Wisconsin Property Taxpayers (WPT) is dedicated to reforming Wisconsin’s antiquated property tax laws, assuring fairness in property taxation, reducing Wisconsin’s property tax burden and increasing local taxpayer control over local tax and spending decisions.
As the voice of Wisconsin’s property taxpayers in Madison, WPT works to mobilize and protect the interests of all of Wisconsin property taxpayers in tax fairness and tax reduction; to inform our members on issues affecting their property taxes; and, to help individual members understand and address their property tax problems.
WPT is one of Wisconsin’s most active lobbying organizations, ranking among the top ten in total hours spent lobbying the Legislature every session for more than a decade.
WPT’s current Legislative efforts are focused on “Freezing” property tax increases at the rate of inflation or less, maintaining 2/3 state school funding, increasing state aid to local governments and protecting fairness (Uniformity) in property taxation.
WPT’s Legislative Successes 2011-2012
Historic Session Ends, Taxpayers Win!
Challenged at the outset by a $380 million gap between the increased cost of existing operations and projected revenues from existing taxes, 2011-2012 state budget planners had few options to recommend to the Legislature: cut spending, raise taxes, or both. Approaching the election, WPT asked Tom Barrett and Scott Walker if they would hold the line on property tax increases at the rate of inflation adjusted for growth or less. Both told us that they would do that.
Gov. Walker and the new Assembly and Senate did that and more. First, school aid and school spending were reduced $840+ million and local government taxes and spending were essentially frozen. To offset the reduced revenues, the Legislature required school and state government employees to contribute more to their health and retirement benefits. As a result of their actions, school and local government property taxes actually went down. Statewide, property taxes dropped to the lowest level they have been in fifteen years.
Guarantee Taxpayers Rights: Retain Local Taxpayer Control
We asked the Legislature to continue to give local taxpayers the right to approve or disapprove exceeding state spending limits and decide how much more they can afford and are willing to pay for school and local government services, by referendum. The Legislature agreed to maintain that provision in the law.
Building Success for Wisconsin’s Property Taxpayers Session by Session Since 1985
In the past twenty-five years WPT has worked for, supported and helped convince the Legislature to adopt a series of property tax reduction measures, including:
Homeowners’/Renters Credit refunds 6.9%
of first $2,000 property taxes paid.
State Lottery for direct property tax relief approved.
School Tax Credit raised, reducing property taxes
by $23 million every year.
Homeowners’/Renters Credit raised to 10%, saves property taxpayers more than $50 million
Farmland Tax Credit reduces taxes on farmland
Tax Rebate returns $179 million to property taxpayers.
Lottery Tax Credit reduces property taxes
School Levy Limits, County Tax Rate Cap, Local Spending Restraints enacted. Property tax rates drop 5%, saving taxpayers $153 million.
Two-Year School Tax Freeze saves taxpayers $554 million.
Sports Lottery defeated, protects property taxpayers against loss of lottery credit.
State Pays 2/3 of School Costs, reducing
school tax $1.2 billion.
Farmland Use Value Assessment Law passes, cuts farmland tax 20%.
WPT: Reducing Wisconsin’s #1 FAMILY, FARM,
and BUSINESS TAX
Since 1985, Wisconsin Property Taxpayers, Inc. has worked to reduce and reform Wisconsin’s #1 Family, Farm, and Business Tax Burden. Thanks to the strength of our membership, we helped to achieve success for all.
WPT initiatives and campaigns resulting in success for Wisconsin’s Property Taxpayers include:
Homeowners and Renters Property Tax Relief Credit
WPT worked to create and increase the homeowners/renters property tax credit saving property taxpayers more than $500 million in tax relief credits since first initiated.
Lottery Tax Credit Created
WPT worked to change the State Constitution to establish the State Lottery and fought to deliver all of the lottery’s profits – more than $200 million annually – directly to the state’s property taxpayers.
Protecting the Lottery Tax Credit
Against overwhelming odds, WPT led the fight against the State Sports Lottery that would have diverted all or part of the lottery proceeds from property taxpayers to fund various amateur and professional sports organizations.
School Tax Spending Controlled
WPT proposed and fought to limit school tax increases to the rate of inflation, instead of three and four times the inflation rate.
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