The Personal Property Tax, or PPT, is a tax that predates Wisconsin’s statehood. The tax was levied on all personal property prior to the creation of the income, sales, or other forms of state taxes. Today, small businesses still pay this annual tax on their furniture, fixtures, machinery, and other items, even years or decades after having purchased them. To make matters worse, exemptions over the years now force some businesses to pay the tax on an item, while other businesses are exempted from paying the tax on the very same item.
In early 2020, Assembly Republicans released a plan that would provide farmers with up to $7,500 in property tax relief by allowing farmers to claim a credit for up to 66% of property taxes paid on buildings used for agriculture. Additionally, a plan was released that would have allowed farmers to deduct their health insurance premiums from their income taxes.
According to the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum, Wisconsin relies on property taxes at nearly twice the rate of other states. In fact, about 42 percent of municipalities’ revenues come from property taxes, while the national average is 23 percent.