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

Summary of assessed values compared with actual values,   pp. 27-41 PDF (2.9 MB)

Page 40

1          60        .0334        245          600         41
2          40        .0334        180          600   |     36
3          40        .0334        240         1,100        22
4          80        .0334        750         2,500        30
5          10        .0252        128          580         22
6          78        .0252      1.253         4.140        30
7          160       .0433      1 250         2,700        46
8        1,310       .0334      6,275        24,000        26
9          80        .0213        923         1.800        51
10         200       .0379        200         1.600         12
11         160       .0379        300         1.600         19
County E.
  The following table illustrates how the taxes on timberland have in-
creased during the past few years. The figures are taken for a number
of forties in one of the northern counties. It is seen that a large per-
centage of increase in tax occurred each year during this period, 1904-
1909, with the exception of the last, when a decrease of 77 per cent
of the tax of 1908 took place. The increase during each preceding year
is due to several causes. Probably the increase in the actual value of
the holdings through the rise in stumpage is of considerable importance,
for assessors are usually quick to raise assessments wherever it is justi-
fied. Another factor that often accounts for increased taxes, is the
growth and improvements within the towns which means greater ex-
penditures and larger taxes to meet them.
  These factors operate on all classes of property alike. In the case
of timber tracts, however, there has been a growing alarm that, with
their depletion, the towns would be deprived of their largest source of
revenue. There is everywhere, therefore, a growing tendency to obtain
as much revenue as possible from the timber before it is entirely
removed. As a result of this policy the timber holder is being forced
to stand a constantly heavier share of the community's tax burden
and to furnish improvements for the future's needs. Present taxes
are thus being used frequently to provide for permanent improve-
ments, the use of which will come mainly in the years to come. The
local governments arc usually convinced that timber is not taxed
as high as it deserves, and, therefore to provide against a future

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