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Off The Editor’s Desk – 1-7-2015

I am going to assume that by this time all off us property owners have received our tax bills from the local government offices.

I have reviewed mine and compared them to last year’s and found that overall my property tax load is down slightly.

We have our home and business property in Glenwood City, business property in Colfax and a lake home in Hayward. The three counties involved are St. Croix, Dunn and Sawyer.

Comparing the percentage of tax against the estimated fair market value shows that Colfax has a higher rate of taxation. In our business in Colfax, we pay 2.6 percent of the value there. In Glenwood City that rate is two percent and at Hayward the rate is just 1.4 percent of the value.

I must first point out that the taxes on the property in Colfax dropped $184 over the 2013 amount. In Glenwood City the tax on our home dropped $89 and in Hayward they dropped $112. Our home in Glenwood City is the only piece that received the $110. Lottery Credit.

In Hayward, our place is valued some $32,000 more than our home in Glenwood City, but pay some $267 less in property tax, Why is that? I had to ask myself. It is, I think, because of the many second (or vacation) homes in Hayward. With a population of over 2,000, Hayward swells to over 20,000 on most summer weekends and has many businesses, hotels, shops and those second homes.

I looked at the tax bills from Colfax and Glenwood City and noticed that it is the schools that take the biggest chunk of my tax bill. But in Hayward, the city gets the big chunk, that’s because of all properties that are second homes, but do not have any children enrolled in the schools. It does cause the city expense to go up with the needed services because of the number of people enjoying the Hayward area.

But what I am leading up to, is saying a big thank you to all of the people who have helped keep the property taxes down. I could first start with Governor Scott Walker and the state legislature. But I know from attending public board meetings, I must also give credit to those who serve on those boards and watch the books and keep them balanced. Thanks for the great effort, local lawmakers.

The idea I have to help keep our property taxes down is to promote local businesses. Seek new firms to locate in our town, promote local jobs that will have people building homes in our town and if you shop at home, that money stays in your community and helps it grow. That will help keep your taxes down.

Thanks for reading! — Carlton