Friday, October 30, 2009

Ag use cuts Wisconsin taxes

"Creative" use of agriculural-use classification is cutting Wisconsin real estate taxes for some developers.

One Wisconsin developer rented out an undeveloped parcel to a farmer for a pumpkin patch and scarfed up a $34,000 property tax savings.

Another Wisconsin developer planted "a few rows of winter wheat along a roadway" and saved $100,000 in property taxes.

How much of this is going on McHenry County? Any? If it is, should the Office of the McHenry County Assessor be informing the public? Or would that just generate more attention to such a loophole and cause a further loss in real estate taxes?

The One Wisconsin Now executive director is unhappy that companies "can use creative tax laws to limit their obligations to taxpayers". I guess he has never owned a company. The fact is that no one - corporation, other business or individual - is required to pay more tax than it/he is legally required to pay. Taking advance of a law (or "loophole") is not illegal.



Cal Skinner said...

There is a similar tax break for developers in Illinois. Put in crops and land is treated like a farm.

There are other breaks as well.

Gus said...

OK with me, if it's real farmland. If a developer throws a little seed in a field and calls that "farming", not okay with me.

I think that's what One Wisconsin Now is complaining about - the sham use of "agricultural" use.