With City, County, School District budgets already stressed to the breaking point, taxpayers are left picking up the tab for these reassessments.

According to the article: “In central and northern Wisconsin, Oneida County lost nearly $4.5 million and Marathon County lost more than $2.5 million in taxable property.”

Read full story here (via Wausau Daily Herald)

Key takeaway: Assessed value often has no relation to fair market value. A community’s economic development plan frequently entails how big of a business they can attract in the hopes of increasing the tax base. Throw it all into a TIF and you have a ticking time bomb if the business decides their business isn’t worth as much as it was assessed for. I’m not sure of an easy answer to fix this problem, other than structure the economic payback to the community in a way that doesn’t rely strictly on property tax return. Maybe instead base an incentive on how many living wage jobs are created. We need resilient communities. But even that won’t insulate us from outside forces.

image credit: Wausau Daily Herald