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Brown Deer goes on record against payment-in-lieu-of-taxes change

Assembly bill targets payments for all taxing entities

Dec. 17, 2013

Brown Deer — Elected officials have gone on record against proposed state legislation which could cost the village an estimated $200,000 annually.

The Village Board on Monday approved a resolution declaring the village's opposition to state Assembly Bill 522, which would divvy up payments in lieu of taxes among the various tax-funded entities in any given area.

Payments in lieu of taxes are typically made from churches, nonprofits, or other tax-exempt organizations who receive municipal services but otherwise wouldn't be compelled to pay for them. Village Manager Michael Hall said Brown Deer was budgeted to receive about $280,000 from tax-exempt property owners in 2013.

Typically, the payments only go to local municipalities, whereas taxes go to a number of entities like counties, school districts and county technical colleges. Currently only the village receives the payments because, as Hall said, "the services provided to the locations are just local, not from the school or county."

When all area taxing entities are included, Brown Deer usually accounts for about 26 percent of a village resident's overall property tax bill. Using that percentage, Hall estimates the village's payments in lieu of taxes would be reduced to $73,000 annually if the legislation is passed.

The roughly $200,000 decrease is nearly as much as Brown Deer budgeted for the parks and recreation department in 2013 and would represent a major budgeting problem, Hall said.

"(The legislation) would affect every community in the state," Hall said. "It would be huge."

Last year, similar legislation was introduced but did not advance beyond the legislative committee level. AB 522 was introduced in the Assembly in late-November and referred to the state Committee on State and Local Finance.

According to the state Government Accountability Board's lobbying website, the city of Milwaukee, League of Wisconsin Municipalities, and Wisconsin Association of Assessing Officers have gone on record against the bill while Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, the Wisconsin Counties Association, and Wisconsin Realtors Association have gone on record in favor of the bill.

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