Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
How much did you pay in property taxes last year?
Yep, here’s another in a series of Kevin Fischer property tax blogs.
Whenever I bring up the issue of property taxes, specifically those in my fair city, the reaction from the mayor, five out of six aldermen, and most school board members is predictable if not insightful:
· There he goes again.
· He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
· He’s never been a city finance director.
· He’s an ESPN-loving couch potato.
· He can just move the hell out!
· Our taxes are not that bad. They’re not, they’re not, they’re not!
· We have a great parade.
· Fiscal responsibility? What’s that?
· We’re better than Greendale.
· High taxes? Nobody ever tells me we have high taxes.
· Our tax rate is really sweet.
· He’s just so negative about Franklin (Not true).
The government-approved licensed robbers in Franklin deprive me and many, many others of greater savings, investments, and discretionary income by their heavy taxing and spending.
So again, I ask, how much did you pay in property taxes last year?
I submit Franklin is a smaller tax hell in the much larger tax hell known as Milwaukee County.
From the Tax Foundation in Washington:
“For some time now, the Tax Foundation has published median property tax statistics for counties in the United States. These statistics are based on data from the American Community Survey. Previously, data limitations meant that only mid- to high-population counties could be included in the rankings. Now, for the first time, we are pleased to present data that includes nearly all counties in the United States. We rank counties three different ways: by median property taxes paid on homes, by median property taxes as a percentage of median home values, and by median property taxes as a percentage of median household income.
The Census Bureau recently released American Community Survey data as a five-year average, from 2005 to 2009. The larger number of survey responses and correspondingly larger sample sizes included in this five-year period allows estimates to be calculated for every county (or county-level entity) in the United States.
Our data release includes nearly all 3,139 counties in the United States. We excluded 217 counties from our rankings because of their unreliably small sample size, for a final universe of 2,922 counties.”
Where does Milwaukee County rank? Keep in mind, the overwhelming majority of people with taxing power in Franklin scoff at my suggestion that Franklin is a tax hell. It would seem logical their argument would and should extend to the rest of the county.
Remember, we’re talking about Milwaukee County property taxpayers. What did you pay in property taxes last year? $2,000? $3,000? $5,000? More?
For the latest year available, 2009, the Tax Foundation found that the median real estate taxes paid in Milwaukee County were $3,708 (compared to the U.S. median of $1,917). I would dearly love to pay $3,708 in property taxes. Instead I pay more than twice that amount. The median amount paid ranks #86 out of 792 counties nationwide. Wisconsin’s median amount paid of $3,007 in 2009 ranks 9th highest of all 50 states.
Repeat after me: We are not a tax hell.
What about a five-year average? From 2005-2009, the Tax Foundation found Milwaukee County’s median real estate taxes paid to be $3,578 putting us at #82 of 2,922 counties nationwide. The Wisconsin median of $2,926 during that time period put us at #9 among all 50 states. The U.S. median: $1,805.
I can hear the cries of the tax and spenders in Franklin: “But it’s not our fault. It’s everyone else in the county messing us up.”
Property tax levies throughout Milwaukee County are horrendous. Franklin is just as guilty.
By the way, the highest amount of median real estate taxes paid in the country from 2005-2009:
Hunterdon County, New Jersey- $8216.
All the data from the Tax Foundation is right here.