As a member of the Coalition to Repeal Wisconsin’s Personal Property Tax, Cooperative Network continues to push for full repeal of what is an unfair and confusing tax. Cooperative Network recently met with Gov. Walker’s staff and informed them this would be one of our key legislative priorities during the 2019 session.
According to the state tax code, “machinery” is exempted from the personal property tax, which is defined as a structure or assemblage of parts that transmits force, motion, or energy from one part to another in a predetermined way by electrical, mechanical, or chemical means. A legislative proposal last year provided a reimbursement to municipalities to cover the loss, but based the reimbursement on the value of machinery tools and patterns. This has resulted in a disconnect between how the exemption was defined and how it was to be reimbursed. It has in turn forced businesses and municipalities to play a game of political chicken. Businesses have been submitting revised Statements of Personal Property Tax that do not include “machinery” and some municipalities have responded with their own revisions to the Statement that puts the assessed value of machinery back on the Statement.
For the most part, municipalities have allowed machinery exemptions based on the definition, but the large cash-strapped municipalities are digging in their heels and not allowing the exemptions. The result has left those businesses and municipalities playing chicken to see who gives in first.
The Coalition is going to continue to fight for full repeal of the personal property tax and point to this latest round of exemptions as another example of the vast confusion of the law. In order to provide feedback and anecdotal information to Governor Walker and members of the Legislature, the Coalition is asking for the help of businesses by completing a survey on personal property tax. The survey will take a few minutes to complete and will be immensely valuable to the coalition as we continue to advocate for full repeal of the personal property tax. If you wish to participate in the survey, please see click here.