The State of Property Taxes in Milwaukee
Wisconsin’s government can’t deny that commercial and industrial property owners are overly burdened with taxes. The situation is particularly bad in Milwaukee where residents and businesses have been fleeing the community for years. It began even before the big economic bust in 2008, leaving the municipality to try to raise rates and continually reevaluate properties in an attempt to maintain financial support for vital city services.
Legal Cases Against the City
The strategy has led many big companies to file lawsuits against the city and neighboring communities. Well-known stores like Walgreen’s, Target, Sears and Kohl’s are contesting their property assessment values year after year. Often, they are forced to file lawsuits, and they are succeeding in their efforts. Many courts are agreeing that Milwaukee is not properly evaluating a property’s worth, leading to an over-assessment that forces the commercial property owner to shoulder an unfair portion of the tax burden.
In one notable case, the court found for the plaintiff by noting that local tax codes do not provide appraisers with the ability to raise the market value of the property simply because the resident may be paying a lease amount that is above the market rate. The court’s conclusion was that the municipality was taxing based on business value as opposed to property value. It’s a practice that may have been widely used on commercial and industrial properties in Milwaukee, meaning that many companies may be paying more than their fair share of property taxes.
Considering that Milwaukee’s property taxes are among the highest in the nation, it makes a great deal of financial sense for business owners to take a second look at the assessed values of their commercial and industrial properties. It is entirely possible that the municipality used a faulty appraisal strategy or made some other kind of error that can be corrected.
In recent years, several state laws have been enacted in an attempt to address some of imbalances in the property tax system. The latest one was signed by Governor Scott Walker in March of 2014. The legislation involved a $541 million tax cut that was designed to minimize the property tax burden on individuals and businesses. However, this doesn’t mean that owners of commercial and industrial property in Milwaukee are being assessed correctly.
Challenging assessed property values is a time-consuming task, and many business owners would rather direct their energy elsewhere. In addition, they may not have the resources required to challenge a property tax assessment from the ground up. That’s where Assessment Technologies comes in. Assessment Technologies has a wealth of resources at its disposal, including property-valuation experts and proprietary software that’s designed to minimize the tax burden that is taken on by Milwaukee’s business owners.
If you have any doubts at all about your commercial or industrial property’s appraised value or the resultant property tax assessment, contact Assessment Technologies today. Our Milwaukee property tax code experts can review your situation and lead the way through the process of challenging the appraisal.