Governor Walker visits La Crosse, discusses property tax relief

Walker makes stop in state on his 'Blueprint for Prosperity'

Governor Scott Walker visited La Crosse Wednesday as he tours the state to highlight the property tax relief included in his “Blueprint for Prosperity” budget plan.

“In La Crosse, the typical homeowner will see a $112.52 cut in the technical college portion of their property tax bill,” Governor Walker said.  “This drop was driven by our action this spring with our Blueprint for Prosperity.  By putting more money back into the hands of the hard-working taxpayers, they can continue to invest that money into our economy.”

Wisconsin is one of the highest-taxed states in the country. A new analysis shows that it ranks 12th in the U.S. and third in the Midwest, but Walker says he has a plan to lower at least one of those.

Every year, Western Technical College of La Crosse has to levy a certain amount of money for operating purposes. The higher the levy, the higher the impact on taxpayers.

“Kind of what a levy is is their budget, like their budget to run,” said Pam Hollnagel with the Zoning, Planning and Land Information with La Crosse County. “In La Crosse County, Western Technical College is in every municipality– all 18.”

Based on Western’s tax levy in 2012, residents of La Crosse saw a 16.65 percent increase in taxes.

In an effort help taxpayers across the state, Walker signed a property tax relief bill earlier this year.

“I signed into law to put in place $400 million more into property tax relief in our technical schools for our technical college levies,” said Walker.

Western Technical College received $15.2 million to reduce its levy.

“For the technical college, the typical homeowner will see that reduction of over $112 dollars. That goes down by more than a third,” said Walker.

To check the numbers locally, we took the actual levy amount for 2013 and subtracted it by the levy amount for 2014. Then we divided the difference by the levy amount in 2013 and came up with a 33.59 percent decrease in Western Technical College taxes this year

“This latest savings is driven here in this region by the amount we give to the Western Technical College District to drive down the property tax levy and similar amounts are in place in another 15 areas of the state that represent tech colleges,” said Walker.

This property tax reduction can be seen in all municipalities in La Crosse County, but the percent of change will depend on where you live.

The governor said he will continue his efforts to lower property taxes for Wisconsinites in his next budget because he has proof that the formula works.

The money that Walker used to help technical schools across the state with their levies is from the surplus that the state had last year.

The governor’s administration said before Walker took office, property taxes on a median-value home had increased 27 percent over a decade. These rates have gone down in each of the last four years.