I’ve talked to fellow Franklin residents since their property tax bills arrived. It’s unanimous. They’re very unhappy.
They’ve seen outrageous property tax increases. They believe it’s because of outrageous reassessments. And they’d be right.
Over the years I’ve blogged that the reassessment process is a scam. It’s rigged. It’s 100% anti-taxpayer based on a flawed system.
The tax and spenders in power will disagree. Of course they will. What are they going to do? Stand up at a press conference and say I’m right?
The annual effort to bloat reassessments is a convenient way to rape the poor, beleaguered local property taxpayer who has some recourse, but it’s nearly insurmountable. The odds of fighting Franklin City Hall are about as successful as the Packers stopping any 49er running back on any given play.
Currently there’s a GOP-led effort in the state Legislature to prevent a specific type of reassessment being abused by some local officials. It’s called “Chasing Sales,” and it’s yet another method the local tax and spenders have devised to screw people who pay the bills.
“Chasing Sales” is the practice of taxing new homeowners differently than other homeowners by basing a home’s assessed value solely on the most recent purchase price of the home.
This is an unfair and prohibited practice in the state of Wisconsin. Our constitution requires a uniform assessment process, where all homes are assessed in the same manner. New homeowners are paying the price by paying more in property taxes than their neighbors with similar homes.
My state Senator, Dave Craig who represents all of Franklin, and my state Representative, Assemblyman Ken Skowronski are pushing legislation to end “Chasing Sales.”
According to Senate Bill 624:
Current law requires that, to determine a property’s value for property tax purposes, the assessor consider recent arm’s-length sales of the property to be assessed if according to professionally acceptable appraisal practices those sales conform to recent arm’s-length sales of reasonably comparable property. This bill prohibits an assessor from changing the assessed value of a property based solely on the recent arm’s-length sale of the property unless the change in assessed value corrects a previous assessment based on incorrect information about the physical characteristics of the property.
Surely this will send my mayor, Franklin’s Steve Olson into a panic attack. Olson historically as an alderman and now mayor has despised the state, blaming Madison for every problem that crosses his desk. I can just imagine his consternation blustering at our legislative officials for daring to get involved in our local matters. Maybe if the locals wouldn’t screw up the intervention would be unnecessary.
The bill has a fairly decent chance of passing the Legislature where it will probably be vetoed by the tax-loving Gov. Tony Evers. Expect a sigh of relief from Olson, maybe even a thank you card to Evers.
I commend the efforts to assist our taxpayers rather than scamming them.