Statewide Property Values Grow Modestly, Changes Vary by County
Total Equalized Values up 2.6%; Still Almost 7% Below 2008 Levels
MADISON—Following a five-year decline, the current market value of all taxable property in Wisconsin rose for the second consecutive year, rising 2.4% in 2015. However, at $490.7 billion, values remain almost $25 billion below the 2008 market peak of $514.4 billion, according to a soon-to-be-released 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. Among the state’s 20 largest cities, only Beloit (5.9%) and Kenosha (5.2%) had growth above 5%. Eau Claire (4.5%), Madison (4.3%), and La Crosse (3.6%) rounded out the top five. Most large cities in the Fox Valley recorded increases in the 2.5% range. The exception was Oshkosh.
In addition to Oshkosh, values in six other large cities fell. With the exception of Wausau (-0.7%), all were in the industrial southeast. The state’s largest city, Milwaukee, was off slightly (-0.6%), though municipalities in its suburban ring generally grew, save Greenfield (-0.2%).
The state’s 40 most populous counties reflected regional trends found in major cities. Counties in the west and northwest generally outperformed the state, with the Twin Cities’ bedroom counties of Pierce (6.7%) and St. Croix (6.2%) leading the way. Eau Claire, Chippewa, and Dunn counties all increased over 4%.
Subpar appreciation occurred in the north. For example, values in Douglas (0.0%), Oneida (0.5%), and Oconto (1.7%) all rose less than 2%. In the southeast, values in Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Sheboygan, and Walworth counties all rose less than 1%.
The new WISTAX report is based on preliminary data released by the state Department of Revenue. Detailed county-by-county value information is available on the WISTAX website (www.wistax.org/facts). A copy of the new report, “State property values continue slow climb back from recession lows” is available at www.wistax.org or by emailing email@example.com; calling 608.241.9789; or writing WISTAX at 401 North Lawn Ave., Madison, WI 53704-5033.
The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization promoting good government through research and citizen education since 1932. Our work is funded by donations and sales of WISTAX publications. We receive no government funding. We do not lobby nor engage in advocacy. Donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.