Wisconsin Court of Appeals
Tax — property taxes — fees
Where many property owners joined the same lawsuit to challenge their property taxes and prevailed, each is entitled to seek expert witness fees.
“Although the Town points out that Paulson limited its holding to attorney fees in compulsory joinder cases and declined to apply Gospodar to disbursements, we see no reason for such a distinction in this case. Paulson involved multiple plaintiffs seeking to multiply their recovery for disbursements several times above their actual out-of-pocket costs. Paulson, 256 Wis. 2d 892, ¶¶60-62. We refused to accept the Paulson plaintiffs’ reading of Gospodar to allow such an award, based on our interpretation that WIS. STAT. §814.04(2) limited the recovery for disbursements to actual out-of-pocket costs. Paulson, 256 Wis. 2d 892, ¶60 & n.10. Our holding under these circumstances is that the Taxpayers may collect their expert witness fees in the same manner as they could collect expert witness fees had they filed separate actions, i.e., per property per tax year not to exceed the $300 cap and not to exceed the actual out-of-pocket expenses in the aggregate. It is not contrary to Paulson.”
Affirmed in part, and Reversed in part.
Recommended for publication in the official reports.
Dist. II, Walworth County, Carlson, J., Reilly, J.
Attorneys: For Appellant: McGinnity, Maureen A., Milwaukee; For Respondent: Zalewski, Richard W., Wausau; Roman, Michael J., Wausau