My Property Tax Bill Doesn’t Fit the Conservative Narrative
If you had to name any single talking point for conservative Wisconsin politicians and their fan-boys on TV and radio, it would almost assuredly have to be the one about how “Taxes are out of control” or something similar about Wisconsin and Milwaukee bleeding jobs and business because the taxes here are just “too high!”.
In fact, there was quite a push at the County level over the last six months to make the case that any increase in the County property tax levy would force people into bankruptcy, they’d have to sell their cat to pay the property tax bill, etc. Many of you who read this blog on a regular basis made that point yourself, despite the fact that even a 3-5% increase in the County property tax levy would only raise your property taxes by several cents a day.
So imagine my surprise upon opening my own property tax bill today to see that not only could we keep our cat and stay in Milwaukee, but our property taxes had actually gone DOWN! And they went down by almost $300, a 6.1% decrease! Just imagine how big a deal that would be if my taxes went UP 6.1%? You’d have tea party patriots calling for recalls and refusing to pay their taxes because a 6.1% increase isn’t mentioned in the Constitution and would therefore be infringing upon their “freedoms”.
How could that be I thought? As long as I’ve been living here, I’ve been told by those on TV, in the paper and on the radio that sooner or later, I’d get fed up with high property taxes and just get the heck out of Wisconsin, and to boot, I had only my own liberal self to blame because I wanted a high quality of life, roads without pot holes, and the fire department to pick up the phone if I needed them.
So sarcasm aside, my property taxes went down this year, and I know a lot of other people’s did too. Not everyone, but a lot of folks in Milwaukee County will be paying less in property taxes this year than they did in 2008. In my case, it’s because our property value went down as a result of the continuing slide in the housing market. The point is that despite all the rhetoric and chicken little talk from certain people, property taxes can and do come down, and that not everyone in this County is facing an increase in taxes that will force them to sell their house and move to Arizona.