Wisconsin’s Property Tax Relief Bill in 3 Pictures

In Economics,General on October 18, 2013 by Robert Burke

The Wisconsin State Assembly passed more meaningless legislation this week, but before we all back-slap and congratulate the effort, this “relief” will not come all at once but over two years- so don’t spend it all at once.

The follow release on the matter was issued by the Wisconsin Libertarian Party this afternoon.  We have odds the average taxpayer gets nothing and even if it does happen, 9th in tax freedom day is at the bad, not the good, end of the spectrum and we doubt this moved that needle.

Libertarian Party of Wisconsin; “Property Tax Relief bill shows government has no idea what is happening to our economy.”

Libertarian Party of Wisconsin; “Property Tax Relief bill shows government has no idea what is happening to our economy.”

With the recent passage of property tax relief by the Republican controlled legislature and signed into law by Governor Walker the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin would like to ask the following two questions; “does anyone in state government have any clue what so ever that the surplus was caused by a housing bubble reflated by the Federal Reserve?”  And secondly, and far more importantly, “does anyone in state government realize that housing bubble is popping again and that 2014 property tax revenues are about to crater 30-40%?”


The bill signed into law by Governor Walker would offer $40 million in relief in 2014 and $60 million in 2015.  The relief, according to multiple sources, is also poorly distributed amongst the state, and amounts to anywhere from $.07 cents to $22.  This relief is not only fundamentally useless to the average Wisconsinite, but again it will favor the wealthy who’s property taxes tend to be the highest.  The poor and lower middle class, who are the states primary renters, will likely feel no change as any savings will go to the owners of those buildings.  All of this misses the bigger point.

According to several recent news reports from around America, banks and other lending agencies are laying off a massive number of people in their mortgage divisions as rising interest rates are collapsing the entire refinance and new home mortgage business market.  “We believe an article from the Des Moines Register yesterday best captures the situation,” says state Chair Paul Ehlers (L-Rhinelander).  “Those who don’t learn from history truly are doomed to repeat it.”

According to the article, “Wells Fargo & Co., the largest U.S. bank by market capitalization, announced another 925 layoffs Wednesday, pushing to 6,511 the total number of its workers receiving 60-day notices since July 18… All the layoffs (71 in Des Moines) announced Wednesday occurred within the Wells Fargo Home Mortgage division, which is the bank’s West-Des Moines-based mortgage business.”  These layoffs are just the latest in a string of mortgage layoffs that include 800 at Sun Trust Bank, 1,000 at Citi (Bank) Mortgage, and 2,100 at Bank of America to name but a few.

“We believe it is imperative that the Libertarian Party be on record that we are well aware of the housing bubble and the ancillary dangers as we head into 2014 property tax season,” says Ehlers.

In closing, the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin asks our news organizations to do a simple word search through any and all debate in the 2013 legislative sessions for the words “asset, housing, or bubble,” together and verify that exactly not one person at the state capital in Wisconsin has a clue about the economic situation we face and the folly of the relief they have designed.

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