Senate Bill 97/Assembly Bill 903, as it is currently written, would be a disaster for taxpayers
MADISON – Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) urged caution on a property assessment study committee bill that is moving through the Wisconsin State Senate. Senate Bill 97, one of three current study committee bills up for debate, has good intentions, but came out of the Legislative Council Study Committee on Property Tax Assessment Practices with some fundamental flaws.
“While the intent of Senate Bill 97 – making sure that assessors have more objective information to make better informed decisions about assessments – is laudable, the business community is deeply concerned about some of the bills shortcomings regarding preserving confidentiality and fairness in the appeals process,” said WMC General Counsel and Director of Tax, Transportation & Legal Affairs Cory Fish.
“We have to remember that the goal of any property tax assessment legislation should be to create a more transparent and fair process for taxpayers,” Fish said. “Local businesses add tremendous value to our communities, and we look forward to continuing to help facilitate a strong relationship between Wisconsin’s job creators and Wisconsin’s municipalities. This partnership, though, becomes nearly impossible to build when our local governments are overtaxing the business community.”
WMC testified at the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Revenue, and Financial Institutions in September about three separate study committee bills – Senate Bills 95, 96 and 97 – and voiced support for Senate Bill 95 and Senate Bill 96.
At the same hearing, WMC also shared the amendments that the business community would like to see added to Senate Bill 97 in order to address the current shortcomings. This bill – as it is currently written without any changes – would be a disaster for taxpayers by failing to preserve the confidentiality and fairness of the appeals process.