Statewide Property Values End Five-Year Decline, But Trends Vary by County
Total Equalized Values up 2.6%; Still Almost 7% Below 2008 Levels
MADISON—After declining 9.1% during 2008-13, the current market value of all taxable property in Wisconsin rose 2.6% in 2014, signaling the end of the five-year slump in values—the longest decline in modern memory. However, at $479.5 billion, values remain almost 7% below the 2008 market peak of $514.4 billion, according to a new report from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX). WISTAX is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization devoted to public policy research and citizen education.
Value changes were far from uniform across the state. Total equalized (or full-market) values fell in 12 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties and rose at sub-average rates in another 31. In only nine counties did values rise 4% or more, WISTAX reported.
Moreover, some parts of the state were affected more than others during the 2008-13 real-estate downturn. In 10 western counties from Vernon north to Taylor, plus Calumet County near Appleton, values rose, defying statewide trends. Increases were greatest in Monroe (7.8%), Jackson (5.4%), and Trempealeau (5.1%) counties.
In 23 counties, values declined more than 10%, worse than the statewide average (-9.1%). Most noticeable were declines in nine southeastern counties, which also had above-average job losses during 2001-12. For example, in Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha counties, values were off 16% or more.
Value declines were also significant in five counties in central Wisconsin, three northern counties, and six in the northwest near Minneapolis-St. Paul. In centrally-located Adams County, values tumbled 20.3%, the most of any county in the state. Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix, all Minnesota-border counties, were close behind with values off more than 17%.
Detailed county-by-county value information is available on the WISTAX website (www.wistax.org/facts). A copy of the new report, “State’s property values up 2.6% in 2014 but still trail 2008,” is available at www.wistax.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org; calling 608.241.9789; or writing WISTAX at 401 North Lawn Ave., Madison, WI 53704-5033