2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
January 16, 2018 - Introduced by
Law Revision Committee. Referred to Committee
1An Act to repeal
70.105, 70.47 (7) (c), 70.47 (8) (j), 70.47 (16) (c), 74.37 (4) (d) and 2
74.37 (6); and to amend
70.47 (8) (d), 70.47 (13), 70.47 (16) (a), 73.03 (2a) and 3
74.37 (4) (c) of the statutes; relating to: changes to board of review proceedings
4and elimination of the property tax assessment freeze (suggested as remedial
5legislation by the Department of Revenue).
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill eliminates provisions related to board of review proceedings for
hearing objections to property tax assessments that the Wisconsin Supreme Court
found unconstitutional in Metropolitan Associates v. City of Milwaukee, 2011 WI 20,
332 Wis. 2d 85, 796 N.W.2d 717, and Nankin v. Village of Shorewood, 2001 WI 92, 245
Wis. 2d 86, 630 N.W.2d 141.
The bill also eliminates the property tax assessment freeze applicable to certain
replacement property. Under current law, if a property owner 1) conveys property
under threat of condemnation or through condemnation proceedings for the benefit
of a public entity to be used for public purposes and 2) acquires a property to replace
the conveyed property (replacement property), a municipality may “freeze” the
assessed value of the replacement property, for up to five years, at an amount equal
to the assessed value of the conveyed property in the year immediately preceding the
conveyance. However, in Gottlieb v. City of Milwaukee, 33 Wis. 2d 408, 147 N.W.2d
633 (1967), the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that the uniformity clause of the
Wisconsin Constitution requires that all property that is taxed must be taxed in its
entirety and at the same rate that applies to all other property in a taxation district.
The court concluded that a property tax assessment freeze applicable to urban
redevelopment corporations was unconstitutional because it constituted a partial
exemption from the property tax.
For further information, see the Notes provided by the Law Revision
Committee of the Joint Legislative Council.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
Law Revision Committee prefatory note: This bill is a remedial legislation
proposal, requested by the Department of Revenue and introduced by the Law Revision
Committee under s. 13.83 (1) (c) 4. and 5., stats. After careful consideration of the various
provisions of the bill, the Law Revision Committee has determined that this bill makes
minor substantive changes in the statutes, and that these changes are desirable as a
matter of public policy.
70.105 of the statutes is repealed.
Note: Deletes a property tax assessment freeze applicable to certain replacement
property that was found unconstitutional by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in Gottlieb v.
City of Milwaukee, 33 Wis. 2d 408, 147 N.W.2d 633 (1967).
70.47 (7) (c) of the statutes is repealed.
Note: Sections 2
, 4, 7
, and 10 delete provisions the Wisconsin Supreme Court
found unconstitutional in Metropolitan Associates v. City of Milwaukee, 2011 WI 20.
70.47 (8) (d) of the statutes is amended to read:
(d) It may and upon request of either
the assessor or the objector shall 5
compel the attendance of witnesses for hearing
, except objectors who may testify by 6
telephone, and the production of all books, inventories, appraisals, documents and 7
other data which may throw light upon the value of property, and, with regard to an
8objection that is subject to sub. (7) (c) or (16) (c), may, on a showing of good cause,
9compel the attendance of witnesses for depositions
, 5, 6
, 8, and 9 repeal language the Wisconsin Supreme Court
found unconstitutional in Metropolitan Associates v. City of Milwaukee
, 2011 WI 20, and
reinstate statutory language that existed prior to the modifications made by 2007
Wisconsin Act 86
deemed unconstitutional by the court.
70.47 (8) (j) of the statutes is repealed.
70.47 (13) of the statutes is amended to read:
70.47 (13) Review
Except as provided in this subsection and in ss. 3s.
70.85 and 74.37
, appeal from the determination of the board of review shall be by 4
an action for certiorari commenced within 90 days after the taxpayer receives the 5
notice under sub. (12). The action shall be given preference. If the court on the appeal 6
finds any error in the proceedings of the board which renders the assessment or the 7
proceedings void, or if the court determines that the board lacked good cause to deny
8a request for a deposition subpoena,
it shall remand the assessment to the board for 9
further proceedings in accordance with the court's determination and retain 10
jurisdiction of the matter until the board has determined an assessment in 11
accordance with the court's order. For this purpose, if final adjournment of the board 12
occurs prior to the court's decision on the appeal, the court may order the governing 13
body of the assessing authority to reconvene the board. If the appellant challenges
14the value determination that the board made at a proceeding under sub. (7) (c), the
15court shall presume that the board's valuation is correct, except that the
16presumption may be rebutted by a sufficient showing by the appellant that the
17valuation is incorrect. If the presumption is rebutted, the court shall determine the
18assessment without deference to the board of review and based on the record before
19the board of review, except that the court may consider evidence that was not
20available at the time of the hearing before the board, that the board refused to
21consider, or that the court otherwise determines should be considered in order to
22determine the correct assessment. In the event that an objection to the previous
23year's assessment has not been resolved, the parties may agree that the assessment
24for the previous year shall also apply for the current year and shall be included in
1the court's review of the prior year's assessment without an additional hearing by the
70.47 (16) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) In 1st class cities all objections to the amount or valuation of real 5
or personal property shall be first made in writing and filed with the commissioner 6
of assessments on or before the 3rd Monday in May. No person may, in any action 7
or proceeding, question the amount or valuation of real or personal property in the 8
assessment rolls of the city unless objections have been so filed. The board may not 9
waive the requirement that objections be in writing. Persons who own land and 10
improvements to that land may object to the aggregate valuation of that land and 11
improvements to that land, but no person who owns land and improvements to that 12
land may object only to the valuation of that land or only to the valuation of 13
improvements to that land. If the objections have been investigated by a committee 14
of the board of assessors under s. 70.07 (6), the board of review may adopt the 15
recommendation of the committee unless the objector requests or the board orders 16
a hearing. At least 2 days' notice of the time fixed for the hearing shall be given to 17
the objector or attorney and to the city attorney of the city. The provisions of the 18
statutes relating to boards of review not inconsistent with this subsection apply to 19
proceedings before the boards of review of 1st class cities, except that the board need 20
not adjourn until the assessment roll is completed by the commissioner of 21
assessments, as required in s. 70.07 (6), but may immediately hold hearings on 22
objections filed with the commissioner of assessments, and the changes, corrections 23
and determinations made by the board acting within its powers shall be prima facie 24
correct. Appeal from the determination shall be by an action under sub. (13) for
commenced within 90 days after the taxpayer receives the notice under
sub. (12). The action shall be given preference. If the court on the appeal finds any
2error in the proceedings of the board that renders the assessment or the proceedings
3void or, with regard to an objection that is subject to par. (c), if the court determines
4that the board lacked good cause to deny a request for a deposition subpoena, it shall
5remand the assessment to the board for further proceedings in accordance with the
6court's determination and retain jurisdiction of the matter until the board has
7determined an assessment in accordance with the court's order. If the appellant
8challenges the value determination that the board made at a proceeding under sub.
9(16) (c), the court shall presume that the board's valuation is correct, except that the
10presumption may be rebutted by a sufficient showing by the appellant that the
11valuation is incorrect. If the presumption is rebutted, the court shall determine the
12assessment without deference to the board of review and based on the record before
13the board of review, except that the court may consider evidence that was not
14available at the time of the hearing before the board or that the board refused to
15consider, or that the court otherwise determines should be considered in order to
16determine the correct assessment. In the event that an objection to the previous
17year's assessment has not been resolved, the parties may agree that the assessment
18for the previous year shall also apply for the current year and shall be included in
19the court's review of the prior year's assessment without an additional hearing by the
70.47 (16) (c) of the statutes is repealed.
73.03 (2a) of the statutes is amended to read:
To prepare and publish, in electronic form and on the Internet, 24
assessment manuals. The manual shall discuss and illustrate accepted assessment 25
methods, techniques and practices with a view to more nearly uniform and more
consistent assessments of property at the local level. The manual shall be amended 2
by the department from time to time to reflect advances in the science of assessment, 3
court decisions concerning assessment practices, costs, and statistical and other 4
information considered valuable to local assessors by the department. The manual 5
shall incorporate standards for the assessment of all types of renewable energy 6
resource systems used in this state as soon as such systems are used in sufficient 7
numbers and sufficient data exists to allow the formulation of valid guidelines. The 8
manual shall incorporate standards, which the department of revenue and the state 9
historical society of Wisconsin shall develop, for the assessment of nonhistoric 10
property in historic districts and for the assessment of historic property, including 11
but not limited to property that is being preserved or restored; property that is 12
subject to a protective easement, covenant or other restriction for historic 13
preservation purposes; property that is listed in the national register of historic 14
places in Wisconsin or in this state's register of historic places and property that is 15
designated as a historic landmark and is subject to restrictions imposed by a 16
municipality or by a landmarks commission. The manual shall incorporate general 17
guidelines about ways to determine whether property is taxable in part under s. 18
70.1105 and examples of the ways that s. 70.1105 applies in specific situations. The 19
manual shall state that assessors are required to comply with s. 70.32 (1g) and shall 20
suggest procedures for doing so. The manual or a supplement to it shall specify per 21
acre value guidelines for each municipality for various categories of agricultural land 22
based on the income that could be generated from its estimated rental for 23
agricultural use, as defined by rule, and capitalization rates established by rule. The 24
manual shall include guidelines for classifying land as agricultural land, as defined 25
in s. 70.32 (2) (c) 1g., and guidelines for distinguishing between land and
improvements to land. The manual shall specify the evidence to be exchanged under
2s. 70.47 (7) (c) and (16) (c).
The cost of the development, preparation, and Internet 3
publication of the manual and of revisions and amendments to it shall be paid from 4
the appropriation under s. 20.566 (2) (bm).
74.37 (4) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
(c) No claim or action for an excessive assessment may be brought or 7
maintained under this section if the assessment of the property for the same year is 8
contested under s. 70.47 (7) (c),
(13), or (16) (c)
or 70.85. No assessment may be 9
contested under s. 70.47 (7) (c),
(13), or (16) (c)
or 70.85 if a claim is brought and 10
maintained under this section based on the same assessment.
74.37 (4) (d) of the statutes is repealed.
74.37 (6) of the statutes is repealed.
Note: Deletes a subsection preventing residents of a county with a population of
500,000 or more from using the process for filing a claim or action for excessive
assessment established in s. 74.37, Stats. The Wisconsin Supreme Court found this
subsection unconstitutional in Nankin v. Village of Shorewood, 2001 WI 92.
(1) The treatment of section 70.105 of the statutes first applies to taxes based 15
on the assessment as of the January 1 after publication.