League of Wisconsin Municipalities
  Capitol Buzz 
April 4, 2017
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Repeal of Personal Property Tax Legislation includes Hold Harmless Payment to Local Governments  

Rep. Bob Kulp (R-Stratford) and Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) are planning to introduce companion bills repealing the personal property tax effective January 1, 2018. Surprisingly, the proposal requires the state to reimburse local governments, beginning in 2018 and every year thereafter, an amount equal to the personal property tax they will receive based on the value of the 2017 personal property assessments. 

The League's position on this issue over the years has been that we oppose repeal of the personal property tax unless the state agrees to annually reimburse local governments the full $275 million in lost revenue. Thereby avoiding a tax  shift to homeowners and other property taxpayers. 

This bill, unlike previous versions, actually meets our condition for not opposing. Consequently, the League is joining the Counties Association in releasing a statement acknowledging that the authors have moved considerably in our direction and have met the conditions that we had set forth for not opposing repeal of the personal property tax. 

The bill has not yet been introduced. The authors are in the process of seeking co-sponsors. It is not clear whether this bill has any chance of advancing. Many business groups and GOP legislators support it. Yet, it has an annual fiscal impact on the state's budget of $275 million, which is not an insignificant amount. 

View the personal property repeal bill, LRB 2081, here