(20) Property held in trust in public interest.
Property that is owned by, or held in trust for, a nonprofit organization, if all of the following requirements are fulfilled:
The property is used to preserve native wild plant or native wild animal life, Indian mounds or other works of ancient persons or geological or geographical formations of scientific interest.
The property is open to the public subject to reasonable restrictions.
No pecuniary profit accrues to any owner or member of the organization or to any associate of any such owner or member from the use or holding of the property.
The county board of the county where the property is located has not determined that the property is not owned by, or held in trust for, a nonprofit organization and has not determined that at least one of the requirements under pars. (a)
has not been fulfilled.
(21) Treatment plant and pollution abatement equipment. 70.11(21)(a)(a)
All property purchased or constructed as a waste treatment facility used for the treatment of industrial wastes as defined in s. 281.01 (5)
or air contaminants as defined in s. 285.01 (1)
but not for other wastes as defined in s 281.01 (7) and approved by the department of revenue for the purpose of abating or eliminating pollution of surface waters, the air or waters of the state if that property is not used to grow agricultural products for sale. For the purposes of this subsection "industrial waste" also includes wood chips, sawdust and other wood residue from the paper and wood products manufacturing process that can be used as fuel and would otherwise be considered superfluous, discarded or fugitive material. The department of natural resources and department of health and family services shall make recommendations upon request to the department of revenue regarding such property. All property purchased or upon which construction began prior to July 31, 1975, shall be subject to s. 70.11 (21)
, 1973 stats.
The books and records of owners of property covered by this subsection shall be open to examination by representatives of the department of natural resources, department of health and family services and department of revenue.
A prerequisite to exemption under this subsection is the filing of a statement on forms prescribed by the department of revenue with the department of revenue. This statement shall be filed not later than January 15 of the year in which a new exemption is requested or in which a waste treatment facility that has been granted an exemption is retired, replaced, disposed of, moved to a new location or sold.
The department of revenue shall allow an extension to February 15; or, if the owner is subject to tax under ch. 76
, to a date determined by the department by rule; of the due date for filing the report form required under par. (c)
if a written application for an extension, stating the reason for the request, is filed with the department of revenue before January 15.
On or before March 1 of each year the department of revenue shall notify the owner and the local assessor of each taxation district wherein such property is located as to the taxability or nontaxability of such nonmanufacturing property.
If property about which a statement has been filed under par. (c)
is determined to be taxable, the owner may appeal that determination to the tax appeals commission under s. 73.01 (5) (a)
, except that assessments under s. 76.07
shall be appealed under s. 76.08
and except that assessments under s. 70.995 (5)
shall be appealed under s. 70.995 (8)
(22) Camps for persons with disabilities.
Lands not exceeding 10 acres and the buildings thereon owned by the Wisconsin Easter Seal Society for Crippled Children and Adults, Incorporated, and known as Camp Wawbeek, used for camps for children and adults with orthopedic impairments and not to exceed 371 acres of wooded and meadowland adjacent thereto used in connection therewith, excluding a caretaker's home and 10 acres of land in connection therewith, so long as the property is used solely for such purposes and not for pecuniary profit of any individual.
(25) Nonprofit medical research foundations.
Property owned and operated by a corporation, voluntary association, foundation or trust, no part of the net earnings of which inure to the benefit of any shareholder, member, director or officer thereof, which property is used exclusively for the purposes of: medical and surgical research the knowledge derived from which is applied to the cures, prevention, relief and therapy of human diseases; providing instruction for practicing physicians and surgeons, promoting education, training, skill and investigative ability of physicians, scientists and individuals engaged in work in the basic sciences which bear on medicine and surgery; or providing diagnostic facilities and treatment for deserving destitute individuals not eligible for assistance from charitable or governmental institutions. Such corporation, voluntary association, foundation or trust must have received a certificate under section 501
(c) (3) of the internal revenue code as a nonprofit organization exempt for income tax purposes.
(26) Property of industrial development agencies.
All real and personal property owned by an industrial development agency formed under s. 59.57 (2)
. Any such property subject to contract of sale or lease shall be taxed as personal property to the vendee or lessee thereof.
(27) Manufacturing machinery and specific processing equipment. 70.11(27)(a)1.
"Building" means any structure used for sheltering people, machinery, animals or plants; storing property; or working, office, parking, sales or display space.
"Machinery" means a structure or assemblage of parts that transmits forces, motion or energy from one part to another in a predetermined way by electrical, mechanical or chemical means, but "machinery" does not include a building.
"Manufacturing" means engaging in an activity classified as manufacturing under s. 70.995
"Power wiring" means bus duct, secondary service wiring or other wiring that is used exclusively to provide electrical service to production machines that are exempt under par. (b)
. "Power wiring" does not include transformers.
"Production process" means the manufacturing activities beginning with conveyance of raw materials from plant inventory to a work point of the same plant and ending with conveyance of the finished product to the place of first storage on the plant premises, including conveyance of work in process directly from one manufacturing operation to another in the same plant, including the holding for 3 days or less of work in process to ensure the uninterrupted flow of all or part of the production process and including quality control activities during the time period specified in this subdivision but excluding storage, machine repair and maintenance, research and development, plant communication, advertising, marketing, plant engineering, plant housekeeping and employee safety and fire prevention activities; and excluding generating, transmitting, transforming and furnishing electric current for light or heat; generating and furnishing steam; supplying hot water for heat, power or manufacturing; and generating and furnishing gas for lighting or fuel or both.
"Specific processing equipment" means containers for chemical action, mixing or temporary holding of work in process to ensure the uninterrupted flow of all or part of the production process, process piping, tools, implements and quality control equipment.
"Storage" means the holding or safekeeping of raw materials or components before introduction into the production process; the holding, safekeeping or preservation of work in process or of components outside the production process; and the holding or safekeeping of finished products or of components after completion of the production process; whether or not any natural processes occur during that holding, safekeeping or preservation; but "storage" does not include the holding for 3 days or less of work in process to ensure the uninterrupted flow of all or part of the production process.
"Used directly" means used so as to cause a physical or chemical change in raw materials or to cause a movement of raw materials, work in process or finished products.
"Used exclusively" means to the exclusion of all other uses except for other use not exceeding 5% of total use.
Machinery and specific processing equipment; and repair parts, replacement machines, safety attachments and special foundations for that machinery and equipment; that are used exclusively and directly in the production process in manufacturing tangible personal property, regardless of their attachment to real property, but not including buildings. The exemption under this paragraph shall be strictly construed.
(28) Humane societies.
Property owned and operated by a humane society organized primarily for the care and shelter of homeless, stray or abused animals, on a nonprofit basis, no part of the net income of which inures to the benefit of any member, officer or shareholder, if the property is used exclusively for the primary purposes of the humane society.
(29) Nonprofit radio stations.
Property owned by a radio station that is exempt from taxation under section 501
of the internal revenue code as amended to December 31, 1980, if the property is used for the purposes for which the exemption was granted.
(29m) Nonprofit theaters.
All of the property owned or leased by a corporation, organization or association exempt from taxation under section 501
(c) (3) of the internal revenue code, if all of the property is used for the purposes for which the exemption was granted, the property includes one or more buildings listed on the national register of historic places, the property includes one or more theaters for performing theater arts which have a total seating capacity of not less than 800 persons and the corporation, organization or association operates the theater or theaters.
All perennial plants that produce an annual crop.
(31) Sports and entertainment facilities.
Real and personal property consisting of or contained in a sports and entertainment facility, including related or auxiliary structures, constructed by a nonprofit corporation for the purpose of donation to the state or to an instrumentality of the state, if the state indicates by legislative or executive action that it will accept the facility. This exemption shall apply during construction and operation if the facility is owned by a nonprofit corporation, the state or an instrumentality of the state.
(31m) Railroad historical societies.
Right-of-way and rolling stock owned by railroad historical societies.
(32) Nonprofit youth hockey associations.
Land not exceeding 13 acres, the buildings on that land and personal property if the land is owned or leased by and the buildings and personal property are owned by, and all the property is used exclusively for the purposes of, a nonprofit youth hockey association, except that the exemption under this subsection does not apply to the property of a nonprofit youth hockey association if any of its property was funded in whole or in part by industrial revenue bonds unless that association's facilities were placed in operation after January 1, 1988. Leasing all or a portion of the property does not render that property taxable if all of the leasehold income is used for maintenance of the leased property.
(33) Camps for mentally or physically disabled persons.
Land, not exceeding 50 acres, and the buildings on that land used as a residential campground exclusively for mentally or physically disabled persons and their families as long as the property is used for that purpose and not for the pecuniary profit of any individual.
Real property all of which fulfills all of the following requirements:
Is listed on the national register of historic places in Wisconsin or the state register of historic places.
Is owned or leased by an organization that is exempt from taxation under section 501
of the internal revenue code as amended to December 31, 1986.
Is used for civic, governmental, cultural or educational purposes.
Is subject to an easement, covenant or similar restriction running with the land that is held by or approved by the state historical society or by an entity approved by the state historical society, that protects the historic features of the property and that will remain effective for at least 20 years after January 1, 1989.
(35) Cultural and architectural landmarks.
Property described in s. 234.935 (1)
, 1997 stats.
(36) Professional sports and entertainment home stadiums. 70.11(36)(a)(a)
Property consisting of or contained in a sports and entertainment home stadium, except a football stadium as defined in s. 229.821 (6)
; including but not limited to parking lots, garages, restaurants, parks, concession facilities, entertainment facilities, transportation facilities, and other functionally related or auxiliary facilities and structures; including those facilities and structures while they are being built; constructed by, leased to or primarily used by a professional athletic team that is a member of a league that includes teams that have home stadiums in other states, and the land on which that stadium and those structures and facilities are located. Leasing or subleasing the property; regardless of the lessee, the sublessee and the use of the leasehold income; does not render the property taxable.
Sub. (36) (title) was renumbered from sub. (36) (title) to sub. (36) (a) (title) by 1999 Wis. Act 167
, s. 39
, and renumbered back to sub. (36) (title) by the revisor under s. 13.93 (1) (b).
Property consisting of or contained in a football stadium, as defined in s. 229.821 (6)
, and related facilities and structures, including those facilities and structures while they are being built or constructed, primarily used by a professional football team described in s. 229.823
, and the land, including parking lots, on which that stadium and those facilities and structures are located. Related facilities and structures are limited to improvements that share common structural supports with the stadium or are physically attached to the stadium. Using the property for garages, restaurants, parks, concession facilities, entertainment facilities, transportation facilities, or other functionally related or auxiliary facilities does not render the property taxable. Leasing or subleasing the property; regardless of the lessee, the sublessee and the use of the leasehold income; does not render the property taxable.
(37) Local exposition district.
The property of a local exposition district under subch. II of ch. 229
(38) University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority.
Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 70.11 (intro.)
that relate to leased property, all property owned by the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority and all property leased to the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority that is owned by the state, provided that use of the property is primarily related to the purposes of the authority.
If the owner of the property fulfills the requirements under s. 70.35
, mainframe computers, minicomputers, personal computers, networked personal computers, servers, terminals, monitors, disk drives, electronic peripheral equipment, tape drives, printers, basic operational programs, systems software, prewritten software and custom software. The exemption under this subsection does not apply to fax machines, copiers, equipment with embedded computerized components or telephone systems, including equipment that is used to provide telecommunications services, as defined in s. 76.80 (3)
(40) Local cultural arts district.
Property of a local cultural arts district under subch. V of ch. 229
, except any of the following:
Property that is not a part of the physical structure of a cultural arts facility, as defined under s. 229.841 (5)
, if that property is used for a retail business or a restaurant, unless the retail business or restaurant is operated by the local cultural arts district or by a corporation, organization or association described in section 501
of the Internal Revenue Code that is exempt from taxation under section 501
(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.
A parking lot or parking structure that is not used to support the operation of a cultural arts facility, as defined under s. 229.841 (5)
History: 1971 c. 152
; 1973 c. 90
; 1973 c. 333
; 1973 c. 335
; 1975 c. 39
; 1975 c. 94
s. 91 (10)
; 1975 c. 199
; 1977 c. 29
, 1646 (3)
, 1647 (5)
, (7); 1977 c. 83
; 1977 c. 273
; 1979 c. 34
s. 2102 (39) (g)
; 1979 c. 221
; 1979 c. 310
; 1981 c. 20
; 1983 a. 27
; 1983 a. 189
s. 329 (16)
; 1983 a. 201
; 1985 a. 26
; 1987 a. 10
; 1987 a. 403
; 1989 a. 25
; 1991 a. 37
; 1993 a. 263
; 1995 a. 27
, 9126 (19)
; 1995 a. 201
; 1997 a. 27
; 1999 a. 9
; 1999 a. 150
; 1999 a. 167
; s. 13.93 (1) (b).
For other exemptions from taxation, see s. 1.04
, U.S. sites; s. 70.112
, specially taxed property; s. 70.41
, stored grain; s. 70.42
, coal docks; s. 70.421
, petroleum; s. 76.23
, utilities; s. 613.81
, hospital service insurance corporations.
A building used as a residence by various missionaries for rest and recreation falls within the housing exemption under sub. (4) . Evangelical Alliance Mission v. Williams Bay, 54 Wis. 2d 187
, 194 N.W.2d 646
Voting machines leased by a city with an option to purchase are city property and exempt. Milwaukee v. Shoup Voting Machine Corp. 54 Wis. 2d 549
, 196 N.W.2d 694
Requirements under sub. (4) for educational institutions are discussed. National Foundation v. Brookfield, 65 Wis. 2d 263
, 222 N.W.2d 608
"Owned" under sub. (2) cannot be equated with paper title only. When a corporate lessee was the beneficial and true owner of improvements made to a structure, the lessee was the owner for personal property assessment purposes. State ex rel. Mitchell Aero v. Bd. of Review, 74 Wis. 2d 268
, 246 N.W.2d 521
"Used exclusively" under sub. (4m) means to physically employ the tangible characteristics of the property; accordingly, although the medical equipment at issue was leased commercially, it was "used exclusively" for hospital purposes and was exempt. First Nat. Leasing Corp. v. Madison, 81 Wis. 2d 205
, 260 N.W.2d 251
Religious persons whose housing is exempt under sub. (4) include only those who have official leadership roles in the activities of the congregation. Midtown Church of Christ v. City of Racine, 83 Wis. 2d 72
, 264 N.W.2d 281
Indicia of true and beneficial ownership under sub. (1) are discussed. Gebhardt v. City of West Allis, 89 Wis. 2d 103
, 278 N.W.2d 465
The residence of a hospital chaplain was exempt under sub. (4). Sisters of St. Mary v. City of Madison, 89 Wis. 2d 372
, 278 N.W.2d 814
To qualify as an educational association under sub. (4), an organization must be devoted to "traditional" educational activities. Traditional educational activities are defined. International Foundation v. City of Brookfield, 95 Wis. 2d 444
, 290 N.W.2d 720
(Ct. App. 1980).
In applying a "function or use" test, 3 of a taxpayer's building-like structures were eligible for machinery & equipment exemption under sub. (27). Ladish Malting Co. v. Dept. of Revenue, 98 Wis. 2d 496
, 297 N.W.2d 56
(Ct. App. 1980).
Under an "integrated plant test" for classifying property directly used in manufacturing, graving docks were exempt under sub. (27). The exemption was not destroyed by incidental use of the dock for a nonexempt purpose. Manitowoc Co., Inc. v. Sturgeon Bay, 122 Wis. 2d 406
, 362 N.W.2d 432
(Ct. App. 1984).
Property leased by an institution was not exempt under sub. (19). Chileda Institute, Inc. v. La Crosse, 125 Wis. 2d 554
, 373 N.W.2d 43
(Ct. App. 1985).
A day care center devoted primarily to educational purposes was exempt under sub. (4). Janesville Community Day Care v. Spoden, 126 Wis. 2d 231
, 376 N.W.2d 78
(Ct. App. 1985).
Property exempted under sub. (21) (a) need not have a "primary purpose" of eliminating pollution. Owens-Illinois v. Town of Bradley, 132 Wis. 2d 310
, 392 N.W.2d 104
(Ct. App. 1986).
Non-adjoining property may constitute "grounds" of a college or university under sub. (3) (a). Indiana University v. Town of Rhine, 170 Wis. 2d 293
, 488 N.W.2d 128
(Ct. App. 1992).
A lease provision between a county-lessor and a lessee that the lessee was responsible for taxes was not determinative of the taxability of buildings constructed on the leased premises. The county, as beneficial owner of the property, was exempt from taxation. City of Franklin v. Crystal Ridge, 180 Wis. 2d 561
, 509 N.W.2d 730
A benevolent association under sub. (4) is not required to provide free services or to be affordable by all in the community and may pay its officers reasonable compensation for their services; housing for "aged" under sub. (4) requires occupancy by one person at least 55 years old. Friendship Village Milwaukee v. Milwaukee, 181 Wis. 2d 207
, 511 N.W.2d 345
(Ct. App. 1993).
The legislature may not delegate the power to grant tax exemptions to a county board. UW-LaCrosse Foundation v. Town of Washington, 182 Wis. 2d 490
, 513 N.W.2d 417
(Ct. App. 1994).
The determination of "land necessary for location and convenience of buildings" under sub. (4) is discussed. Friendship Village v. Milwaukee, 194 Wis. 2d 787
, 535 N.W.2d 111
(Ct. App. 1995).
A youth soccer association that failed to establish that it was substantially and primarily devoted to educational purposes , although its program had educational elements, was not entitled to tax exempt status as an educational association. Kickers of Wisconsin, Inc. v. Milwaukee, 197 Wis. 2d 675
, 541 N.W.2d 193
(Ct. App. 1995).
No notice of claim under s. 893.80 is ever required on a claim arising from a county board determination under sub. (20). Little Sissabagama Lake Shore Owners Assoc. v. Town of Edgewater, 208 Wis. 2d 259
, 559 N.W.2d 914
(Ct. App. 1997).
Whether a clinic building is a "doctor's office" under is sub. (4m) is not dependent on whether or not it is operated as part of a for profit practice owned by physicians or as a nonprofit corporation. A clinic operated by a nonprofit corporation that contains offices for doctors, provides outpatient care only, and is open for regular business hours is a "doctors office". St. Clare Hospital v. City of Monroe, 209 Wis. 2d 364
, 563 N.W.2d 170
(Ct. App. 1997).
The exemption under sub. (13m) will not be applied to reduce the value of a remaining taxable property not a part of the exempt archeological site. Wrase v. City of Neenah, 220 Wis. 2d 166
, 582 N.W.2d 457
(Ct. App. 1998).
The exclusivity requirement under sub. (4) does not prohibit occasional commercial use. The question is how consequential the use is compared to the total use of the property. The party seeking the exemption must present more than "recollections" and "observations" of use. Deutches Land, Inc. v. City of Glendale, 225 Wis. 2d 70
, 591 N.W. 2d 583
The sub. (4) exemption of up to 10 acres of land is tied to and follows from the exemption of buildings. It does not allow for the exemption of buildings necessary for the use of the land. Deutches Land, Inc. v. City of Glendale, 225 Wis. 2d 70
, 591 N.W. 2d 583
Section 70.11 (intro.), and not s. 70.1105, applies when an exempt organization leases part of its property to a for-profit entity. Section 70.1105 applies when the exempt organization engages in for-profit activities. However the methodology for determining exemptions under each is the same. Deutches Land, Inc. v. City of Glendale, 225 Wis. 2d 70
, 591 N.W. 2d 583
Property that on the assessment date was wholly vacant and unoccupied, and on which no construction had commenced, was not being readied for a benevolent use and was properly determined as not being used exclusively for benevolent purposes under sub. (4). Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire v. DOR, 229 Wis. 2d 846
, 601 N.W.2d 1
(Ct. App. 1999).
The property tax exemption for pollution control facilities provided in sub. (21) (a) applies to pollution control facilities incorporated into new plants to be constructed, in addition to those installed to abate or eliminate existing pollution sources. 60 Atty. Gen. 154.
Standards for determining whether a nonprofit corporation qualifies for tax exempt status as a retirement home under sub. (4) are discussed. 66 Atty. Gen. 232.
Preferential tax treatment may not be given to any organization that discriminates on the basis of race. Pitts v. Dept. of Revenue, 333 F. Supp. 662