Assessment districts; supervisors; duties.
Supervision of assessments; supervisors; appointments and duties.
District offices, supplies, expenses.
Set off of payments to vendors.
Reducing nondelinquent taxes.
Hardware and software used to maintain medical records.
Tax appeals commission. 73.01(1)
In this section:
“Commission" means the tax appeals commission.
“Small claims" is a matter in which the amount in controversy, including any penalty, after the department of revenue takes its final action on the petition for redetermination is less than $2,500 unless the commission on its own motion determines that the case not be heard as a small claims case or unless the department of revenue determines that the case has statewide significance.
The chairperson of the commission may appoint, under the classified service, such employees for the commission as are necessary.
The time and place of meetings and hearings of the commission shall be designated by the chairperson. Rooms for hearings outside the city of Madison shall be provided under s. 73.07
. All hearings held in Milwaukee shall be held in the southeast district office of the department of natural resources. The commission shall maintain permanent hearing rooms in Madison.
The commission shall provide for the publication of such of its reports, decisions and opinions as are of public interest in such form as it deems best adapted for public convenience and use. Such publications shall constitute the official reports of the commission and shall be made available for sale and distribution to the public under ch. 35
. In addition to any report submitted under s. 15.06 (7)
, the commission shall make additional reports to the governor or the legislature as they request. The commission shall submit a report requested by the legislature to the chief clerk of each house of the legislature, for distribution to the legislature under s. 13.172 (2)
Subject to the provisions for judicial review contained in s. 73.015
, the commission shall be the final authority for the hearing and determination of all questions of law and fact arising under sub. (5)
and s. 72.86 (4)
, 1985 stats., and ss. 70.38 (4) (a)
, and 70.995 (8)
, s. 76.38 (12) (a)
, 1993 stats., ss. 76.39 (4) (c)
, 76.48 (6)
, 77.26 (3)
, 77.59 (5m)
and (6) (b)
, and 341.45
, subch. XIV of ch. 71
, and subch. VII of ch. 77
. Whenever with respect to a pending appeal there is filed with the commission a stipulation signed by the department of revenue and the adverse party, under s. 73.03 (25)
, or the department of transportation and the adverse party agreeing to an affirmance, modification, or reversal of the department of revenue's or department of transportation's position with respect to some or all of the issues raised in the appeal, the commission shall enter an order affirming or modifying in whole or in part, or canceling the assessment appealed from, or allowing in whole or in part or denying the petitioner's refund claim, as the case may be, pursuant to and in accordance with the stipulation filed. No responsibility shall devolve upon the commission, respecting the signing of an order of dismissal as to any pending appeal settled by the department of revenue or the department of transportation without the approval of the commission.
Whenever it appears to the commission or, in respect to hearings conducted by one commissioner, to that commissioner that proceedings have been instituted or maintained by the taxpayer primarily for delay or that the taxpayer's position in those proceedings is frivolous or groundless, the commission or commissioner may assess the taxpayer an amount not to exceed $1,000 at the same time that the deficiency is assessed. Those damages shall be paid upon notice from the department of revenue and shall be collected as a part of the tax.
Any matter required to be heard by the commission may be heard by any member of the commission or its hearing examiner and reported to the commission, and hearings of matters pending before it shall be assigned to members of the commission or its hearing examiner by the chairperson. Cases other than small claims cases shall be decided by the full commission, except that if one or more members of the commission are unavailable, cases other than small claims cases shall be decided by the member or members assigned by the chairperson prior to the hearing. If the parties have agreed to an oral decision, the member or members conducting the hearing may render an oral decision. Hearings shall be open to the public and all proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with rules of practice and procedure prescribed by the commission. Small claims cases shall be decided by one commissioner assigned by the chairperson prior to the hearing.
The parties to any matter required to be heard and decided by the commission, except appeals arising under s. 70.64
or ch. 76
, may consent in writing that the chairperson or any member of the commission assigned to hear the matter may render an oral decision, and that the parties waive the right to appeal such decision. Such oral decision shall not be binding upon the department, as to statutory construction, in a subsequent matter. Provisions of this section, s. 73.015
or ch. 227
in conflict herewith shall not apply to decisions rendered under this paragraph.
The commission shall, upon the request of any party to a matter pending before it or of any officer of the state government or upon its own motion order that all proceedings in a matter pending before it be recorded, and the expense thereof shall be paid by the state out of the appropriation for the commission. The commission may supply copies of the transcript of those recordings to anyone requesting them, at the expense of the person making such request. All moneys received by the commission from the sale of transcripts of those recordings shall be paid into the state treasury within one week after receipt. If no party to a matter pending before the commission requests that the proceedings held with respect thereto be recorded, and the commission does not so order upon its own motion, all parties shall be deemed to have waived all rights of appeal to the courts upon questions as to the admission or exclusion of evidence or as to whether a finding of the commission is warranted by the evidence. The right of appeal upon questions of law raised by the pleadings or by facts stipulated or shown by the findings of the commission is not waived.
Any member of the commission or any employee of the commission, designated in writing for the purpose by the chairperson, may administer oaths, and any member of the commission may summon and examine witnesses and require by subpoena the production of all returns, books, papers, documents, correspondence and other evidence pertaining to the matter under inquiry, at any designated place of hearing and may require the taking of a deposition before any person competent to administer oaths, either within or without the state, upon notice to the interested party in like manner that depositions of witnesses are taken in civil actions pending in the circuit court. Any party to a matter pending before the commission may summon witnesses or require the production of papers in the same manner as witnesses are summoned or papers required to be produced in civil actions in the circuit court. Any person summoned or whose deposition is taken shall receive the same fees and mileage as would be allowed in a civil action pending in the circuit court, and the expense thereof shall be paid by the person summoning such witness or causing the deposition to be taken.
In connection with the hearing of any matter required to be heard and decided by the commission, except appeals arising under s. 70.64
or ch. 76
, the chairperson or any member of the commission assigned to hear the matter may, with the consent of the parties, render an oral decision. In small claims cases, the presiding commissioner may, without consent of the parties, either render an oral decision at the close of the hearing or provide a written decision to all parties within 2 weeks after the hearing. Decisions in small claims cases are not precedents. Any party may appeal such oral decision as provided in s. 73.015
. Oral decisions constitute notice for purposes of determining the time in which appeals may be taken. Provisions of this section or ch. 227
in conflict with this paragraph do not apply to decisions rendered under this paragraph.
Except as provided in par. (dn)
, the commission in each case heard by it shall, irrespective of ch. 227
, make a decision in writing accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions of law. The commission may issue an opinion in writing in addition to its findings of fact and decision. The decision or order of the commission shall become final and shall be binding upon the petitioner and upon the department of revenue for that case unless an appeal is taken from the decision or order of the commission under s. 73.015
. Except in respect to small claims decisions, if the commission construes a statute adversely to the contention of the department of revenue:
Except for hearings on ss. 341.405
and except as provided in subd. 2.
, the department of revenue shall be deemed to acquiesce in the construction so adopted unless the department of revenue seeks review of the order or decision of the commission so construing the statute. For purposes of this subdivision, the department of revenue has sought review of the order or decision if it seeks review and later settles the case or withdraws its petition for review or if the merits of the case are for other reasons not determined by judicial review. The construction so acquiesced in shall thereafter be followed by the department of revenue.
Except for hearings on ss. 341.405
, the department of revenue may choose not to appeal and to nonacquiesce in the decision or order by sending a notice of nonacquiescence to the clerk of the commission, to the legislative reference bureau for publication in the Wisconsin administrative register and to the taxpayer or the taxpayer's representative before the time expires for seeking a review of the decision or order under s. 73.015
. The effect of this action is that, although the decision or order is binding on the parties for the instant case and the decision or order may be cited by the commission and the courts, the commission's conclusions of law, the rationale and construction of statutes in the instant case are not binding upon or required to be followed by the department of revenue in other cases.
If only 2 commissioners are available to participate in a decision in a case that would otherwise be decided by the full commission, and if the 2 commissioners cannot agree on the resolution of the case, the chairperson of the commission shall make the decision in the case, except that, if the chairperson is not participating in the case, the commissioner participating in the case who has been a commissioner for the longer period of time shall make the decision.
If only one commissioner is available to participate in a decision in a case that would otherwise be decided by the full commission, the commissioner who participates in the case shall make the decision.
All reports, findings, decisions and opinions of the commission, and all evidence received by the commission, including a transcript of any report of the proceedings, shall be open to the inspection of the public, except that the originals of books, documents, records, labels, diagrams, and other exhibits introduced in evidence before the commission, may be withdrawn from the custody of the commission in such manner and upon such terms as the commission may, in its discretion, prescribe.
The commission shall, in manufacturing property redeterminations under s. 70.995
for which a refund is due a taxpayer because of a reduction in value by the commission, include in its determination a finding of whether the reduction was due to false or incomplete information supplied by the taxpayer.
The commission may extend any of its deadlines for persons designated in section 7508
(a) of the internal revenue code for the length of time specified in that section.
If the department of revenue assesses under s. 71.74 (9)
, the commission shall consolidate the appeals of that assessment.
The final decision or order of the commission shall be issued within 90 days after the date on which the last document necessary to the decision of the matter is received or the date on which a hearing is closed, whichever is later, unless good cause is shown or unless the parties and the commission agree to an extension.
No member of the commission, including the chairperson, or its hearing examiner may receive any salary unless he or she first executes an affidavit at the end of each salary period stating that he or she has complied with the deadlines in par. (a)
. The affidavit shall be presented to and filed with every official who certifies, in whole or in part, the salary.
If a member of the commission, including the chairperson, or its hearing examiner is unable to comply with the deadline under par. (a)
, that person shall so certify in the record, and the period is then extended for one additional period not to exceed 90 days.
Any person who is aggrieved by a determination of the state board of assessors under s. 70.995 (8)
or who has filed a petition for redetermination with the department of revenue and who is aggrieved by the redetermination of the department of revenue may, within 60 days of the determination of the state board of assessors or of the department of revenue or, in all other cases, within 60 days after the redetermination but not thereafter, file with the clerk of the commission a petition for review of the action of the department of revenue and the number of copies of the petition required by rule adopted by the commission. Any person who is aggrieved by a determination of the department of transportation under s. 341.405
may, within 30 days after the determination of the department of transportation, file with the clerk of the commission a petition for review of the action of the department of transportation and the number of copies of the petition required by rule adopted by the commission. If a municipality appeals, its appeal shall set forth that the appeal has been authorized by an order or resolution of its governing body and the appeal shall be verified by a member of that governing body as pleadings in courts of record are verified. The clerk of the commission shall transmit one copy to the department of revenue, or to the department of transportation, and to each party. In the case of appeals from manufacturing property assessments, the person assessed shall be a party to a proceeding initiated by a municipality. At the time of filing the petition, the petitioner shall pay to the commission a $25 filing fee. The commission shall deposit the fee in the general fund. Within 30 days after such transmission the department of revenue, except for petitions objecting to manufacturing property assessments, or the department of transportation, shall file with the clerk of the commission an original and the number of copies of an answer to the petition required by rule adopted by the commission and shall serve one copy on the petitioner or the petitioner's attorney or agent. Within 30 days after service of the answer, the petitioner may file and serve a reply in the same manner as the petition is filed. Any person entitled to be heard by the commission under s. 76.38 (12) (a)
, 1993 stats., or s. 76.39 (4) (c)
may file a petition with the commission within the time and in the manner provided for the filing of petitions in income or franchise tax cases. Such papers may be served as a circuit court summons is served or by certified mail. For the purposes of this subsection, a petition for review is considered timely filed if mailed by certified mail in a properly addressed envelope, with postage duly prepaid, which envelope is postmarked before midnight of the last day for filing.
The petition shall set forth specifically the facts upon which the petitioner relies, together with a statement of the propositions of law involved, and shall be in such form as the commission by rule designates. After an answer is filed as provided in par. (a)
, the matter shall be regarded as at issue and the commission shall set it for hearing. At all times while said appeal is pending before the commission, the petitioner shall keep the commission informed as to the petitioner's residence. Upon the petitioner's failure to do so, the mailing by the commission of a notice of hearing, decision and order or other papers by registered mail to the petitioner's attorney or to the petitioner's last-known address shall constitute good and sufficient service. Petitions and answers may be amended under rules to be prescribed by the commission.
History: 1973 c. 90
; 1975 c. 39
; 1977 c. 29
; 1979 c. 177
; 1979 c. 221
; 1981 c. 20
; 1983 a. 27
; 1985 a. 29
, 3202 (56) (d)
; 1987 a. 27
, 3202 (47) (a)
; 1987 a. 142
; 1989 a. 31
; 1989 a. 56
; 1989 a. 335
; 1991 a. 39
; 1993 a. 184
; 1995 a. 351
; 1997 a. 27
; 1999 a. 145
; 2001 a. 16
; 2003 a. 33
; 2005 a. 49
; 2007 a. 20
; 2011 a. 68
; 2015 a. 216
A subpoena duces tecum need not show on its face the factual basis for its issuance in order to prove lawful purpose and relevancy. The commission properly took testimony even though it was deciding a question of law. Neu's Supply Line, Inc. v. Department of Revenue, 52 Wis. 2d 386
, 190 N.W.2d 213
A party challenging the administration of taxing statutes must exhaust state administrative remedies before commencing an action in state courts under 42 USC 1983. Hogan v. Musolf, 163 Wis. 2d 1
, 471 N.W.2d 216
Sub. (4) (b) does not grant the commission the authority to certify a class in a class-action that seeks income tax refunds. Department of Revenue v. Hogan, 198 Wis. 2d 792
, 543 N.W.2d 825
(Ct. App. 1995), 95-0438
Sub. (5) governs petitions for review to the tax appeals commission of determinations by either the state board of assessors or Department of Revenue. It does not govern an attempt to obtain a rehearing of a commission determination, the timeliness of which is governed by s. 227.49 (1). Currier v. Department of Revenue, 2006 WI App 12
, 288 Wis. 2d 693
, 709 N.W.2d 520
Sub. (4) (b) requires that the commissioner or hearing examiner presiding over the hearing “report" to the tax commission following a hearing but does not specify what is sufficient to fulfill this requirement. The commission fulfilled the reporting requirement by receiving the presiding commissioner's memorandum, considering its proposed findings of fact, and providing reasons for its rejection of those proposed findings. Xerox Corporation v. Department of Revenue, 2009 WI App 113
, 321 Wis. 2d 181
, 772 N.W.2d 677
Practice before the Wisconsin tax appeals commission. Smrz, 1976 WBB 3.
Procedures before the Wisconsin tax appeals commission. Boykoff, WBB October 1981.
Review of determination of tax appeals commission. 73.015(1)(1)
This section shall provide the sole and exclusive remedy for review of any decision or order of the tax appeals commission and no person may contest, in any action or proceeding, any matter reviewable by the commission unless such person has first availed himself or herself of a hearing before the commission under s. 73.01
or has cross-appealed under s. 70.995 (8) (a)
Any adverse determination of the tax appeals commission is subject to review in the manner provided in ch. 227
. If the circuit court construes a statute adversely to the contention of the department of revenue, the department shall be deemed to acquiesce in the construction so adopted unless an appeal to the court of appeals is taken, and the construction so acquiesced in shall thereafter be followed by the department.
Except for decisions and orders in small claims matters, as defined in s. 73.01 (1) (b)
, a conclusion of law or other holding in any decision or order of the tax appeals commission may be cited by the commission or the courts as authority unless that conclusion of law or holding has been reversed, overruled, or vacated on the merits on appeal or by a subsequent decision or order of the commission.
Because the commission is the final administrative authority that reviews the decisions of the department of revenue, any deference that might be due to the decision of an administrative agency is due to the commission, not the Department of Revenue. Although this standard ordinarily applies in the context where there is a conflict between the department's and the commission's construction of a tax statute, it also applies to the commission's construction of a tax rule. Department of Revenue v. Menasha Corporation, 2008 WI 88
, 311 Wis. 2d 579
, 754 N.W.2d 95
The commission is not required to give deference to the department of revenue's interpretation of rules drafted by the department in proceedings before the commission. No authority exists for requiring the commission to defer to the department's construction of its rule. To give the department deference would ignore the boundaries that the legislature created when it gave the commission final authority over all tax questions. Department of Revenue v. Menasha Corporation, 2008 WI 88
, 311 Wis. 2d 579
, 754 N.W.2d 95
Distribution of money; income tax coordinator. 73.02(1)(1)
The department of revenue shall, on the certification of the program agencies that all requirements of the applicable laws have been complied with, perform the mechanical operation of the distribution of all moneys which the state distributes to political subdivisions.
The secretary shall designate or appoint under the classified service, within the department of revenue, an income tax coordinator, whose duties shall include the setting up and operation of a coordination program with the internal revenue service to facilitate the reporting of federal adjustments to the department and the interchange of information with respect to examination of returns, adjustments to income, extension of limitations, furnishing copies of returns and other activities essential to an integrated and effective coordination program with the internal revenue service.
Levy rate limits and debt conditions; rules.
The department may promulgate rules to implement and administer the levy rate limits and debt issuance conditions under ss. 59.605
History: 1993 a. 16
; 1999 a. 150
The department of revenue may require electronic funds transfer only by promulgating rules.
History: 1997 a. 27
See also s. Tax 1.12
, Wis. adm. code.
Powers and duties defined.
It shall be the duty of the department of revenue, and it shall have power and authority:
To have and exercise general supervision over the administration of the assessment and tax laws of the state, over assessors, boards of review, supervisors of equalization, and assessors of incomes, and over the county boards in the performance of their duties in making the taxation district assessment, to the end that all assessments of property be made relatively just and equal at full value and that all assessments of income may be legally and accurately made in substantial compliance with law.
To confer with, advise and direct assessors, boards of review and county boards of assessment as to their duties under the statutes.
To prepare and publish, in electronic form and on the Internet, assessment manuals. The manual shall discuss and illustrate accepted assessment 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 by the department from time to time to reflect advances in the science of assessment, court decisions concerning assessment practices, costs, and statistical and other information considered valuable to local assessors by the department. The manual shall incorporate standards for the assessment of all types of renewable energy resource systems used in this state as soon as such systems are used in sufficient numbers and sufficient data exists to allow the formulation of valid guidelines. The manual shall incorporate standards, which the department of revenue and the state historical society of Wisconsin shall develop, for the assessment of nonhistoric property in historic districts and for the assessment of historic property, including but not limited to property that is being preserved or restored; property that is subject to a protective easement, covenant or other restriction for historic preservation purposes; property that is listed in the national register of historic places in Wisconsin or in this state's register of historic places and property that is designated as a historic landmark and is subject to restrictions imposed by a municipality or by a landmarks commission. The manual shall incorporate general guidelines about ways to determine whether property is taxable in part under s. 70.1105
and examples of the ways that s. 70.1105
applies in specific situations. The manual shall state that assessors are required to comply with s. 70.32 (1g)
and shall suggest procedures for doing so. The manual or a supplement to it shall specify per acre value guidelines for each municipality for various categories of agricultural land based on the income that could be generated from its estimated rental for agricultural use, as defined by rule, and capitalization rates established by rule. The manual shall include guidelines for classifying land as agricultural land, as defined in s. 70.32 (2) (c) 1g.
, and guidelines for distinguishing between land and improvements to land. The cost of the development, preparation, and Internet publication of the manual and of revisions and amendments to it shall be paid from the appropriation under s. 20.566 (2) (bm)
To direct proceedings, actions and prosecutions to be instituted to enforce the laws relating to the penalties, liabilities and punishment of public officers, persons, and officers or agents of corporations for failure or neglect to comply with the provisions of the statutes governing the return, assessment and taxation of property; and to cause complaints to be made against assessors, members of boards of review, assessors of incomes, and members of county boards, or other assessing or taxing officers, to the proper circuit judge for their removal from office for official misconduct or neglect of duty.
To require district attorneys to assist in the commencement and prosecution of actions and proceedings for penalties, forfeitures, removals and punishment for violations of the laws of the state in respect to the assessment and taxation of property, in their respective counties.
To collect annually from town, city, village, county, and other public officers information regarding the assessment of property, and any other information that may be necessary in the work of the department, in the form and upon forms that the department shall prescribe. All public officers shall properly complete and promptly return to the department all forms received from the department under this subsection.
To examine all town, village, city, and county records for any purposes that are considered necessary by the department.
To publish annually the information collected under subs. (5)
, with any compilations, analyses, or recommendations that the department determines are necessary.
In its discretion to inspect and examine or cause an inspection and examination of the records of any town, city, village, or county officer whenever such officer shall have failed or neglected to return properly the information as required by sub. (5)
, within the time set by the department of revenue. Upon the completion of such inspection and examination the department of revenue shall transmit to the clerk of the town, city, village, or county a statement of the expenses incurred by the department of revenue to secure the necessary information. Duplicates of such statements shall be filed in the office of the secretary of administration. Within 60 days after the receipt of the above statement, the same shall be audited, as other claims of towns, cities, villages, and counties are audited, and shall be paid into the state treasury, in default of which the same shall become a special charge against such town, city, village, or county and be included in the next apportionment or certification of state taxes and charges, and collected with interest at the rate of 10 percent per year from the date such statements were certified by the department, as other special charges are certified and collected.
The officers responsible for the furnishing of the information collected pursuant to this section shall be jointly and severally liable for any loss the town, city, village or county may suffer through their delinquency; and no payment shall be made them for salary, or on any other accounts, until the cost of such inspection and examination as provided above shall have been paid into the town, city, village or county treasury.
To require individuals, partnerships, limited liability companies, companies, associations and corporations to furnish information concerning their capital, funded or other debt, current assets and liabilities, value of property, earnings, operating and other expenses, taxes and all other facts which may be needful to enable the department to ascertain the value and the relative burdens borne by all kinds of property in the state.
To summon witnesses to appear and give testimony, and to produce records, books, papers and documents relating to any matter which the department shall have authority to investigate or determine.
To cause the deposition of witnesses residing within or without the state or absent therefrom, to be taken, upon notice to the interested party, if any, in like manner that depositions of witnesses are taken in civil actions pending in the circuit court, in any matter which the department shall have authority to investigate or determine.
To visit the counties in the state, unless prevented by other necessary official duties, for the investigation of the work and the methods adopted by local assessors, county assessors, boards of review, supervisors of equalization and county boards, in the assessment, equalization and taxation of property. The department of revenue and its district supervisory staff shall assist the county assessor in carrying out the assessor's duties.
To carefully examine into all cases where evasion or violation of the laws for assessment and taxation of property is alleged, complained of or discovered, and to ascertain wherein existing laws are defective or are improperly or negligently administered.
To investigate the tax systems of other states and countries and to formulate and recommend such legislation as may be deemed expedient to prevent evasion of assessment and tax laws and to secure just and equal taxation and improvement in the system of taxation in the state.
To consult and confer with the governor of the state upon the subject of taxation, the administration of the laws in relation thereto and the progress of the work of the department, and to furnish the governor from time to time such assistance and information as the governor may require.
To disseminate from time to time, in such manner as shall best be calculated to attract general public attention, facts and data concerning public expenditures, sources of revenue, responsibility for levies, the value and relative tax burdens borne by different classes of property, and other useful and valuable information concerning the subject of taxation and public finance.
To exercise and perform such further powers and duties as may be granted to or imposed upon the department by law.
To annually publish the findings of any assessment ratio studies conducted.
To investigate all delinquent personal property, death and income or franchise taxes and surtaxes in the state and the possibility of the collection of them and to require taxing officials, including town treasurers, county treasurers, sheriffs and district attorneys, to institute proceedings, actions and prosecutions for the collection of delinquent taxes so that the amount of delinquent taxes shall be reduced to the minimum. In carrying out this subsection the department of revenue may examine or cause to be examined by any agent, employee or representative designated by it for that purpose, any books, papers, records or memoranda of any corporation, limited liability company, partnership or individual bearing upon the collection of any delinquent taxes and may require the attendance of the officials of any corporation or limited liability company or of any other person having knowledge in the premises and may take testimony and require proof material for their information upon any matter that they deem of value for the purpose of enforcing the payment of delinquent taxes. The department of revenue may also perform other duties and adopt other procedures that may be necessary to carry out this subsection and direct that proceedings, actions and prosecutions be instituted to enforce the laws relating to the collection of delinquent taxes of every kind. To this end, the department of justice shall, upon the request of the department of revenue, conduct such actions, proceedings or prosecutions or assist the local town, city, village or county officials in them or assist the district attorneys.