If any tax levied under the provisions of s. 76.13
shall be adjudged illegal and nonenforceable, or shall be set aside by any court of the state of competent jurisdiction, it shall be the duty of the department, whether any part of the taxes assessed and levied have been paid or not, to forthwith reascertain and redetermine the value of the property of the companies or the value of the general property of the state or the average rate of taxation throughout the state as may be required; and when such reascertainment and redetermination has been made, to make a duplicate of the original assessment roll and to extend the taxes thereon according to such reassessment, and when such duplicate roll has been made and the taxes extended thereon in the manner provided in this section, it shall be of the same force and effect as the original assessment made in accordance with law. The proceedings for such reassessment and for the extension, payment and collection of taxes upon such duplicate assessment roll shall be conducted in the method originally provided for as near as may be. The department shall fix the time and place for the hearings or proceedings for the reassessment and give notice thereof by mail to the companies.
The power to reassess the property of any company defined in s. 76.02
and the general property of the state, and to redetermine the average rate of taxation, may be exercised under sub. (1)
as often as may be necessary until the amount of taxes legally due from any such company for any year under ss. 76.01
has been finally and definitely determined. Whenever any sum or part thereof, levied upon any property subject to taxation under ss. 76.01
so set aside has been paid and not refunded, the payment so made shall be applied upon the reassessment upon the property, and the reassessment of taxes to that extent shall be deemed to be satisfied. When the tax roll on the reassessment is completed and delivered to the state treasurer, the department shall immediately notify by certified mail each of the several companies taxed to pay the amount of the taxes extended on the tax roll within 30 days.
History: 1977 c. 418
; 1993 a. 205
Separate valuation of docks, piers, wharves, ore yards, elevators, car ferries and pipeline terminal facilities.
After the property of a company is first valued as a whole, if any docks, ore yards, piers, wharves, grain elevators or car ferries used in transferring freight or passengers between cars and vessels or transfer of freight cars located on car ferries, or if any terminal storage facilities, docks, pipelines and pumping equipment used in transferring oil from pipelines to vessels shall be included in such valuation, then for the purpose of accounting to the proper taxation districts, the department shall make a separate valuation of each such dock, ore yard, pier, wharf, grain elevator, including the approaches thereto, or car ferries and of each such terminal storage facility, dock, pipeline and pumping equipment. As used herein, an approach shall be an immediate access facility commencing at the switching point which leads primarily to the terminal facility. For the purpose of defining the pipeline terminal facilities affected by this section, such facilities shall begin where the incoming pipeline enters the terminal storage facility site used in the transfer of oil to vessels.
History: 1973 c. 333
No tax assessed upon any of the general property of the state and no average rate determined by said department as herein required, shall be held invalid on account of any assessment or tax roll not having been made or proceedings had within the time required by law, or on account of the property having been assessed without the name of the owner, or in the name of any corporation or person other than the owner, or on account of any other irregularity, informality or omission, if the method and manner of ascertaining and determining the average rate of taxation on property in this state is in substantial accordance with law.
Presumption of regularity.
The proceedings of the department shall be presumed to be regular and the determination of the department shall not be impaired, vitiated or set aside by any court upon any grounds not affecting the substantial justice of the tax. The provisions in this subchapter prescribing a date or period at or within which an act shall be performed or determination made by the department shall be deemed directory only, and no failure to perform any such act or make such determination at or within the time prescribed therefor shall affect the validity of such act or of any determination made by the department, unless it appears that substantial injustice has resulted therefrom. Nothing in this subchapter shall preclude the court in any proceeding before it under s. 76.08
from redetermining the assessment of the property of any company defined in s. 76.02
when in the judgment of the court the assessment should be substantially less or more than the assessment as determined by the department.
History: 1979 c. 102
s. 236 (1)
Tax lien; sale. 76.22(1)(1)
The taxes levied upon and extended against the property of any company defined in s. 76.02
, after the same become due, with interest thereon, shall become a lien upon the property of such company within the state prior to all other liens, debts, claims or demands whatsoever, except as provided in ss. 292.31 (8) (i)
, which lien may be enforced in an action in the name of the state in any state court of competent jurisdiction against such company and against the property of such company within the state. The place of the trial shall not be changed from the county in which any such action is commenced, except upon consent of parties.
The action to recover taxes and interest and to enforce the same as a lien shall be an action in equity and shall be commenced and carried on and judgment entered according to the laws of the state and the rules and practice of courts of equity so far as applicable. No reference shall be made to take testimony or to hear, try and determine the issues of fact in the action. The judgment shall fix the amount of taxes and interest, adjudge the same a lien on the property of the company and provide for the sale of such property in 90 days after the entry of judgment upon publication of the notice of sale as a class 3 notice, under ch. 985
. The judgment shall bear interest at the rate of 10% per year from the date of entry until finally paid.
The state treasurer for and in the name of the state may bid at the sale and the state may become the purchaser of the property of any such company under a judgment for its sale for taxes, interest and costs.
Exemption from other taxation.
The taxes imposed by this chapter upon the property of the companies defined in s. 76.02
shall be in lieu of all other taxes on such property necessarily used in the operation of the business of such companies in this state, except that the companies shall be subject to special assessment for local improvements in cities, villages and towns. If a general structure is used in part for operating the business of any company defined in s. 76.02
and in part for nonoperating purposes, that general structure shall be assessed for taxation under this chapter at the percentage of its full market value that fairly measures and represents the extent of its use for operating purposes and the balance shall be subject to local assessment and taxation, except that the entire general structure is subject to special assessments for local improvements. All property not necessarily used in operating the business of any company defined in s. 76.02
is exempted from taxation under this chapter and is subject to local assessment and taxation. The taxes so imposed and paid by such companies shall also be in lieu of all taxes on the shares of stock of such companies owned or held by individuals of this state and such shares of stock in the hands of individuals shall be exempt from further taxation.
History: 1981 c. 20
; 1993 a. 246
Freight houses constructed on railroad property, by a railroad, used by various companies for unloading and loading freight cars, where no storage took place, were necessarily used in the operation of the railroad and not subject to local taxation. C.M.St.P.&P.R.R. Co. v. City of Milwaukee, 47 Wis. 2d 88
, 176 N.W.2d 580
Distribution of revenue. 76.24(1)
All taxes collected from companies defined in s. 76.02
under this subchapter shall be transmitted by the department to the state treasurer and become a part of the general fund for the use of the state, except that taxes paid into the state treasury by any air carrier or railroad company shall be deposited in the transportation fund.
All taxes paid by any railroad company derived from or apportionable to docks, ore yards, piers, wharves, grain elevators, and their approaches, or car ferries or terminal storage facilities, docks, pipelines and pumping equipment used in transferring oil from pipelines to vessels on the basis of the separate valuation provided for in s. 76.16
, shall be distributed annually from the transportation fund to the towns, villages and cities in which they are located, pursuant to certification made by the department of revenue on or before August 15.
If the state is compelled to refund in whole or in part any of the taxes which have been distributed to municipalities under par. (a)
, such municipalities shall repay to the state for deposit in the transportation fund the amount of such tax so received by them, and the department of administration shall certify the amounts to be repaid to the state to the county clerks of the counties in which such municipalities are located for levy and collection from the municipalities as other state taxes are levied and collected.
If an error in any past distribution roll is discovered, the same may be corrected by making the proper addition to or subtraction from any of the 3 subsequent distribution rolls.
Experts and employees.
The department is authorized and empowered to employ expert engineers, expert accountants and such clerks and assistants as may be necessary to properly perform the duties imposed by this subchapter and in the work of the valuation and taxation of the property of the companies.
History: 1979 c. 102
s. 236 (1)
The fees of the sheriff and one deputy, and of the clerk of the court and one deputy, for attendance upon the court for the trial of any action under ss. 76.01
shall be audited by the department of administration upon the certification of said clerk and approval by the attorney general, paid out of the state treasury and charged to the appropriation for circuit courts.
History: 1971 c. 125
License fee for light, heat and power companies. 76.28(1)(1)
In this section:
"Apportionment factor" means a fraction the numerator of which is the sum of the property factor, the payroll factor and the sales factor and the denominator of which is the number 3.
"Book cost of utility plant" has the meaning set forth in the uniform system of accounts established by the public service commission.
"Department" means the department of revenue.
"Gross revenues" for a light, heat and power company other than a qualified wholesale electric company or a transmission company means total operating revenues as reported to the public service commission except revenues for interdepartmental sales and for interdepartmental rents as reported to the public service commission and deductions from the sales and use tax under s. 77.61 (4)
, except that the company may subtract from revenues either the actual cost of power purchased for resale, as reported to the public service commission, by a light, heat and power company, except a municipal light, heat and power company, that purchases under federal or state approved wholesale rates more than 50% of its electric power from a person other than an affiliated interest, as defined in s. 196.52 (1)
, if the revenue from that purchased electric power is included in the seller's gross revenues or the following percentages of the actual cost of power purchased for resale, as reported to the public service commission, by a light, heat and power company, except a municipal light, heat and power company that purchases more than 90% of its power and that has less than $50,000,000 of gross revenues: 10% for the fee assessed on May 1, 1988, 30% for the fee assessed on May 1, 1989, and 50% for the fee assessed on May 1, 1990, and thereafter. For a qualified wholesale electric company, "gross revenues" means total business revenues from those businesses included under par. (e) 1.
For a transmission company, "gross revenues" means total operating revenues as reported to the public service commission, except revenues for transmission service that is provided to a public utility that is subject to the license fee under sub. (2) (d)
, to a public utility, as defined in s. 196.01 (5)
, or to a cooperative association organized under ch. 185
for the purpose of providing electricity to its members only. For an electric utility, as defined in s. 16.957 (1) (g)
, "gross revenues" does not include public benefits fees collected by the electric utility under s. 16.957 (4) (a)
or (5) (a)
. For a generator public utility, "gross revenues" does not include any grants awarded to the generator public utility under s. 16.958 (2) (b)
. For a wholesale supplier, as defined in s. 16.957 (1) (w)
, "gross revenues" does not include any public benefits fees that are received from a municipal utility or retail electric cooperative or under a joint program established under s. 16.957 (5) (f)
. For a municipal utility, "gross revenues" does not include public benefits fees received by the municipal utility from a municipal utility or retail electric cooperative under a joint program established under s. 16.957 (5) (f)
"Light, heat and power companies" means any person, association, company or corporation, including corporations described in s. 66.0813
, qualified wholesale electric companies and transmission companies and except only business enterprises carried on exclusively either for the private use of the person, association, company or corporation engaged in them, or for the private use of a person, association, company or corporation owning a majority of all outstanding capital stock or who control the operation of business enterprises and except electric cooperatives taxed under s. 76.48
that engage in any of the following businesses:
Generating and furnishing gas for lighting or fuel or both.
Supplying water for domestic or public use or for power or manufacturing purposes.
Generating, transforming, transmitting or furnishing electric current for light, heat or power.
Generating and furnishing steam or supplying hot water for heat, power or manufacturing purposes.
Transmitting electric current for light, heat or power.
"Net production of electricity" means the total of electricity generated minus the power used to operate the generating plant.
"Payroll factor" means a fraction the numerator of which is the total amount paid in this state during the tax period by the taxpayer for compensation and the denominator of which is the total compensation paid everywhere during the tax period, except that compensation solely related to the production of nonoperating revenues shall be excluded from the numerator and denominator of the payroll factor and except that compensation related to the production of both operating and nonoperating revenue shall be partially excluded from the numerator and denominator of the payroll factor so as to exclude as near as possible the portion of compensation related to the production of nonoperating revenue. Compensation is paid in this state if the individual's service is performed entirely within this state, or if the individual's service is performed both within and outside this state but the service performed outside this state is incidental to the individual's service within this state, or if some of the service is performed in this state and the base of operations or, if there is no base of operations, the place from which the service is directed or controlled is in this state or the base of operations or the place from which the service is directed or controlled is not in any state in which part of the service is performed and the individual's residence is in this state.
"Property factor" means a fraction the numerator of which is the average book cost of utility plant located in this state for the tax period and the denominator of which is the average book cost of utility plant located everywhere for the tax period. The average book cost of utility plant shall be determined by averaging the beginning and year end balances at original cost, including construction work in progress, but the secretary of revenue may require the averaging of monthly book costs during the tax period if that is reasonably required to reflect properly the average value of the taxpayer's property.
"Qualified wholesale electric company" means any person that owns or operates facilities for the generation and sale of electricity to a public utility, as defined in s. 196.01 (5)
, or to any other entity that sells electricity directly to the public, except that "qualified wholesale electric company" does not include any person that sells less than 95% of its net production of electricity or that does not own, operate or control electric generating facilities that have a total power production capacity of at least 50 megawatts.
"Sales factor" means a fraction the numerator of which is the taxpayer's total sales of electricity, gas, water and steam in this state reported to the public service commission for the tax period and the denominator of which is the taxpayer's total sales of electricity, gas, water and steam everywhere as reported to the public service commission for the tax period.
"Tax period" means the calendar year preceding the year for which the license fee is assessed.
There is imposed on every light, heat and power company an annual license fee to be assessed by the department on or before May 1, 1985, and every May 1 thereafter measured by the gross revenues of the preceding year at the rates and by the methods set forth under pars. (b)
. The fee shall become delinquent if not paid when due and when delinquent shall be subject to interest at the rate of 1.5% per month until paid. Payment in full of the May 1 assessment constitutes a license to carry on business for the 12-month period commencing on the preceding January 1.
For private light, heat and power companies, for 1985, an amount equal to the apportionment factor multiplied by the sum of:
Gross revenues from the sale of gas services multiplied by 0.47%; and
Except as provided under par. (e)
, for private light, heat and power companies for 1986 and thereafter, an amount equal to the apportionment factor multiplied by the sum of:
Gross revenues from the sale of gas services multiplied by 0.97%; and
Except as provided under par. (e)
, for municipal light, heat and power companies, an amount equal to the gross revenues, except gross revenues from operations within the municipality that operates the company, multiplied by the rates under par. (b)
For transmission companies, an amount equal to the gross revenues multiplied by the rates under par. (c)
On or before May 10, 1985, each light, heat and power company shall pay to the department a license fee for 1985 as imposed under sub. (2)
Beginning with calendar year 1985, a portion of the license fees imposed under sub. (2)
shall be paid to the department on an estimated basis. Payment of 45% of the total estimated liability of the May 1, 1986, assessment is due on or before May 10, 1985. The remainder of the May 1, 1986, assessment is due on or before November 10, 1985. Settlement for overpayments and underpayments of the May 1, 1986, assessment shall be made by the methods under par. (c)
Beginning with calendar year 1986, the license fees prescribed by sub. (2)
shall be paid to the department on an estimated basis. Remittances of semiannual instalments of the total estimated payments for the then current calendar year shall be due on or before May 10 and November 10 of the current year. With respect to the license fee assessment under sub. (2) (a)
, each light, heat and power company shall, on each May 10, pay or be credited an amount which is equal to the difference between the May 1 assessment and the sum of the semiannual instalment payments made in the preceding calendar year. The additional amount shall be added to the semiannual instalment due on May 10; if there has been an overpayment the amount of the overpayment shall be credited to the semiannual instalment due May 10. If any light, heat and power company that has a liability for the current year fails to make semiannual payments of at least 55% of the assessed liability for the current calendar year or 50% of the assessed liability for the subsequent calendar year, any amounts not paid when due shall become delinquent and shall be subject to interest at the rate of 1.5% per month.
Light, heat and power companies with a liability under this section of less than $2,000 are not required to make an instalment payment but shall pay the full amount of the license fees due on or before May 10 of the year of assessment.
If after filing the reports specified in sub. (7)
and after the department's computation and assessment of license fees under sub. (2)
it is determined that the amount of gross revenues reported is in error, the department shall compute the additional license fee to be paid or the amount of the overpayment of license fee to be refunded, as the case may be. If an additional license fee is due, the department shall give notice to the light, heat and power company against whom the license fee is to be levied. All such additional assessments and claims for refunds for excess license fees paid are subject to the same procedure for review and final determination as additional income or franchise tax assessments and claims for refunds under ch. 71
as far as the same may be applicable, except that appeals of denials of claims for refunds shall be made directly to the tax appeals commission and except that the additional license fees shall become delinquent 60 days after notice provided in this subsection or, if review proceedings are held, 60 days following final determination of the review proceedings. All additional license fees shall bear interest at the rate of 12% per year from the time they should have been paid to the date on which the additional fees shall become delinquent if unpaid.
In the case of overpayments of license fees by any light, heat and power company under par. (a)
, the department shall certify the overpayments to the department of administration, which shall audit the amount of the overpayments and the state treasurer shall pay the amounts determined by means of the audit. All refunds of license fees under this subsection shall bear interest at the annual rate of 9% from the date of the original payment to the date when the refund is made. The time for making additional levies of license fees or claims for refunds of excess license fees paid, in respect to any year, shall be limited to 4 years after the time the report for such year was filed.
Delinquent license fees of any light, heat and power company, together with penalties and interest, for a lien upon all property of such company prior to all other liens, claims and demands, which lien may be enforced in an action in the name of the state in any court of competent jurisdiction against the property of such company within the state as an entirety. The remedies for nonpayment of taxes specified in s. 76.14
apply to nonpayment of license fees, penalties and interest referred to under this section.
The records, books, accounts and papers of any light, heat and power company are subject to inspection and examination by the secretary of revenue or by the person that the secretary designates for that purpose.
If any light, heat and power company that is required under this section to file a report fails to file a report within the time prescribed by law or as extended under sub. (7)
, unless it is shown that the failure is due to reasonable cause and not due to wilful neglect, there shall be added to the amount required to be shown as license fees on the report 5% of the amount of such fees if the failure is for not more than one month, with an additional 5% for each additional month or fraction thereof during which the failure continues, not exceeding 25% in the aggregate.
If any light, heat and power company fails to make a report as required by sub. (7)
within the time required, the department may enter an assessment against such company in a sum representing the approximate amount of the license fees, together with penalties and interest, for which such company may be liable as estimated by the department. Notice of such assessment shall be given by certified mail, and unless a report conforming to the requirements of this section is filed within 15 days of such notice, such estimated assessment shall become final. Thereafter the light, heat and power company assessed shall be forever barred from questioning the correctness of the same in any action or proceeding.
Every light, heat and power company shall, on or before March 1 in each year, make and return to the department in the form and upon the blanks the department prescribes a true statement of the operation of its business during the preceding calendar year, including provision of the "amount shown in the account plus leased property" for purposes of the payment to municipalities and counties under s. 79.04
. That statement shall be certified by the president and treasurer of the company or 2 of the company's principal officers. For sufficient reason shown, the department may, upon written request, allow any further time for making and filing the report that it deems necessary but not to exceed 30 days. If any company fails to file that report within the time prescribed or as extended under this subsection, the department shall add to the taxes due from that company $25, and no company may contest the imposition of that penalty in any action or proceeding.
(8) Transfer of ownership.
If any light, heat or power company discontinues service through sale, merger or abandonment of its property or otherwise, the company acquiring that property or undertaking to provide service in the area of the former company shall assume the license fees due under this section, but the liability of the acquiring company is limited to those license fees which have accrued from January 1 of the previous calendar year to the date of the order of the public service commission approving the sale, merger or discontinuance of service.
(9) Property subject to local tax.
The license fees imposed by this section upon the gross revenues of light, heat and power companies as defined in sub. (1) (e)
shall be in lieu of all other taxes on all property used and useful in the operation of the business of such companies in this state, except that the same shall be subject to special assessments for local improvements. If a general structure is used and useful in part in the operation of the business of those companies in this state and in part for nonoperating purposes, the license fees imposed by this section are in place of the percentage of all other taxes on the property that fairly measures and represents the extent of the use and usefulness in the operation of the business of those companies in this state, and the balance is subject to local assessment and taxation, except that the entire general structure is subject to special assessments for local improvements. Property under s. 76.025 (2)
shall not be taxed under this section, but shall be subject to local assessment and taxation.
(10) Standing to challenge assessment.
In case any light, heat or power company fails to make a report as required by sub. (7)
within the time required, the department may enter an assessment against that company in a sum representing the approximate amount of the license fees, together with penalties and interest, for which that company may be liable as estimated by the department. Notice of that assessment shall be given by certified mail, and unless a report conforming to the requirements of this section is filed within 15 days of that notice, that estimated assessment shall become final. Thereafter the light, heat or power company assessed shall be forever barred from questioning the correctness of the assessment in any action or proceeding.
(11) Payment before contesting.
No action or proceeding, except a petition for redetermination under sub. (4)
, may be brought by a light, heat or power company against this state to contest any assessment of a tax under this section unless the taxpayer first pays to this state the amount of tax assessed. If the taxpayer prevails in an action or proceeding, this state shall settle with the taxpayer, including payment of interest at 9% per year on the amount of the money paid from the date of payment until the date of judgment.
Confidentiality provisions. 76.30(1)
Except as provided in sub. (2)
, no person may divulge or circulate or offer to obtain, divulge or circulate any information provided by a company taxed under this subchapter, except a company taxed under s. 76.28
, to the department, including information which may be furnished by the department as provided in this section. This subsection does not prohibit publication by any newspaper of information lawfully derived from that information for purposes of argument or prohibit any public speaker from referring to such information in any address. This subsection does not prohibit the department from publishing statistics classified so as not to disclose the identity of particular taxpayers. This subsection does not prohibit employees or agents of the department from offering or submitting any return, claim, schedule, exhibit, writing or audit report or a copy of, and any information derived from, any of those documents as evidence into the record of any contested matter involving the department in proceedings or litigation on state tax matters if that evidence has reasonable probative value.
(2) Persons qualified to examine returns for specified purposes.
Subject to sub. (3)
and to rules of the department, any information under sub. (1)
is open to examination by only the following persons and the contents thereof may be divulged or used only as follows:
The secretary of revenue or any officer, agent or employee of the department.
The attorney general and department of justice employees.
Members of any legislative committee on organization or its authorized agents provided the examination is approved by a majority vote of a quorum of its members and the tax return or claim information is disclosed only in a meeting closed to the public. The committee may disclose information to the senate or assembly or to other legislative committees if the information does not disclose the identity of particular returns, claims or reports and the items thereof. The department shall provide assistance to the committees or their authorized agents in order to identify returns and claims deemed necessary by them to accomplish the review and analysis of tax policy.
Public officers of the federal government or other state governments or the authorized agents of such officers, where necessary in the administration of the tax laws of such governments, to the extent that such government accords similar rights of examination or information to officials of this state.
The person who filed or submitted the information, or to whom the information relates or by the person's authorized agent or attorney.
Any person examining information pursuant to a court order duly obtained upon a showing to the court that the information is relevant to a pending court action or pursuant to a subpoena signed by a judge of a court of record ordering the department's custodian of returns or claims to produce information in open court in a court action pending before the judge.
Employees of the legislative fiscal bureau to the extent that the department considers the examination necessary for those employees to perform their duties under contracts or agreements between the department and the bureau relating to the review and analysis of tax policy and the analysis of state revenue collections.
Employees and members of the public service commission, and employees of the department of transportation, to the extent that the department of revenue considers the examination necessary for those members and employees to perform their duties.