Property values in southeastern Wisconsin increased 3.2 percent this year, which has contributed to a 1.8 percent increase in property tax collections by local governments, according to a new report from the Public Policy Forum
The state as a whole had a 3.0 percent increase in property values this year. This was the first year since 2016 that property value growth in southeastern Wisconsin exceeded the pace of property value growth for the state.
Property values in the region rose 2.0 percent in 2015.
“Seven years removed from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, southeast Wisconsin appears to have returned to a state of ‘normalcy’ with regard to property values and property tax collections, marked by modest increases in both,” said Rob Henken, president of the Public Policy Forum.
Every county has an increase in property values in 2016. Kenosha County had the biggest increase at 5.6 percent. The city of Milwaukee had a 4.1 percent increase in property value this year.
Commercial property values rose 4.7 percent in the region and residential property values rose 2.7 percent.
The increase in property values has allowed for local governments to lower tax rates and still collect more property tax revenue.
Aggregate tax rates for property owners in the region decreased from $22.63 per $1,000 of equalized value in 2015 to $22.60 in 2016, according to the report. That is the second consecutive year of tax rate decline in the region following consecutive increases from 2008 to 2014.
“The region has returned to an economic paradigm in which modest growth in property values can be expected,” the report states. “That in turn, provides local officials with wherewithal to enjoy modest growth in property tax levies without necessitating an increase in property tax rates.”
Racine County had a 4.7 percent increase in property tax revenue, the largest increase in the region, and Milwaukee County had a 0.9 percent increase in property tax revenue, the smallest increase in the region.
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