Articles Posted in Tax Law

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Applying Wis. Stat. 70.47(7)(aa) and Wis. Stat. 74.37(4)(a) in a manner that required submission to a tax assessor’s search as a precondition to challenging the revaluation of their property violated Plaintiffs’ due process rights. Plaintiffs brought this case claiming that the assessment of their real property was excessive and that sections 70.47(7)(aa) and 74.37(4)(a), as applied, were unconstitutional because they conditioned their right to challenge the assessor’s valuation of the property on submission to a search of the interior of their home. The circuit court granted summary judgment for the Town. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that sections 70.47(7)(aa) and 73.37(4)(a) were unconstitutionally applied to Plaintiffs. View "Milewski v. Town of Dover" on Justia Law

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Regency West Apartments sued the City of Racine to recover refunds from allegedly excessive taxation for tax years 2012 and 2013. The circuit court dismissed Regency West’s claims. The court of appeals affirmed. At issue before the Supreme Court was whether the City’s appraisals of Regency West’s property complied with Wisconsin law. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the valuation methodologies the City used for the assessments at issue did not comply with Wisconsin law; (2) the lower courts erred in concluding that Regency West failed to overcome the presumption of correctness for the 2012 and 2013 tax assessments; and (3) Regency West proved that the City’s tax assessments for the tax years at issue were excessive. Remanded to the circuit court to calculate the amount of Regency West’s refund. View "Regency West Apartments LLC v. City of Racine" on Justia Law

Posted in: Tax Law

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This case was one of several cases involving litigation between Lands’ End and the City of Dodgeville challenging the City’s property tax assessment of Lands’ End’s headquarters. In 2009, Lands’ End made an offer of settlement, which the City rejected. Eventually, the court of appeals remanded the matter to the circuit court with directions to enter judgment in favor of Lands’ End in the amount of $724,292 plus statutory interest. At issue on remand was whether Lands’ End was entitled to interest at the statutory rate of interest in effect when the offer of settlement was made under Wis. Stat. 807.01(4) or at the statutory rate of interest in effect when Lands’ End recovered the judgment under the amended version of the statute. The circuit court awarded interest at “1 percent plus the prime rate,” the rate in the amended version of the statute. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Lands’ End did not have a vested right in the twelve percent interest rate in effect in section 807.01(4) at the time Lands’ End made its offer of settlement; and (2) awarding interest under the amended version of the statute did not violate the Due Process or Equal Protection clauses of the federal and state constitutions. View "Lands' End, Inc. v. City of Dodgeville" on Justia Law

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The City of Oshkosh levied special assessments against a corner lot property owned by CED Properties, LLC (“CED”). The City issued two special assessments, one for the portion of CED’s property bordering Jackson Street and one for the portion running alongside Murdock Avenue. CED appealed the special assessments by filing a complaint with the circuit court. CED then filed an amended complaint well past the ninety-day time limit to appeal. The circuit court granted partial summary judgment to the City, holding that CED failed to appeal the Jackson Street special assessment within the required ninety-day time limit. The court of appeals affirmed but on different grounds. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) CED’s original complaint, which was filed within the required ninety-day time period, was sufficient to appeal not only the Murdock Avenue special assessment but also the Jackson Street special assessment; and (2) CED’s complaint was sufficient to place the City on notice that CED intended to appeal both the Jackson Street and Murdock Avenue special assessments. View "CED Props., LLC v. City of Oshkosh" on Justia Law

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In 2005, after the Town of Linwood assessed property owned by Stupar River for property tax purposes, Stupar River filed an objection with the town Board of Review, arguing that the 2005 assessment was significantly higher than its fair market value in violation of Wis. Stat. 70.32(1). The Board affirmed the assessed value. The circuit court remanded the action to the Board with instructions to reassess the subject property. The circuit court then affirmed the Board's determination. The court of appeals affirmed the decision of the circuit court. On review, the Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals, holding that the assessment upheld by the Board was made according to law and was supported by a reasonable view of the evidence. View "State ex rel. Stupar River L.L.C. v. Town of Linwood Board of Review" on Justia Law

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Covenant Healthcare, the sole member of a regional medical center that owns an outpatient clinic, constructed a building in the City of Wauwatosa to house the outpatient clinic. Covenant sought a tax exemption with the City for the clinic as property used exclusively for the purpose of a hospital under Wis. Stat. 70.11(4m)(a). The city assessor denied the exemption. After paying the assessed tax, Covenant brought an action to recover the amount of the City's allegedly unlawful assessment. The circuit court concluded that the clinic was exempt from taxation pursuant to the statute. On appeal, the court of appeals reversed. On review, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals, holding (1) the outpatient clinic is used for the primary purposes of a hospital and therefore qualifies as tax-exempt property under the statute; (2) the outpatient clinic is neither a doctor's office nor a property used for commercial purposes within the meaning of the statute; and (3) no benefit inures to any member of the medical center because the term "member" under the statute does not include not-for-profit entities. View "Covenant Healthcare Sys., Inc. v. City of Wauwatosa" on Justia Law