According to this report by the Tax Foundation, Wisconsin ranks as the fifth worst state in the country for property taxes paid on home value.
Tax Foundation Excerpt:
Today’s map cuts through this clutter, presenting effective tax rates on owner-occupied housing. This is the average amount of residential property tax actually paid, expressed as a percentage of home value.
According to a report from 2011, Wisconsin ranked ninth worst for property taxes paid on home value. That ranking we can assume was a final report under the dreaded "tax hell" regime of Gov. Jim Doyle.
Wisconsin dropping further into the tax hell abyss is however much to the contrary of Scott Walker's promised conservative red state utopia of "government is not the answer" for economic growth, spend-only-what-you-have resentment driven divide and conquer politics.
But since his election in 2010, state government spending (budget) has grown 15%, largely paid for on the backs of public employees and withholding historic amounts of revenue from education and Wisconsin communities. Throw in some massive state income tax cuts for the top and direct WEDC handouts to the political donor class and it becomes plain to see that regressive income-blind taxes will have to rise to pay for the increased spending.
That leads me to the second point of this post on the subject of property taxes and its relationship to median income.
For some reason, the Tax Foundation report suspiciously does not touch on average property taxes paid as a percentage of state median income. That to me is a far better way to rank the property tax burden state-to-state than by using home value metrics alone. Afterall, it's the homeowner who pays the taxes.
With Wisconsin recently ranked number one for middle-class decline in a new state-by-state analysis from Pew Charitable Trusts now coupled with the worsening property tax ranking report, it becomes even more painfully clear that Walker's "reforms" have not slowed or reversed trends to the bottom, but have indeed accelerated them.
Plain and simple, Walker's Wisconsin is not a very friendly place for middle-class homeowners or for the home owning working poor or seniors living on fixed income.
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