Eliminating the Personal Property Tax

Most property owners receive one property tax bill annually. However, many business owners, receive two tax bills — one tax bill for their real property and a second for their personal property, including furniture, fixtures, tools, and other business-related items. The yearly process of calculating the amount of personal property taxes owed requires an understanding of what personal property is taxable, and then establishing the value of those taxable items. This process can be time consuming, frustrating, and expensive.

Wisconsin’s personal property tax is riddled with exemptions, and the $202 million it generated in the 2000s is a tiny fraction of the $1.2 billion collected in 1971. This onerous and exclusive tax on small business owners was eliminated in the 2023-2025 Wisconsin State Budget.

Since its inception, the personal property tax has been amended a total of 14 times to exempt different kinds of personal property. Over the past 100 years, state lawmakers have discussed eliminating the personal property tax. In July of 2023, that discussion became a reality with the elimination of the personal property tax.