Wisconsin does away with state’s portion of the property tax

Wisconsin lawmakers have eliminated a decades-old state property tax that had been used to protect public and private forestlands. This change will result in savings of about $27 for the average homeowner and an annual loss in state revenue of approximately $90 million, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The state will instead use general-fund dollars to pay for programs related to fire prevention, pest control, land acquisition, recreation and overall forest health.

According to the Federation of Tax Administrators, in 2016, the property tax accounted for 1.0 percent of Wisconsin’s total state tax collections. It makes up less than 1 percent in most other Midwestern states (some have no statewide property tax at all). The lone exceptions are Kansas (8.2 percent of total state tax collections in 2016), Michigan (7.4 percent) and Minnesota (3.4 percent).

In Kansas, a statewide property tax funds building projects at public universities as well as state institutions for the disabled and mentally ill. Money from the Michigan State Education Tax goes to K-12 schools. Minnesota’s statewide property tax — established in 2001 and levied on businesses as well as resorts and cabins —goes to the state general fund.
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Stateline Midwest: January 20182.48 MB