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Tax — property tax — unproductive property

Wisconsin Court of Appeals

Civil

Tax — property tax — unproductive property

Where property is capable of productive use, it was not error for the municipality to not classify it as unproductive.

“West Capitol argues this interpretation of WIS. STAT. §70.32(2)(c)4 conflicts with WIS. STAT. §70.10, which states real property must be assessed ‘as of the close of January 1 of each year.’ West Capitol asserts that, under §70.10, property must be classified based on its actual use on January 1 of the assessment year, rather than its potential future use. However, nothing in §70.10 requires a property to be classified based on its actual use. As discussed above, the term nonproductive can reasonably be read to mean neither producing nor capable of productive use, and the doctrine of ejusdem generis supports that interpretation. The relevant inquiry is therefore whether West Capitol’s property was incapable of productive use as of January 1, 2009. This analysis does not conflict with the statutory requirement that property be assessed ‘as of the close of January 1 of each year.’ See WIS. STAT. §70.10.”

Affirmed in part, and Reversed in part.

Recommended for publication in the official reports.

2013AP1458 West Capitol Inc. v. Village of Sister Bay

Attorneys: For Appellant: Lund, Michael J., Milwaukee; Thom, Terrence C., Milwaukee; For Respondent: Madison, Bree A., Appleton


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