their

interests in the Legislature

click on the “Join Us Now!”

to get started.

Capitol Report

4th Quarter | October 2015

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people...They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty. —Thomas Jefferson

WPT has been hard at work over the past week, putting together the latest edition of our quarterly newsletter, and we are looking forward to getting it sent out to you very soon. We have heard from a lot of members about the issues that matter most to you, and that is what will be reflected in our upcoming publication.


Below is some interesting news from Madison and around the state during the past week. Make sure to share your thoughts on our website, and always feel free to suggest article topics for next week's Capitol Report.


Wishing you and yours a great week,




Wisconsin leads nation in organic agriculture 

Wisconsin accounts for about 9% of the nation's organic agriculture, according to a survey from the National Agricultural Statistics Service.


Wisconsin also ranked 5th in organic sales with $201 million. In addition, the Badger State also topped every other state with the number of farms with organic livestock.


Our state has seen a 51% increase since 2008 in organic agriculture, and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.


Read more or listen to the story here.



Energy costs and EPA guidelines

There's no shortage of controversy in the EPA's new guidelines in its Clean Power Plan. The new regulations have ignited a firestorm of debate over the impacts on energy costs around the nation.


Reducing 2005 carbon dioxide levels by 32% by the year 2030 is what the Obama Administration is intending, and will force Wisconsin to reduce its own emissions by 34%.


Vice President of Government Affairs at Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce says this means trouble for Wisconsin's economy, forcing the closure of most of our baseload coal plants.


The cost of retiring these plants and building new plants, he argues, would force those dollars onto Wisconsin ratepayers and manufacturers.


Read more here.



Governor, Legislature changing Wisconsin environmental protection

A new article out from the State Journal outlines how Governor Walker and the State Legislature are altering the way Wisconsin protects its natural resources.


Making good on a campaign promise to settle an out of control Department of Natural Resources, Governor Walker and allies have passed a number of bills that curb protections for Wisconsin's environment. Included in those bills are policies which enable destroying wetlands if new ones are created, and limiting the power of homeowners to challenge frac sand mines and large farms if they believe waterways or safety are an issue.


The DNR has repeatedly claimed it cannot limit the expansion of mega dairy farms in Wisconsin legally, even in the face of such situations as a farm in Kewaunee which tainted drinking water.


According to a spokesperson for the Governor, he believes that air quality and water can be preserved while still making economic growth a reality.


Read more from the State Journal.



Dairy Farmers of America to close Plymouth cheese plant 

Approximately 300 people will lose their jobs as a result of Dairy Farmers of America's decision to close its cheese manufacturing plant by early 2016.


The company called the decision difficult, though many were surprised by the announcement due to the extraordinary efforts to keep the plant open by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp., and the City of Plymouth.


The company received about $1.5 million in forgivable loans from taxpayers to retool and modernize, but the company said the outdated nature of the building was too much to overcome.


Read more here.



Wisconsin Powerball odds get better, redesign

The odds of you winning the lottery increases for Wednesday's drawing, with the number of balls declining to 26 from 35 and the third prize level increases from $10,000 to $50,000.


A few other changes will improve the game, and the ticket will still cost only $2. Read more here and find out about the new Wisconsin Powerball!



Voter ID law back in federal court

Opponents of Wisconsin's voter ID law are in federal court today, arguing that the types of acceptable ID's should be expanded.


The Wisconsin Department of Justice claims that this is nothing more than a request for judges to rewrite the law in Wisconsin. They will be defending the law against the ACLU.


Story from WSAW here.


Five major projects delayed because of budget shortfall

Five major projects' completion days will be pushed because because of a funding shortage for DOT in the state budget.


The projects consist of:

- HWY 10/441 ($482 million) in the Fox Valley pushed back to 2020

- I-39/90 ($1.2 billion) between Madison and the Illinois border pushed back to 2023

- Madison beltline project ($251 million) to 2021

- Highway 15 near New London ($148 million) set back to 2021

- Highway 23 ($151 million) between Fondy and Sheboygan pushed until 2020


In his recent budget, the Governor requested a record amount of borrowing for roads, at $1.3 billion. Legislative republicans disagreed with those levels, ultimately borrowing $500 million.


The DOT does have the ability to request an additional $350 million from the legislative Joint Finance Committee, which they have not done as of yet.

     John Jacobson (L), WPT's Legislative Director &

 Bert Vosters (R) WPT's AG Members Representative


WPT was quite busy at Farm Tech Days! We had tons of members stop by to say hello, and many new people interested in the mission of our organization stopped by to explain their flawed property assessment stories, or share their ideas on how to grow small business. Also, a few lucky names were drawn from our membership raffle and will be joining the WPT family for the next year!


Farm Tech Days Drawing Winners

Congratulations to our winners! You won a complimentary one year membership with WPT valued at $100!


Tuesday, August 25th

12PM Drawing  Eric Speckher of Sparta

5PM Drawing    Sam Stressep Sr. of La Crosse


Wednesday, August 26th

12PM Drawing  Roxanne Lots of Chetek

5pm Drawing    John Shefer of Bark Road


Thursday, August 27th

12PM Drawing  Gerald Boelter of Markesan

5PM Drawing    Jim Becker of Cty Rd Q


Please call John with your questions regarding your one year membership at 608-255-7473 or drop him an email at

In the mean time enjoy reading the 2015 2nd QTR Newsletter here.

How Property Taxes Work


August 1, 2011 04:18 PM ITEP

The property tax is the oldest major revenue source for state and local governments. At the beginning of the twentieth century, property taxes represented more than eighty percent of state and local tax revenue. While this share has diminished over time as states have introduced sales and income taxes, the property tax remains an important mechanism for funding education and other local services. This policy brief discusses why property is taxed and how property taxes are calculated.


Why Tax Property?


The property tax is rooted largely in the “benefits principle” of taxation. Under this view, the property tax essentially functions as a user-charge on local residents for the benefits they receive from the local policies funded by property taxes. These policies benefit local residents directly in the form of better schools and fire protection, and indirectly in the form of increased housing values.


The property tax also helps differentiate between families of very different means by taxing families with large quantities of wealth more heavily than those without such reserves. But the impact that property taxes can have on low-income families, and particularly the elderly, makes clear that the linkage of the property tax to the ability-to-pay principle is far from perfect.


Finally, the stability and enforceability of the property tax make it among the best options available for providing local governments with a predictable revenue stream that can be used to fund indispensable services like schools, roads, and public safety.


How Property Taxes Work


Historically, property taxes applied to two kinds of property: real property, which includes land and buildings, and personal property,

which includes

moveable items

such as cars, boats,

and the value of

stocks and bonds.

Most states have

moved away from

taxing personal

property and now

impose taxes

primarily on real



In its simplest form, the real property tax is calculated by multiplying the value of land and buildings by the tax rate. Property tax rates are normally expressed in mills. A mill is one-tenth of one percent. In the most basic system, an owner of a property worth $100,000 that is subject to a 25 mill (that is, 2.5 percent) tax rate would pay $2,500 in property taxes. In reality, however, property taxes are often more complicated than this. The first step in the property tax process is determining a property’s value for tax purposes. In most cases, this means estimating the property’s market value, the amount the property would likely sell for.


The second step is determining the property’s assessed value, its value for tax purposes. This is done by multiplying the property’s market value by an assessment ratio, which is a percentage ranging from zero to one hundred. Many states base their taxes upon actual market value—in other words, these states use a 100 percent assessment ratio. A significant number of states, however, assess property at only a fraction of its actual value. New Mexico assesses homes at 33.3 percent of their market value, and Arkansas uses a 20 percent assessment ratio. Some states place a cap on increases in a home’s assessed value in any given year, which in many cases can lead to vastly different assessment ratios among similarly valued homes (For more detail, see ITEP Brief, “Capping Assessed Valuation Growth: A Primer”). And even when the law says properties should be assessed at 100 percent of their value, local assessors at times systematically under-assess property, reporting assessed values that are substantially less than the real market value of the property.


After the assessment ratio has been factored in, many states reduce a property’s assessed value further by allowing exemptions. The most common type of exemption is referred to as a “homestead exemption.” In Ohio, for example, the state allows an exemption for the first $25,000 of home value. Subtracting all exemptions yields the taxable value of a property. (For more on homestead exemptions, see ITEP Brief, “Property Tax Homestead Exemptions”).


The next step in the process is applying a property tax rate, also known as a millage rate, to the property’s taxable value. The millage rate is usually the sum of several tax rates applied by several different jurisdictions: for example, one property might be subject to a municipal tax, a county tax, and a school district tax. This calculation yields the tentative property tax before credits.


Many states allow property tax credits that either directly reduce the property tax bill, or that reimburse part of the property tax bill separately when taxpayers apply for them. Subtracting these credits is the final step in calculating one’s property tax bill—though taxpayers are often required to pay the pre-credit property tax amount, only to later have the amount of the credit refunded to them. (For more detail on one type of property tax credit, see ITEP brief, “Property Tax Circuit Breakers”).


Other Property Tax Issues


While property taxes on owner-occupied homes tend to receive the most attention, the presence (or absence) of tax on other forms of property also has important implications.


Businesses pay property taxes just like local residents. Property taxes on businesses are mostly borne by business owners. Business property taxes generally make the property tax less regressive, since business owners tend to be wealthier than average.


Property taxes also impact taxpayers who rent, rather than own their home. This is because owners of rental real estate pass through some of their tax liability to renters in the form of higher rents. The impact of property taxes on renters is of particular concern because renters tend to be significantly less well-off than their homeowner neighbors.

Non-profit entities are generally exempt from state and local property taxes. While these exemptions can make it easier for these organizations to pursue their missions, it can mean that local governments have difficulty raising the revenue needed to provide quality public services. This issue is most significant in areas with large non-profit hospitals and/or universities. PDF


Read it online!

News from the Capitol and around Wisconsin




I hope you all had a great weekend, and had a chance to watch the Pack beat the 49'ers in San Francisco yesterday, extending their record to 4-0!

John Jacobson
WPT Legislative Director

Copyright 2014 by Wisconsin Property Taxpayers, Inc.


P.O. Box 1493, Madison, WI 53701


Fax: 1-608-204-2622


Wisconsin Property Taxpayers, Inc.