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Chittenden, Alfred K. (Alfred Knight), 1879-1930 / The taxation of forest lands in Wisconsin
(1911)

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


Page 26


26        THE TAXATION OF FOREST LANDS IN WISCONSIN.
  The rate of assessments in another northern county varies greatly,
according to the towns and the control which the lumber companies have
over the town boards. In one town the ratio of assessed to true value is
71 per cent, and in individual cases even greater. On one lot of 29 acres
in this county the stand of timber is estimated as follows: White pine
8,500 board feet, tamarack 14,000 board feet, hemlock 68,000 board feet,
birch 54,000 board feet, elm 5,000 board feet, ash 2,000 board feet, maple
S,000 board feet, and cedar 4,000 board feet. The value of the timber is
estimated at $646, and the value of the land at $2 an acre, or $58 for
the lot, making a total of $704. In 1909 this lot was assessed at $600,
or 85 per cent of the estimated true value, and the tax rate was .039.
  On one forty the stand of timber is as follows: White pine 82,000
board feet, spruce 15,000 board feet, tamarack 33,000 board feet, hem-
lock 18,000 board feet, basswood 7,000 board feet, birch 25,000 board
feet, ash 2,000 board feet, maple 5,000 board feet, and cedar 5,000 board'
feet. The value of the timber in this case is estimated at $1,229 and
the value of the land at $2 an acre, giving a total value or $1,309. The
assessed value in 1909 was $990, or 75.6 per cent of the true value, and
the tax rate was .039.
  In another town in the same county the assessments are a great deal
lower. On one forty there is estimated to be 100,000 board feet of white
pine. The value of the timber is placed at $1,000 and the value of the
land at $2 an acre, or $80 for the forty, making a total value for the
forty of $1,080. The assessed value in 1909 was $110, or 10.2 per cent
of the true value, and the tax rate was .0514.
  The average ratio of assessed to true value of timbered forties in one
town in the county is less than 20 per cent of the true value. In an-
other town it is 71 per cent of the true value, in another town 13 per
cent.
  The small number of improved tracts in this county makes it dif-
ficult to get at the average ratio of the assessed to the true value in the
case of farm lands. In one instance of a quarter section, having more
than 80 acres partly cleared and on all of which crops are raised, the
land, exclusive of improvements, is assessed at $910 or an average of
$5.70 per acre. Taking into consideration the location and productivity
of these lands and the improvements thereon, it would unquestionably
be conservative to value the land at $2,800 or an average of $17.50 per
acre. The true value of the improvements on this tract is not less than
$2,300, yet they are assessed at $800. On a basis of the above estimate
the true value of the lands and improvements is $5,300. The total as-


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