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Bureau says property taxes made bigger jump last year

Analysts both inside and outside of state government say property taxes probably won't go up as much in December as they did last year.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau said Monday the average Wisconsin house valued at $170,000 paid just more than $2,800 in local taxes.

That's $105 more than the year before or 3.8 percent. Gov. Jim Doyle's budget office expects the increase to be more like 1 percent this year.

That's because most state limits on local tax hikes will go back down to 2 percent - not the 3.8 percent we saw as part of last fall's state budget deal.

Also, homeowners statewide will get an extra $75 million in state aid to offset their bills.

Home values are not growing as fast as in the recent past.

Todd Berry of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance says it's impossible to predict what this year's taxes will be because local governments won't set their budgets until fall.

Also, Berry says businesses and farms may end up with more of the total property tax burden.

Still, he does not believe we'll see another tax hike of 3.8 percent, which was 1 percent above last year's inflation.