Property Taxpayers United for Fairness and Reform Since 1985
4th Quarter 2015
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WPT Ag Report
AG News Archives and previous news articles that matter to our members.
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)
Official Web sites of various state offices and agencies
Wisconsin in U.S. Congress
Senate: Ron Johnson
Senate: Tammy Baldwin
District 1: Paul Ryan
District 2: Mark Pocan
District 3: Ron Kind
District 4: Gwen Moore
District 5: Jim Sensenbrenner
District 6: Glenn Grothman
District 7: Sean Duffy
District 8: Reid Ribble
Governor, Executive Branch
*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.
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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3rd QTR Newsletter is
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2015 1st Quarter
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
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.
DOR Guides for Property Taxpayers
Go here this link takes you away from this site
2015 Assessors Guide for
Go here PDF
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!”
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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
Below are some interesting articles from Madison and around the state. I hope you find them informative, and as always, please feel free to share your ideas on weekly topics or information you'd like to see included in the Capitol Report.
Wishing you and yours a great week ahead!
WPT ANNOUNCES EXPANSION INTO SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN
New representative for area business community will expand membership and agenda
MADISON, WI – Wisconsin Property Taxypayers, Inc. (WPT) today announced the creation of a new position to represent Southeastern Wisconsin. Brandon Savage will serve as the Southeastern Wisconsin Business Director to expand WPT’s presence and represent its current membership in the region.
WPT President, Mike Marsch said, “We are excited to have Mr. Savage join our team and work to expand the voice of business and property owners in the region. For over 30 years, WPT has achieved much success without yet having a permanent presence in the southeast. Mr. Savage’s background, education, and experience make him the best person to take on this responsibility and represent our members’ collective interests.”
Savage said, “I’m honored to be entrusted by the state’s largest taxpayer organization to represent Wisconsin’s hub of industry and commerce, and I look forward to having discussions with businesses across the region about legislation and policies that impact Wisconsin’s economy.”
In recent years, Savage has been a political and communications consultant based in Milwaukee. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and his master’s degree in political science from Marquette University.
GOP legislative leaders introduce overhaul of Government Accountability Board
The much anticipated policy to overhaul the state's top watchdog group, the Government Accountability Board, was introduced in the legislature last week.
The plan from Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, and Representative Dean Knudson (R-Hudson) would restructure the agency by splitting it into two separate commissions- Ethics Commission, and Elections Commission.
The new commissions would be appointed by leaders, both Democrat and Republican, in both houses of the legislature, and by the Governor.
The plan also changes campaign finance laws, allowing for corporate contributions to certain political groups and parties, and doubling the maximum-allowed contributions to candidates.
The legislation will have a public hearing in the legislature tomorrow.
Read more here.
Freshman lawmaker proposes eliminating most new DOR auditor positions
Republican State Representative Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake) has introduced legislation that would eliminate 70 of the 102 new DOR auditor positions.
Citing the burden these positions put on small businesses throughout Wisconsin, Rep. Jarchow also called for reforms in the audit position, that often result in mistakes costing businesses time,
money, and manpower.
WPT urges you to contact your state lawmakers and ask them to support Rep. Jarchow's proposal, LRB-3257. To find out who represents your community, visit www.legis.wi.gov.
Or to read more, click here.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Farming
With an unprecedented trade deal between the United States and 11 Pacific nations on the verge of being finalized, some Wisconsin farmers wonder how this deal could impact agriculture in the state.
Some believe this may open the doors to some volatility for dairy farmers, or it might cause demand for more dairy products in those nations, opening up larger markets. The impacts will be unknown until the deal closes.
Listen to the WPR story here.
DATCP now accepting applications for Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 processor grants
The cost of innovation and sustaining long-term viability can be hefty and full of regulation.
A grant from Wisconsin DATCP can help reduce those burdens, and they are accepting applications now.
The grant is customizable for each processor, and cn be used to address a wide range of business needs, including food safety, staff training, or modernization.
Find out more here.
Manufacturing jobs make gains in Wisconsin
Wisconsin added 6,516 industrial jobs from July 2014 to July 2015, raising the level about 1.1%. The growth in the food processing industry as led to the growth in jobs, where Wisconsin is known for its low cost of doing business, according to Manufacturers' News.
Wisconsin is home to 10,694 manufacturers, employing 572,189 individuals.
Take a closer look here.
Gov. Walker appoints Rebecca Bradley to State Supreme Court
The governor last week announced his appointment to the State Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Crooks, appellate judge Rebecca Bradley.
This is the third appointment Governor Walker has granted to Bradley, having appointed her to the circuit court in Milwaukee, and then to the State Court of Appeals.
Justice Bradley's appointment will last until the Spring Elections, when she will need to run for re-election.
Check out the full story here.
Journal Sentinel parent company to be purchased
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and its parent company, Journal Media Group, will be sold to Gannett Media for $280 million if the deal passes the sniff test.
Gannett, whose flagship publication is USA Today, also owns an array of Wisconsin newspapers, including the Appleton Post-Crescent, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Wausau Daily Herald, among 7 others.
The company, worth $1.7 billion, says they plan to keep much control of the newspaper in Milwaukee, though their corporate strategy is to maximize short term profit in low-competition markets.
More info here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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,
such as cars, boats,
and the value of
stocks and bonds.
Most states have
moved away from
property and now
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 your week is off to a productive start, and that you had a great weekend. Another victory for the Pack yesterday, pushing their season record to 5-0...but
WPT Legislative Director