GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Governor Scott Walker is touring the state to publicize the elimination of the state property tax levy.
The $85 million dollar annual state property tax levy used to fund 23 of Wisconsin’s state forests. “It used to all go into forestry. We just fund that out of the general fund,” Gov. Walker explained Thursday.
With forestry expenses transferred to the state budget, the average Wisconsin homeowner saves $27 dollars this year on their property tax bill.
"No more state property tax. A lot of people across the state here and elsewhere have said to me—in fact, I actually had a couple friends text me pictures of their property tax bill saying, 'you're right! 100 percent reduction.' But that's exactly what we promised and that's exactly what we delivered and it's really party of a larger commitment to helping people all across the state,” Walker said.
Democrats are not impressed.
"I think it's short-sided of the governor to do a victory lap around this particular issue especially when it deals with our forestry. $27 that could be going to support our second-largest industry seems a little foolhardy to me. Money is money and people understand that wheel taxes cost money, Foxconn tax is going to cost money,” said Democrat Tony Evers, who is running for governor in 2018.
Action 2 News wanted to find out from people paying their property taxes today if they knew that they'd saved money by the state property tax levy being eliminated. Here in Brown County, we asked about twelve people paying their taxes today who told us- on average, they'd saved between $20 and $70- but most hadn't noticed before we looked at their bill.
“Ah no, I had just looked at my overall tax bill and there was a slight change. But we also had done some remodeling so it went up- but we expected that,” said Jeremy Bellin. “But when I looked I actually saw my state tax bill went down $36."
"I did notice that it is slightly less. I don't really have big plans for those $65,” said Mike Reignier.
Governor Walker says the change is more significant compared to the year he took office; “Overall their property taxes bill is $119 lower today than it was when we started back in December 2010."
He's encouraging homeowners to send a picture of their savings to him on Twitter.