Credit for certain development zone activities.
Economic development credit.
Early stage seed investment credit.
Low-income housing credit.
Life insurers; license fee.
Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan assessments credit.
Retaliatory taxation of nondomestic insurers.
Reciprocal taxation of foreign insurers.
License; issuance; collection of fees.
Deduction for personal property taxes.
TELEPHONE COMPANY TAX
Railroads and utilities, assessment.
The department of revenue shall make an annual assessment of the property of all railroad companies, of all conservation and regulation companies, of all air carriers, and of all pipeline companies, within this state, for the purpose of levying and collecting taxes thereon, as provided in this subchapter.
The Department of Revenue's formula for determining the portion of an airline system's value subject to Wisconsin taxation does not offend the commerce clause, due process, or this section. Northwest Airlines, Inc. v. DOR, 77 Wis. 2d 152
, 252 N.W.2d 337
“Air carrier company" means any person engaged in the business of transportation in aircraft of persons or property for hire on regularly scheduled flights, except an air carrier company whose property is exempt from taxation under s. 70.11 (42) (b)
. In this subsection, “aircraft" means a completely equipped operating unit, including spare flight equipment, used as a means of conveyance in air commerce.
“Company", without other designation or qualification, includes any railroad company, any conservation and regulation company, any air carrier company, and any pipeline company.
“Conservation and regulation company" means any person organized under the laws of this state for the conservation and regulation of the height and flow of water in public reservoirs within this state.
“Department", without other designation, means the department of revenue.
“Pipeline company" means any person that is not a light, heat and power company, as defined by s. 76.28 (1)
, and that is engaged in the business of transporting or transmitting gas, gasoline, oils, motor fuels or other fuels by means of pipelines.
“Railroad company" means any person owning and operating a railroad, or operating a railroad in this state, or owning or operating any station, depot, track, terminal or bridge in this state, for railroad purposes, except that “railroad company" does not include any county, city, village or town or any combination of them.
“Repair facility" means property on which a roundhouse, a repair shop, and a turntable are located and at which railcars and locomotives are built, maintained, and repaired.
“Special property" means the property of companies that is assessed under ss. 76.01
Miscellaneous provisions. 76.025(1)(1)
The property taxable under s. 76.13
shall include all franchises, and all real and personal property of the company used or employed in the operation of its business, excluding property that is exempt from the property tax under s. 70.11 (39)
, such motor vehicles as are exempt under s. 70.112 (5)
and treatment plant and pollution abatement equipment exempt under s. 70.11 (21)
. The taxable property shall include all title and interest of the company referred to in such property as owner, lessee or otherwise, and in case any portion of the property is jointly used by 2 or more companies, the unit assessment shall include and cover a proportionate share of that portion of the property jointly used so that the assessments of the property of all companies having any rights, title or interest of any kind or nature whatsoever in any such property jointly used shall, in the aggregate, include only one total full value of such property.
If the property of any company defined in s. 76.28 (1)
, except a qualified wholesale electric company as defined in s. 76.28 (1) (gm)
, is located entirely within a single town, village or city, it shall be subject to local assessment and taxation.
Any air carrier company engaged solely in intrastate transportation and using the facilities of only one airport within this state is exempt from taxation under this subchapter and is subject to local assessment and taxation.
Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to result in the levy, assessment or collection of taxes on property of a municipal water utility created under s. 198.22
See also s. Tax 6.40
, Wis. adm. code.
The exemption for water and air pollution equipment in sub. (1) is allowed to a public utility for equipment purchased or constructed before the effective date for sub. (1). Wisconsin Electric Power Co. v. DOR, 59 Wis. 2d 106
, 207 N.W.2d 841
The federal Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976, 49 USC 11501 (b) (4), restricts the ability of state and local governments to levy discriminatory taxes on rail carriers. The Act might be violated if a railroad is singled out for unfavorable treatment in the form of inability to benefit from property tax exemptions given to other taxpayers. In Wisconsin, manufacturing and commercial taxpayers generally qualify for the intangible personal property exemption under s. 70.112 (1), but railroad and utilities companies under sub. (1) do not. Therefore, the intangible personal property tax singles out railroads as part of a targeted and isolated group in violation of the Act. Union Pacific Railroad Co. v. DOR, 940 F.3d 336
Unit assessment and situs for taxation. 76.03(1)(1)
The property, both real and personal, including all rights, franchises and privileges used in and necessary to the prosecution of the business of any company enumerated in s. 76.02
shall be deemed personal property for the purposes of taxation, and shall be valued and assessed together as a unit.
In case any of the property used in the business of a company defined in s. 76.02
is operated in connection with the property used in the same business or any other business therein described, all such property, rights, franchises and privileges shall be valued and assessed together as a unit, unless, in the opinion of the department of revenue, such properties are so segregated that separate assessments thereof should be made.
The place of assessment and taxation of property subject to taxation under the provisions of this subchapter is fixed at the capitol of the state.
Every person, company or companies, as defined in s. 76.02
, shall be the representative of every title and interest in the property so operated or used either as owner, lessee or otherwise, and notice to the operating and using company or companies shall be notice to all interests in the property for the purposes of taxation. The assessment and taxation of the property of any company in the name of the operating or using company or companies shall be deemed and held an assessment and taxation of all the title and interest in such property of any kind or nature. Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to authorize the assessment and taxation of the interests of the state or of any county, city, village or town in any property used for highways or elevated roads and leased to or used by another.
Reports of companies; penalty. 76.04(1)(1)
Every company defined in s. 76.02
shall, annually, file a true and accurate statement in such manner and form and setting forth such facts as the department shall deem necessary to enforce ss. 76.01
. The annual reports for railroad companies shall be filed on or before April 15 and for conservation and regulation companies, air carriers and pipeline companies on or before May 1.
For sufficient reason shown the department may upon written request allow such further time for making and filing the report under sub. (1)
as it may deem necessary, but not to exceed 30 days. If any company fails to file such report within the time prescribed or as extended under this subsection, the department shall add to the taxes due from such company $250 if the report is not filed within 15 days after the due date or extended due date and an additional $250 for each month or part of a month thereafter during which the report is not filed, except that the total penalty may not exceed $2,500. No company may in any action or proceeding contest the imposition of such penalty.
The forms for all reports required by ss. 76.01
shall be prescribed and furnished by the department of revenue.
Refusal or neglect to report. 76.05(1)(1)
If any company defined in s. 76.02
or its officers or agents shall refuse or neglect to make any reports required by s. 76.04
or by the department, or shall refuse or neglect to permit an inspection and examination of its records, books, accounts or papers when requested by the department, or shall refuse or neglect to appear before the department in obedience to a summons, such company shall be estopped to question or impeach the action or determination of the department except upon satisfactory proof of fraud or mistake injurious to the company.
Upon a showing by the department under s. 73.16 (4)
, no company shall be allowed in any action or proceeding to question the amount or valuation of its property as assessed by the department unless such company shall have made and filed with the department a full and complete report of the facts and information prescribed by s. 76.04
and called for by the department thereunder. If the department has not made a showing under s. 73.16 (4)
, the company shall make a full and complete report of all facts and information mentioned in said s. 76.04
within 15 days after notice by mail of the amount of the assessment of the property of such company, and shall appear before the department at a time designated by it and make a full disclosure of all property liable to assessment and taxation under this subchapter and show the full value of such property to the satisfaction of the department.
General powers of investigation.
In any matter material to the valuation, assessment or taxation of property under this subchapter, the department may, in its discretion, exercise any and all of the powers conferred upon it by ss. 73.03
and 73.04 (1)
; and every state, county, city, village, town and other public officer shall make return to the department in such form as it shall prescribe, of all information it shall call for. Persons serving the process of the department shall receive the same compensation allowed by law to sheriffs for similar service; and persons appearing before the department in obedience to its summons shall, in the discretion of the department, receive the same compensation as a witness in the circuit court; such fees and compensation to be audited by the department of administration on the certificate of the department, and charged to the proper appropriation for the department of revenue. The records, books, accounts and papers of any company defined in s. 76.02
to be assessed under this subchapter, except as otherwise provided, shall be subject to the visitation, inspection and examination by said department or by such person as it may designate for that purpose.
History: 1979 c. 102
s. 236 (1)
Duty of department.
The department on or before August 1 in each year in the case of railroad companies, and on or before September 15 in the case of air carrier companies, conservation and regulation companies and pipeline companies, shall, according to its best knowledge and judgment, ascertain and determine the full market value of the property of each company within the state.
(2) Relation to state valuation; description.
The value of the property of each of said companies for assessment shall be made on the same basis and for the same period of time, as near as may be, as the value of the general property of the state is ascertained and determined. The department shall prepare an assessment roll and place thereon after the name of each of said companies assessed, the following general description of the property of such company, to wit: “Real estate, right-of-way, tracks, stations, terminals, appurtenances, rolling stock, equipment, franchises and all other real estate and personal property of said company," in the case of railroads, and “Real estate, right-of-way, poles, wires, conduits, cables, devices, appliances, instruments, franchises and all other real and personal property of said company," in the case of conservation and regulation companies, and “Real estate, appurtenances, rolling stock, equipment, franchises, and all other real estate and personal property of said company," in the case of air carrier companies, and “Land and land rights, structures, improvements, mains, pumping and regulation equipment, services, appliances, instruments, franchises and all other real and personal property of said company," in the case of pipeline companies, which description shall be deemed and held to include the entire property and franchises of the company specified and all title and interest therein.
For the purpose of determining the full market value of the property of each company appearing on the assessment roll, the department may view and inspect the property of such company and shall consider the reports filed in compliance with s. 76.04
and the reports and returns of the company filed in the office of any officer of this state, and other evidence or information bearing upon the full market value of the property of the company assessed. In case of companies which own or use property lying partly within and partly without the state, the department shall value and assess only the property within this state, using the methods under subs. (4g)
. When the full market value of the property of a company within this state has been determined, the amount shall be entered upon the assessment roll opposite the name of the company and shall be the assessment of the entire property of such company within this state for the levy of taxes thereon, subject to review and correction. The department shall thereupon give notice by certified mail to each company assessed of the amount of its assessment as entered upon such roll.
(4g) Determining the property in this state.
The department shall determine the property in this state of railroad companies, air carrier companies, pipeline companies and telephone companies in the following manner:
For railroad companies:
Determine the ton miles of revenue freight handled in this state.
Divide the amount under subd. 1.
by the ton miles of revenue freight handled everywhere.
Determine the number of cars originated, terminated, received at connections, delivered at connections or otherwise handled in this state.
Divide the amount under subd. 4.
by the number of cars originated, terminated, received at connections, delivered at connections or otherwise handled everywhere.
Determine the tons of revenue freight on line, both originated and terminated, and at connections, both received and delivered, in this state.
Divide the amount under subd. 7.
by the tons of revenue freight on line, both originated and terminated, and at connections, both received and delivered, everywhere.
Determine the depreciated cost of road property owned or rented by the company and used in the operation of the company's business in this state.
Determine the depreciated cost of migratory road property owned or rented by the company and used in the operation of the company's business.
Multiply the amount under subd. 11.
by a fraction the numerator of which is the unit miles in this state and the denominator of which is the unit miles everywhere.
Divide the sum of the amounts under subds. 10.
by the depreciated cost of road property everywhere.
Multiply the fraction under subd. 15.
by the full market value of the company's property everywhere.
Air carrier companies.
For air carrier companies:
Determine the depreciated original cost of the real and tangible personal property owned or rented by the company in this state and used in the operation of the company's business.
Determine the depreciated original cost of the company's migratory tangible personal property owned or rented by the company and used in the operation of the company's business.
Multiply the amount under subd. 2.
by a fraction the numerator of which is the total of flight hours in this state and the denominator of which is the flight hours everywhere.