Janet Bewley, 7th Assembly
Janet Bewley (Democratic State Representative from Ashland) said it best: "The Legislature passed Gov. Walker’s so-called property tax relief bill," but the Republicans "are still raising your property taxes."
Not only will most homeowners in Wisconsin not see any real reduction in their property taxes when the bills arrive in December, most will actually experience an increase in their property taxes in the following year. Yes, that's right: the total impact of the newly enacted property tax "relief" bill over its two-year lifespan is a modest increase.
Here's Politifact's account:
According to the fiscal bureau, the property tax for a median-valued home -- $151,148 -- was $2,943. Under the biennial state budget, the tax was to drop by $5 in the first year, then increase by $36 in the second. That put the tax bill on the typical home at $2,974 -- a net increase of $31 over the two years.
But with the property tax relief law, the tax on the typical home is now estimated to go down by $18 in the first year and increase $29 in the second. That would put the tax bill at $2,954 -- a net increase of $11. [Politifact, Nov. 6, 2013]
So property taxes under the biennial budget were scheduled to go down a smidgeon and then go up again the next year. With the enactment of the separate property tax law, the reduction in the first year is somewhat larger, but still only about $1.50/month for the median-valued home. And the increase in the following year will wipe out that tiny reduction and then add another $11 to the total bill!
Bottom line: the Walker administration has in fact raised property taxes while claiming to reduce them. It doesn't get much more blatant in the deception department than that.
Perhaps some Wisconsin homeowners (as distinguished from the larger group of property owners) will see some small reduction in their property taxes over the next four years, but most should not count on it. And the "relief" will be no where near the $680 Governor Walker claims in his newsletter.
From the Green Bay Press Gazette:
"Projections say that Gov. Scott Walker’s property tax relief bill will save the average person about $13 in 2013-14 school taxes. But it won’t change the size of tax bills in a number of districts across Northeastern Wisconsin and elsewhere in the state, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau." [greenbaypostgazette.com, Nov. 2, 2013]
From the Cap Times:
"[T]he owner of a $150,000 house on Madison’s east side stands to see a savings of about $17 on the December tax bill....
[W]hile the measure has been touted by both Republicans and Democrats as delivering tax relief to beleaguered Wisconsin homeowners, the big winners in actual dollar terms are the owners of large office complexes, apartment buildings and shopping malls." [Cap Times, Oct. 18, 2013]Read more