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Chittenden, Alfred K. (Alfred Knight), 1879-1930 / The taxation of forest lands in Wisconsin

Examples of actual taxation,   pp. 21-27 PDF (1.8 MB)

Page 22

timber and land together are worth $1,400 and were assessed in 1909 at
$1,280, giving a ratio between assessed and true values of over 91 per
cent, and the tax rate was .044.
   A farm of 160 acres in the western part of the same county has 60
 acres of cleared land. It is valued at about $35 per acre for cultivated
 land and $6 for unimproved land, which makes a total value of $2,700.
 The assessed value in 1909 was $840, or 31 per cent of the true value,
 and the tax rate was .044.
   Much of the cut-over land in another county is assessed at $80 a forty
 or $2 an acre. As low assessments as $60 a forty, or $1.50 an acre, are
 found. Such land as is assessed at this latter figure is usually swampy
 and of practically no value for forest growth when once cut over, owing
 to the difficulty of getting the land naturally restocked with trees.
 It is probable that the average value of cut-over land in this county
 does not exceed $2.50 an acre, and much of it is worth less. Therefore,
 an assessment of $80 a forty on cut-over land is practically at the ratio
 of 100 per cent of its true value. There are large areas of cut-over
 land also that are assessed as high as $200 a forty, and in some cases
 individual assessments are found even higher. Such assessments are
 often in excess of the true value of the land. Timbered forties in the
 county are more or less uniformly assessed at an even figure of $200,
 $300, $360, $380, $400, $440, or $500. Five hundred dollars is prac-
 tically the highest assessment on timbered land in the county. In cer-
 tain townships a flat figure of $260, $340, or $400 a forty will be used
 for several sections of land.
 In still another county one timber tract, which was taxed at about
 the average value, consists of 41 acres of good timber, running about
 175,000 board feet and worth conservatively $550. The land is of value
 for farming and ought to bring $7 per acre. If the true value is put at
 $830 for the tract, the assessed value of $350 is about 42 per cent. The
 timber consists of 100,000 board feet of hemlock, 35,000 board feet of
 birch, 20,000 board feet of basswood, and 20,000 board feet of maple.
 The tax rate in this case in 1909 was .0308.
 Another good 40-acre tract of timber is estimated to contain 60,000
 board feet of basswood, 75,000 board feet of birch, 25,000 board feet of
 maple, and 25,000 board feet of hemlock. The timber is easily worth
 $800 and the land $7 per acre, making a total true value of $1,080 for
 the forty. The assessed value in 1909 was only $280, giving the low
 ratio of 25.9 per cent. The tax rate in this ease was .0253. In this town,
however, all assessing is done by the woods foreman of the principal

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