Declining City of Milwaukee property values mean shrunken tax revenues

Most Milwaukee property owners received their property assessments with yesterday’s mail. And most of them will see decreases in their assessed valuations (me included). Over all the valuations dropped 8.9% or with residential declines of nearly $2.3 billion. From the April 27, 2012, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Citywide, assessed residential values fell nearly $2.3 billion, to less than $14.8 billion, from Jan. 1, 2011, to Jan. 1, 2012, city Assessment Commissioner Mary Reavey reported. Assessed commercial values held up better, dipping less than 1%, to just under $9.1 billion. Those figures don’t include manufacturing properties, which are assessed separately by the state

This may create a real budgeting crisis in the greater Milwaukee area next fall as bills passed in Madison during 2011 put extreme limits on how much local government taxing authorities can raise property taxes. Based on these 2012 property assessments, local property tax revenues will be down significantly and it will be ever more difficult to maintain the current level of city and county services. It’s going to take determined and creative local reps to keep the joint running!


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4 thoughts on “Declining City of Milwaukee property values mean shrunken tax revenues

  1. Property taxes do not necessarily go up when property assessments go up, as the city of Milwaukee has to remind us annually about this misunderstanding.

    For the same reason, property taxes do not necessarily go up when property assessments go down. If assessments are done equitably, property taxes may not change much at all for individuals. Indeed, some may go down — while others go up.

    There is an explanation on the city assessor site (as on many cities’ assessors’ sites).

  2. Strangely, because your graphic shows that commercial properties dropped very little compared to residential home values, you may see a lot of Milwaukee homes get a property tax cut next year, because the RATE increase is based on all property values, not just residential. So while there will probably be a rate increase, it likely will not make up for the drop in values. Thanks Mayor Barrett! 😛

    Brilliant minds do think alike, because I just ran down this story, and can show that a big part of these lower property values are due to Walker’s cuts in shared revenue, local aids, and the stealing of $25 million in foreclosure aid.

  3. We will undoubtedly see residential property tax cuts next year because I don’t believe the city will be allowed to raise the tax rates much if at all under the laws passed in Madison in 2011. Which is why I am saying that the city, county, MPS and MATC are going to have a hard time with their budget process next year…because they are going to see reduced tax revenues.

    Milwaukeean, you can say anything you want and the city assessor website can say anything it wants, but as a Milwaukee property owner for over 25 years…I say bullsh*t. In theory this is all correct, in practice NOPE!

  4. This is why mortgages should be revalued as well. And cities should hold businesses, especially out of town corporate chains, more accountable for abandoning properties and creating blight. A home owner, for instance, must continue to pay mortgages and taxes on property that he moves away from until it’s sold, unless he declares bankruptcy.

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