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Full text of "Biennial report of the Wisconsin State Tax Commission to the Legislature"

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I 



THE Gll'-r OF  




II 



\ 



\ 



TENTH BIENNIAL REPORT 



WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION 



TO THE 



• • 






GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE 



Commissioners 



Nils P. Haugen 
Thos. E. Lyons 
Carroll Atwood 

A. J. Myrland, Secretary 



MADISON, WISCONSIN 
1920 



^ 






• r ? 



To the Honorable the Governor and the Legislature of the State 
of Wisconsin: : : 

The Tax Commission respectfully submitfe^liircwith its tenth 
biennial report covering the activities of the depacrtment for the 
years 1919 and 1920, together with statistical tables of the re- 
sults of administration, and such recommendations as experi- 
ence and the- revenue demands of the state and its municipal 
subdivisions show to be necessary. 
K Dated at Madison, Wisconsin, December 15, 1920. 

* Nils P. Haugen, 

Thos. E. Lyons, 
Carroll Atwood. 
At J. Myrland, Commimoi ers. 

Secretary, 



-< 
^ 



1 



o 




1 



•■ * 






i 



CHAPTER I 

GENERAL BEVIEW 

ASSESSMENTS 

DuriDg the two year period covered by tbls report there lias 
been an unprecedented increase in the value of the general prop- 
erty of the state. This ia made apparent In the tables on subse- 
quent pages. 

As to real estate the rise in. value has been quite regular and 
uninterrupted, and the commiaaion has, as in previous years, based 
its valuatioa of counties on normal sales. Until the assessment 
of 1920 sales Cor a Ave years' period have been used. In 1920 
this was limited to three years. It has been thought advisable to 
use an average of values of more than one year in order to avoid 
or minify the weight of questionable sales tliat will unavoidably 
creep into the statistics used. The larger the number of sales the 
more reliable is the result obtained. The activity in real estate 
has of tate furnished tar more sales than formerly. The 1919 
state assessment of real estate showed an increase over the pre- 
ceding year of 4.40 per cent. This Is on the basis of using Ave 
years of sales. The increase in 1920 on the same basis would 
have been 6.33 per cent. 

On a rising market using a five year period and making due 
allowance for the time necessary to collect statistics the valuation 
is placed about three years behind present values. 

The valuation placed on the general property of the state in the 
state assessment becomes the basis of the tax rate applicable to 
railroads and some other public service corporations. Until re- 
cent years these corporations also showed an upward trend, and 
the Ave years' average of values applied to them worked with rea- 
sonable fairness. This gradual increase in railroad valuations 
not only ceased with 1916, but a decided decline in their values 
followed. 

The corporations could justly claim that they were discriminated 
against if this difference In the trend of values In opposite direc- 
tions were not recognized. The commission has in its late as- 
sessm.ents given some weight to this "contention in fixing the valu- 
ation of their properties. In the laat state assessment therefore 
the commiBsion departed from the five year average as to real es- 



376258 



6 REflPORT OiF THE WISCONiSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

# 

tate and used an average of three years. This made an Increase 
of 12.20 per cent over the previous year instead of 6.33 per cent 
according to the usual five year method. 

In valuing personal property the commission endeavors to ar- 
rive at present day values. 

The state assessment of real estate was in 1919 $3,178,663,175 
and in 1920 13,565,811,448. 

To show the trend in railroad values the stocks and bonds of 
the larger companies show the following totals on a five year av- 
erage: 

TOTAL STOCKS AND BONDS MARKET VALUE 



Chicagro & Northwestern 

Ghicagro, Milwaukee & St. Paul., 

Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie (includlng- 

Wisconsln Central) 

Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha 

Chicafiro. Burlington & Qulncy 

Total five leading railroads 



. 1014 



$431,412,231 
640. 122. 158 

184,274,055 

87,430,859 

380,320,550 



(1,712,560,753 



1919 



1386,588.517 
512,386,046 

160,122,257 

71,670,708 

355,740,067 



$1,405,508,585 



This shows a decrease in five years of 12.67 per cent, thus moving 
in opposite direction from real estate. Judging from quotations to 
date the present year will show still further decline although the 
tide now seems to have turned the other way. The decline in net 
earnings of railroads fully confirms the decline in value of the 
stocks and bonds. Deficits are not uncommon where net earnings 
were formerly constant and reliable. 

The law contemplates that the tax on railroads shall be on an 
equality with that borne by the general property on the local rolls. 

Using the true value of property in the state assessment in 1919 
the commission found the value to be $4,068,268,534 of which 
78.33 per cent was real estate. The local assessors' valuation of 
all property in 1919 was $3, 543,014, 846or 87.09 per cent of true 
value. Real estate in the 1920 state assessment was 78 per cent 
of all property. The value of real estate in 1920 was increased 
12.20 per cent and that of personal property 11.12 per cent over 
the year 1919 as found by the state assessment. 

The generally rapid advance in values of all classes of property 
measured by present monetary standards cannot be expected to 
continue when the country returns to normal peace conditions. 
Some slackening in the value of land is already apparent. 

Local assessors throughout the state have shown far better com- 
pliance with law than in earlier years. In 1910 the ratio of as- 
sessed to true value of all property was 61.28 per cent. In 1919 
the ratio was 87.09 per cent. So that the local assessor not only 



GBNDEIRAiL RBVIEfW. 7 

kept relative pace with advancing values, but gained on them. It 

is believed that this effort to assess at true value according to 

legal requirements has resulted in more equitable assessments of 
property within the same jurisdiction. 

Tax Rates 

The large and tapid increase in values may lead to the appar- 
ently logical conclusion that a lower tax rate would follow. This, 
however, is far from being the case. Public expenditures have 
increased far more relatively than have values. This is readily 
accounted for in the new public activities, such as highway con- 
struction and maintenance on an unprecented scale, the increase in 
school expenditures, and the high cost of labor and material to 
carry on these activities. The average tax rate has advanced from 
$13.18 per one thousand of true value in 1915 to $18.95 in 1920. 
These are the rates applied to railroads and some other public 
utilitiecr. In 1917 the railroads paid taxes amounting to |6,328,- 
476.69 at a rate of $18,844- per $1,000, on a valuation of $384,- 
870,000. In 1920 the assessment was placed at $360,734,000, 
but the increased tax rate of $18.95+ per $1,000 resulted In a 
tax of $6,837,QJ56.47. In other words, while the value decreased 
$24,136,000 the tax increased $1,508,579.78. 

Public Indebtedness 

In this connection it may not be amiss to call attention to a 
tendency to create public debt and to issue bonds to meet liabili- 
ties that in many instances sound public policy demands shall he 
met by current taxation. Attention is called to the report on 
Municipal Statistics published by this commission. The total 
amount of interest paid by all the cities of the state in 1916 was 
$1,232,311. In three years this had increased so that in 1919 the 
cities paid $1,6^*1,406 interest, an increase of interest paid of 28.33 
per cent in three years. As an illustration of this reckless tend- 
ency, in the city of Madison in 1920, fourteen cents of each dollar 
of taxes paid was required to meet interest. The city of Milwau- 
kee In 1916 paid interest on indebtedness, amounting to $551,811. 
In 1919 this had increased to $811,597, an increase in three ye'ars 
of 46.71+ per cent. In 1910 the interest paid was $448,000. 
There has been a steady increase each year since that time. 

It is believed that this tendency is more pronounced in cities 
than In counties and rural communities, but it is not absent in the 
latter. 

Wisconsin may well take warning from Ohio in this respect. 
The auditor of that state in his 1917 report calls attention to the 
amazing fact that while the eighty cities of that state, containing 
a population of over 5,000 each,, collected in taxes $26,411,178 



8 REPORT OF THE WISCONmN TAX COMMIiSSION. 

• 

for city purposes alone, it required $180',657 in excess of that vast 
revenue to meet the Interest payments and to retire bonds falling 
due, and that there was not one cent left for regular running ex- 
penses. He says: 

As a whole Ohio cities paid the salaries of every public official, 
constructed all improvements, and met every dollar of regular run- 
ning expenses, not from taxation, but by means of new bond is- 
sues. The per cent of annual income required to retire bonds fall- 
ing due and pay interest    was an average of over 100 
per cent for all Ohio cities. 

   "New debts created during the year were $2,985,978 
In excess of all revenue received from taxation and $14,674,082 
more than the total of all indebtedness retired". He repeats this 
warning in his report of 1919. 

The auditor of Cuyahoga County in which county Cleveland is 
situated, in a letter dated October, 1920, says about Ohio cities: 

It is safe to say that the tax rates in our larger cities will run 
from $2.00 to $2.40 for the 1920 taxable year.    Our 
cities are running into debt, piling up deficits which are then 
funded into bonds which in turn aggravate the financial crisis of 
the cities. The deficit of the city of Cleveland last year was 
$5,750,000 which was funded into bonds. The year before it was 
$4,500,000, and the year before $2,500,000. In other words, ir- 
respective of tax rates and tax receipts the municipalities seem to 
be spending money, running up debts, and then securing legislative 
sanction for funding these deficits. 

The last quotation has reference to the limitation upon the tax 
rate in the Ohio statute. 

Reassessments 

Nine reassessments have been ordered and completed during the 
biennium since the last report. Fifteen applications are now pend- 
ing. The law was amended in 1919 by reducing the property repre- 
sented in a petition from ten to five per cent of the total assess- 
ment of the district. It makes it fairly easy for a large property 
holder to secure a reassessment, while the man with little of the 
world's possessions must secure others to join with him or submit 
to unfair discrimination. The commission is reluctant to order 
reassessments unless the inequalities are material. But it be- 
lieves the requirement of the present law frequently works a hard- 
ship and is in conflict with the general spirit of American legisla- 
tion that each individual shall be ''entitled to a certain remedy in 
the laws for all injuries, or wrongs, which he may receive in his 
person, property or character; he ought to obtain justice freely, 
and without being obliged to purchase it, completely and without 
denial, promptly and without delay, conformably to the laws." 



GENiE3iRAJL REVIEW. 9 

Cost of Tax Commission and Assessors o^ Incomes 

Year Ending June 30, 1919 

Balance 1917-1918 appropriation July 1, 1918... $1,241.34 

Transfer of accounting revenues 1918-1919 20,941.36 

Annual appropriation 1918-1919 175,000.00 



Total $197;182.70 

Less expenditures made during 1918-1919 200,691.75 



Net Deficit $3,509.05 

Year Ending June 30, 1920 

Balance 1918-1919 appropriation July 1, 1919 — 

Deficit $3,509.05 

Transfer of accounting revenues 1919-1920 23,948.07 

Annual appropriation 1919-1920 170,000.00 

Income tax appropriation 1919-192 0— sec. 20.09 (4) 15,000.00 

Emergency appropriation 37,00.0 .00 



Total $242,439.02 

Less expenditures made during 1919-1920 241,291.91 



Balance June 30, 1920 $1,147.11 

Detail of expenditures for the fiscal years ending June 30, 1919, 

and June 30, 1920. 

Year Ending Year Ending 

June 30, 1919 June 30, 1920 

General ofiice $30,711.04 $31,161.20 

Engineering 3,049.09 3,000.00 

Inheritance tax 5,682.51 7,797.79 

Income tax — office also 20.09 (4). 10,385.92 15,860.08 

Income tax — field 123.863.50 144,434.32 

Statistics 9,276.97 10,792.53 

Accounting department 13,579.58 24,963.12 

Municipal reporting department.. 4,143.14 3,282.87 



Totals $200,691.75 $241,291.91 

The cost of the activities of the tax commission and the balances 
on hand at the close of the year as given above may vary slightly 
from the figures in other state reports for the reason that the tax 
commission has classified the costs by expenditures incurred in- 
stead of by cash disbursements. The apparent deficit in 1919 is 
due to this fact. 

Incbeased Cost of Administration and Necessity for Increased 

Appropriation 

The tax commission's annual apprbpriation for all purposes for 
the five fiscal years preceding July 1, 1919, was $175,000 per year. 



10 REPORT OiF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

During this period there was a sharp advance in the industrial 
world In the salaries paid to clerks, stenographers, and account- 
ants, and a more striking advance in the cost of stationery, paper, 
printing, office supplies, and equipment. During this five year 
period the tax commission kept within its appropriation by prac- 
ticing the most rigid economy and by reducing engineering ex- 
pense previously shared with the railroad commission from $14,- 
561.61 for 1916-1917 to $3,049.09 for 1918-1919, a saving of 
over $11,000 per year. 

With ' a full realization that it would no longer be possible to 
efilciently administer its duties under the appropriation of $175,000 
a year previously allowed, the commission went before the board 
of public affairs and the 1919 legislature and asked for an appro* 
priation of $216,850 for the fiscal years 1919-1920 and 
$222,850 for 1920-1921. The legislature appropriated $170,000 
for general purposes and $15,000 additional for "salaries and 
necessary traveling expenses of accountants, their assistants, and 
others in checking up and verifying Income tax returns," a total 
appropriation of $185,000 for the two fiscal years above enumer- 
ated. Subsequent events proved the appropriation to be entirely 
inadequate and showed that the commission itself had underesti- 
mated the expense of maintaining the semblance of an efficient or- 
ganization in the face of rapidly advancing costs. For the first 
time in its history the tax commission was unable to keep within 
the appropriation for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1920, and was 
granted $37,000 additional by the emergency board. The deficit 
will be larger for the pi;esent fiscal year, and the requirements of 
the commission for the remainder of the fiscal year, 1920-1921, 
will be laid before the legislature in a separate communication. 

A comparison of the commission's expenditures for the fiscal 
years, 1916-19.17 and 1919-1920, is given below. While statistics 
show that the cost of everything entering into the administration 
of its duties was rising rapidly during 1917, the full effects of the 
high prices following the world war were not felt until 1920. Be- 
cause of its past inability to raise salaries in anything like a proper 
proportion to the increased cost of living, the commission has 
been compelled, in order to maintain its organization on a reason- 
ably efficient basis, to make salary increases during the present 
fiscal year, which will materially increase its expenditures for the 
fiscal year, 1920-1921, over 1919-1920. 

Comparison of Expenditures 

The expenses of the commission for the fiscal years, 1916-1917 
and 1919-1920, are for comparative purposes listed by aepart- 
ments. 



OENIBRAiL REVIEW. H 

1016-1917 1919-1920 

General Office $31,053.55 $31,161.20 

Engineering ; . . 14,561.61 3,000.00 

Inheritance Tax 5,033.74 7,797.79 

Income Tax — Office 8,751.98 1,877.01 

Income Tax— Sec. 20.09 (4) 13,983.07 

Income Tax — Field 95,624.46 144,434.32 

Statistical 8,468.53 10,792.53 

Municipal Reporting 4,008.27 3,282.87 

Accounting and Auditing 10,475.82 24,963.12 



Total • 1177,979.96 $241,291.91 

This comparison shows that the cost of administration for the 
fiscal year ended June 30, 1920, was $63,313.95 in excess of the 
cost for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1917. 

Assessors of Incomes Department 

The department showing the greatest increase is the income tax 
field which includes all the expenses of the assessors of incomes; 
namely, salaries of assessors of incomes, their deputies and clerks, 
traveling expenses, stationery and office supplies, postage, tele- 
phone and telegraph, express, freight and drayage, paper, printing, 
and all other expenses in connection with their respective offices. 

The increase in this department for the fiscal year, 1919-1920, 
over 1916-1917, was $48,809.86. Of this amount $34,754.91 was 
for increased salaries for assessors of incomes and their assistants. 
The reason for the increased expenditures in this department is 
twofold, the first being an enormous Increase in the amount of 
work done in the offices of assessors of incomes; the second being 
the increased cost of all supplies used in these offices; large in- 
creases in both the number and salaries* of clerical help and 
moderate increases in the salaries of assessors themselves. 

In 1916, 62,272 individuals and firms filed returns in the offices 
of the 41 assessors of incomes. These returns showed taxable in- 
come of $79,816,442, on which there was assessed income tax of 
$1,601,213.35. In 1920, 206,626 individuals and firms filed re- 
turns showing taxable income of $234,613,347.80, on which was 
assessed $3,969,371.52 income tax. The soldiers' educational sur- 
tax figures could not be secured at the date of this writing. This 
great increase in the number of taxable returns represents more 
than a proportionate increase in the amount of income tax work 
thrown on the respective offices. To get the taxable returns re- 
ferred to for the 1916 assessment, 294,000 blanks were furnished 
assessors of incomes; for the 1920 assessment, 518,000 blanks 
were used. After making due allowance for wastage and extra 
copies of blanks used by taxpayers for duplicates, the above figures 
show that at least half of the returns filed in the various offices 
showed no taxable income. All returns whether showing taxable 



12 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMIiSSION. 

income or not, must be audited and often more time must be spent 
'in the examination of a return showing no tax than on a taxable 
return which lists but few items of income and .deductions. 
Thousands of laboring and trades people filed income tax returns 
for the first time during 1919 and 1920. Owing to the unfamil- 
iarity with the blanks and income tax procedure in general, errors 
were numerous. This involved correspondence and personal in- 
terviews, thus further over-taxing the generally limited facilities 
of the assessors' offices. Because of the abnormal Incomes in cer- 
tain lines of industry in 1918 and 1919, large taxpayers have been 
inclined to employ the best legal talent obtainable in an effort to 
reduce taxable income by every possible technicality, and in some 
cases, by every subterfuge imaginable. Such cases delay the au- 
diting, as the assessor of incomes may have to ask the tax com- 
mission for rulings, or for assistance in auditing the books of the 
taxpayer. 

For the three years prior to 1919 real estate sales had not ma- 
terially increased in number, but in 1919 the number of such sales 
was practically doubled. As real estate values had advanced 
rapidly, many of these sales showed taxable profit. Taxpayers are 
somewhat reticent in reporting profits on sales of real estate or 
other capital assets. In numerous instances the property was 
owned before the incidence of the income tax law and it became 
necessary to establish the fair market value of the property on 
January 1, 1911. This necessitated personal investigation by the 
assessor of incomes. He was compelled to tabulate sales of simi- 
lar property sold around January 1, 1911, where such information 
was obtainable, and to consult disinterested parties with reference 
to the property in question. In case the taxpayer and assessor of 
incomes cannot get together, the whole matter must be threshed 
out before the income tax board of review. 

Another highly important duty, involving much painstaking 
work and a high degree of good judgment, placed on the assessors 
of incomes, is the fielding of all sales of real estate made in the 
state during each year. The statutes require that this informa- 
tion be compiled. The same is used by the tax commission in 
making the state assessment, and is used by the assessors of in- 
comes and the county boards in making the county equalizations. 
Before 1916, the fielding of sales cards was done by employees of 
the tax commission from the general office at an annual expense of 
approximately $11,000, the expense being charged to the main 
office. But beginning with 1916, the fielding of all sales cards was 
made primarily the duty of the assessors of incomes. The num- 
ber of "good" sales retained for equalization purposes for 1916 to 
1919, inclusive, was as follows: 

1916 — 24,606 1918 — 24,368 

1917—24,467 1919—47,718 



gbnerajL review. 13 

Experience has proven that approximately 50% of all sales are 
useless for equalization purposes, so approximately 49,000 . sales 
were nelded each year for 1916, 1917, and 1918, and over 95,000 
for 1919. 

In selecting sales for equalization purposes, "sucker" sales, 
many trades, sales to near relatives, and sales made under ab- 
normal conditions, must be eliminated. The assessor of incomes 
must exercise sound judgment in retaining or rejecting sales cards 
if the state and county equalization is to be fair. That the as- 
sessors of incomes are doing this work faithfully is evidenced by 
the fact that their reports are accepted without question by most 
county boards. These sales data are becoming more difficult to 
obtain, each year. The seller often refuses to divulge the sale 
price, hoping by his silence to escape paying income tax on the 
profits of his sale. The purchaser may have a mistaken idea that 
his property will be assessed at cost while his neighbor's assess- 
ment may not be adjusted, and he, likewise, may refuse informa- 
tion. The real estate broker or agent withholds information when 
requested to do so by the vendor and vendee. The consideration 
mentioned in the deed is probably $1.00, and the parties may not 
affix revenue stamps of proper value, which misguides investigat- 
ors. In order to successfully field all sales, the detective instinct 
of the assessors of incomes must be highly developed. The work 
involved in compiling these necessary data is enormous and in 
Milwaukee county especially, forms no small part of the work of 
the office. 

The soldiers bonus and soldiers' educational surtaxes also threw 
additional work on the offices of the assessors of incomes, as well 
as on the general office. The computation of the two taxes was 
required to be made and the assessment entered on the rolls after 
the referendum of September, 1919. Owing to the late date on 
which the verdict of the people became known, it was necessary to 
drop all other work and immediately proceed to compute these 
taxes, in order that the tax rolls might be in the hands of the local 
treasurers on the prescribed date's. Many taxpayers who had paid 
little attention to the accuracy of their returns because they knew 
that their personal property offset would take care of the regular 
income tax, when confronted with a cash tax without offset, flocked 
to the office of the assessor of incomes to correct their returns or 
wrote frenzied letters of appeal. The result was extended cor- 
respondence and delay at a time when every office was already 
overburdened and it was necessary in some instances to employ 
additional help for the emergency. While this situation will not 
be repeated to the same extent, unless similar new legislation 
should be enacted in the future, the soldiers' educational bonus 
surtax quite materially adds to the work of the respective offices. 

In order to adequately handle the increased burdens of their 



14 REiPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

offices, as enumerated in the preceding paragraphs, it became 
necessary for assessors of incomes to employ additional deputies, 
stenographers and clerks. On June 30, 1917, there were 42 per- 
manent employees in the 41 offices in the state. On June 30, 
1920, there were 83 such employees in the. 40 offices in the state. 
This ia an increase of practically 100%, the greater part of which 
is in the Milwaukee office. 

Not only has the number of employees in the department 
doubled, but it has become necessary to pay larger salaries. Im- 
mediately after our entrance into the world war the Government 
became a strong competitor for stenographers, accountants, and 
all other clerical help at salaries far in advance of those previously 
paid by the tax commission. Not only did industrial concerns 
raise salaries of clerical help all along the line but it was common 
for clerks to enter factories and earn much larger sialaries than 
they could ever hope to receive as clerks. County and city gov- 
ernments granted substantial increases to their employees, and 
other departments in the oapitol more fortunate in the matter of 
appropriations than the tax commission, made flattering offers to 
the more competent of the tax commission employees. Resigna- 
tions were of frequent occurrence, and as is generally the case, 
the. most competent and badly needed employees were "always the 
first to go. The tax commission faced a serious situation. It 
realized that it could not keep within its appropriation and pay 
salaries on a par with other state departments, the government, or 
industrial concerns. If a valued employee left its service, the va- 
cancy could not be filled even by a/n inexperienced person at the 
salary paid to the retiring employee. If the salary of any particu- 
lar employee were raised, it was necessary to raise the salaries of 
other employees in the same class. With this situation prevailing 
in its own general office and in the offices of the assessors of in- 
comes with reference to deputies, stenographers and clerks, the 
commission was forced to revise salaries upward. And after hav- 
ing raised the salaries of its clerical help, the assessors of incomes 
themselves next came in for constderation. 

It has long been realized that these officials have been notori- 
ously underpaid. For the fiscal year, 1916-^1917, the average an- 
nual salary of 39 assessors of incomes, outside of Milwaukee and 
Dane counties, was $1207. Milwaukee and Dane counties are 
eliminated as the Milwaukee office is in a class by itself, and in 
Dane county the assessor of incomes at that time was receiving 
additional compensation for special work done for the tax com- 
mission. Even the most conservative will agree that any person 
possessing the qualifications required of an assessor of incomes 
could not or should not work for such a pittance with the rapid 
advance in the cost of living prevailing during the last three years. 
Six resigned during the last two fiscal years and accepted lucra- 



GEN^EXRAiL REVIEW. 



15 



tive positions elsewhere. Early in 1920 there were six more resig- 
nations offered, including some of the most important ofllces in 
the state. In each case the individual had an offer of another po- 
sition at a salary more in keeping with the increased cost of living. 
Threatened with the situation of having an organization com- 
pletely wrecked that had been years in building, the tax commis- 
sion approached the emergency board and received assurance that 
the work of the commission must be efficiently maintained. A 
moderate raise in the salaries of assessors of incomes was granted 
for the year ended June 30, 1920, with the promise of a further 
increase for the year ended June 30, 1921, and with the full un- 
derstanding that the matter of securing an adequate appropriation 
would be laid before the 1921 legislature. The number of assess* 
ment districts has been reduced from 41 to 40 in an effort to 
economize. On June 30, 1920, the average annual salary of 38 
assessors of incomes outside of Milwaukee and Dane counties was 
$1524. For the present fiscal year ending June 30, 1921, the 
average annual salary is $1746, also excluding Milwaukee county. 
That the increases granted to employees in the general ofilce and 
in the field were merited will not be questioned by any one con- 
versant with the facts. That the increases in the salaries were 
much less than the increase In the cost of living is proved by the 
following table prepared b/ the United States Department of La- 
bor. Bureau of liabor Statistics, and released for publication Sep- 
tember 16, 1920. 

This table shows the increase in the cost of living in the United 
States from 1913 to June, 1920. These figures are averages based 
on the prices secured in 31 cities, the results of which will appear 
in the September number of the Monthly Labor Review. 

It will be noted that the total increase from an average for the 
year 1913 to June, 1920, is 116.5 per cent, the largest increase be- 
ing in furniture and furnishings, 192.7 per cent; the next highest, 
clothing, 187.5 per cent. The total increase for the six-month 
period from December, 1919, to June, 1920, is 8.6 per cent. 

CHANGES IN COST OP LIVING IN THE UNITED STATES 



Item of Expenditure 



Food 

Clothingr 

Housintr 

Fuel and Lifirht 

Furniture and Furnishings. 
Miscellaneous 

Total 



Per cent 
)r Total 
Expend- 
iture 



38.2 
16.6 
13.4 
5.3 
5.1 
21.3 



100.0 



Per cent of increase from 1913 (average) to 



Dec. 

1914 



5.0 
1.0 

1.0 

4.0 
3.0 



3.0 



Dec. 
1915 



5.0 
4.7 
1.5 
1.0 
10.6 
7.4 



3.6 



Dec. 
1916 



26.0 
20.0 
2.3 
8.4 
27.8 
13.3 



18.3 



Dec. 
1917 



57.0 

49.1 

.1 

24.1 

50.6 
40.5 

42.4 



Dec. 
1918 



87.0 

105.3 

9.2 

47.9 
113.6 

65.8 



74.4 



June 
1919 



Dec. 
19 



84.0 
114.5 

14.2 

45.6 
125.1 

73.2 

77.3 



97.0 
168.7 

25.3 

56.8 
163.5 

90.2 



99.3 



June 
1920 



119.0 
187.5 
34.9 
71.9 
192.7 
101.4 



116.5 



* No change. 



16 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

While the cost of living rose 116.5% in the 7.5 years, enumer- 
ated in the above table, it will be noted that prior to 1916 the 
increase was only 3.6%. The salaries of assessors of incomes 
during the fiscal years, 1916 and 1917, to June 30, 1920, were 
creased on the average only 26.36%, and to June 30, 1921, were 
increased 44.66%. Stenographers have been raised from 33 1/3% 
to 56%, and clerks have been raised from 35% to 60%, depend- 
ing on experience and ability. 

In the Assessors of Incomes' department, the item showing the 
greatest increase next to salaries is postage, which cost $4482.58 
In 1916-1917 and $9033.69 in 1919-1920, an Increase of $4551.11. 
As the number of income tax returns sent out has nearly doubled 
and as correspondence increases in proportion to the number of 
returns, this expenditure is easily explained. 

The next Item of increase is traveling expense, which in this de- 
partment amounted to $11,955.99 in 1916 and 1917, and $15,- 
550.71 in 1919 and 1920. This increase needs no comment. Rail- 
road fare has increased from two cents to three cents per mile. 
Meals, lodging, and livery have increased materially in cost. Most 
assessors of incomes must own automobiles to administer their 
offices efficiently. Both the cost of cars and their maintenance 
and operation have increased materially, and a more liberal allow- 
ance should be made for this increased expenditure. 

While the expenses of the assessors of incomes department for 
1919-1920 increased 51.05% over 1916-1917, the number of tax- 
able returns filed by individuals aaid firms in 1920 Increased 
231.75%; taxable income increased 193.84%; and the tax assessed 
increased 147.91%. 

General Office and Engineering Departments 

Comparison of other departments shows that the expenses of the 
general office have not materially increased. Engineering expense 
decreased from $14,561.61 in 1916 and 1917 to $3,000 in 1919 
and 1920, the decrease being $11,561.61. 

Inheritance Tax Department 

Inheritance tax expense increased from $5,033.74 in 1916-1917 
to $7,797.79 in 1919-1920, the increase being $2,764.05. 

Statistical Department 

The statistical department expenses were $8,468.53 in 1916- 
1917, and $10,792.53 in 1919-1920, an increase of $2,334. 



GBNBiRAL REVIEW. 17 



Municipal (Reporting 

The expense for municipal reporting has remained practically 
stationary. 

The increased expenditures in the different departments are 
caused by increased salaries and the increased cost of supplies, 
both of which have been fully discussed in connection with the in- 
come tax field department. 

Accounting and Auditing Department 

The expenses of the accounting and auditing department were 
$10,475.82 in 1916-1917, and $24,963.12 in 1919-1920, an increase 
of $14,487.30. This additional expense is explained by an in- 
crease in both the number of accountants employed and the sal- 
aries paid them. There has been an unprecedented call for ac- 
countants by the government, the state, and by industries. In 
order to retain competent men, the tax commission has been forced 
to meet outside competition. However, the cost of this depart- 
ment is immaterial as it is self-supporting. Accounting work is 
furnished at cost to the municipalities requesting it. While the 
expense of this department is included in the tax commission's ex- 
penditures, the receipts are also added to the annual appropriation 
in determining its receipts. 

Corporation Income Tax Department 

All corporation income tax returns are audited in the office of 
the tax commission, the number of returns being approximately 
12,000. The incomes reported for 1917, 1918, and 1919 were 
swelled enormously over any prior period. The various federal 
income and excess profits tax laws imposed federal taxes also with- 
out precedent. Different accounting procedure to comply with 
federal laws were adopted by thousands of corporations. The tax 
commission fully realized that if large amounts of income were not 
to escape taxation, it would be necessary to make a more compre- 
hensive audit of the returns than had formerly been made and that 
It would also be necessary to have field auditors to check up the 
books of the corporations where the correct amount of income was 
in doubt. In order to do this work properly, it was necessary to 
employ auditors of high ability who were not only expert account- 
ants, but who were well versed in both the state and the federal 
income tax laws. To get or retain men of this caliber it is neces- 
sary to pay salaries in line with those paid by the United States 
government, private industry, and other state departments. The 
1919 legislature made a special appropriation of $15,000 to de- 
fray the expenses of accountants, their assistants, and others in 
checking up and verifying income tax returns. As the general ap- 

2— T. C. 



18 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX OOMMIlSSION. 

propriation of the commission was cut $5,000 and as the expenses 
of the commission for the last fiscal year over-run the appropria- 
tion, it was not possible to apply the entire appropriation on the 
salaries and expenses of the accountants, as had been intended. 

The commission had one competent office auditor and in April, 
1919, secured the services of a competent field auditor. It was 
necessary to give the new man at least one month's training in the 
office before sending him on the road, and it was further necessary 
to take him off the road to assist in computing and assessing the 
bonus surtaxes so that he was able to be on the road checking cor- 
poration returns about six months of 1919. He will spend about 
ten months in actual field work in 1920, but the commission is able 
to show the results of only the first 7 ^ months of the year at the 
time of writing this report. A tabulation of work completed ana 

entered on the 1919 and. 1920 tax rolls is given below. 

• 
Number of Net Increase Net Increase 

Corporation Returns in Taxable in Income 

Examined Income Tax 

1919 68 $860,571.00 $47,336.00 

1920 59 897,006.00 55,498.00 



127 $1,757,577.00 $102,834.00 

The cost of this field work was $2,797 for 1919 and $3,288 for 
1920. 

The additional Soldiers Cash Bonus and the Soldiers* Educa- 
tional Surtaxes, being temporary in nature, are not shown in the 
above computations. Practically all 1918 returns showing an in- 
crease in taxable income show an increase in both bonus taxes, and 
1919 returns showing an increase in taxable income show addi- 
tional Soldiers' Educational Surtax. The amount of additional 
bonus taxes assessed is approximately $50,000 and represents an 
absolute gain to the state. There is a large number of corpora- 
tions that should be investigated during 1921, or large amounts of 
additional income for 1917 will be lost because of the three year 
limitation imposed by law. 

It will be seen that this work is highly profitable to the state 
and the commission recommends that the next appropriation be 
sufficiently large to allow the employment of at least two field 
auditors. Field work of this character has been conducted by 
the United States Government since 1913 and has resulted in the 
collection of large amounts of additional federal income and ex- 
cess profits tax. 

Many corporations are asking the commission for an auditor to 
assist in clearing up matters in controversy with the commission 
or to assist them in opening new books, setting up proper values 
for assets acquired before the incidence of the income tax law. All 
of this work is highly valuable to the state, not only in increased 



GENERAL REVIEW. 19 

taxes collected, but in that the taxpayer feels that he is being given 
a square deal. If, because of improper accounting methods, he 
is paying more tax than he lawfully should pay, his errors are 
pointed out an(^ he is assisted in rectifying past errors as far as 
possible. The moral effect of these personal investigations is 
good. Willful tax dodgers who have made income returns and 
have boasted that "the state never checks us up as the govern- 
ment does," are finding that the state income tax law is alive and 
carries penalties. Because it has become a matter of general 
knowledge that the state contemplates checking the books of cor- 
porations, the commission is receiving large numbers of amended 
returns sht)wing additional income voluntarily filed by the tax- 
payer after having his books audited by some responsible account- 
ing firm. I 

The income tax returns of corporations reporting incomes for 
1917, 1918 and 1919 have been carefully audited and analyzed by 
the office auditor and his assistants. The incom^es reported and 
the taxes assessed for these three years were the largest .in the 
history of the income tax law. For a comparison, see tables in 
this report. The 1918 incomes of 765 corporations were increased 
by office audit $10,122,789 over the amount voluntarily reported 
by these corporations. The additional income tax assessed was 
$595,546.43, additional soldiers' bonus surtax $446,584.14, and 
additional educational bonus surtax $89,274.60, total, $1,131,- 
405.17. The incomes of the corporations under consideration were 
increased all the way from $5.00 to $1,705,861. In three Instances 
the net income was increased over $1,000,000. In only one case 
out of the 765 enumerated was the action of the commission chal- 
lenged in the courts. The supreme court of the state upheld the 
tax commission. 

Because of these conditions, the income tax office department 
necessarily shows larger expenditures. The cost of this depart- 
ment in 1916-1917 was $8,751.98, and in 1919-1920 was $15,- 
860.08. 

The income tax law apportions 10% of the income tax collected 
to the state. It was expected that the maximum cost of adminis- 
tration to the state would not exceed this amount. It is interest- 
ing to note that the income tax has become a material factor in the 
revenues of the state, the amounts paid to the state in cash each 
year far exceeding the total cost of administration. The state's 
share of income taxes paid in cash during the last four fiscal years 
ending on June 30 is as follows: 

1917 : $295,972.67 

1918 616,106.78 

1919 . 699,965.99 

1920 631,022.92 



20 REPORT OiF THE WISCONiSIN TAX COMMISSIPN. 



Conclusion and Recommendations 

The foregoing has been prepared in order that the legislature 
and others interested might have a full statement of the existing 
conditions which make necessary an increased appropriation if 
the work of the tax commission is to be carried on in an efficient 
manner. We fully believe that the people of the state of Wiscon- 
sin do not desire to have the services of the commission crippled 
by insufficient appropriations. It can be seen easily that a few 
thousand dollars in salaries paid to faithful and competent em- 
ployees cut very small figure when compared with the magnitude 
of the transactions involved. For example, in one instance where 
no taxable income was reported, through the co-operation of the 
tax Viommission, the assesssor of incomes, and the attorney gen- 
eral, a tax of $90,000 was collected. In another case, a tax of 
$42,000 was assessed after a full investigation by the tax com- 
mission and the assessor of incomes where only $8,500 had been 
reported. In the tax commission office, had the auditor fallen 
down on as small a number as three large corporation returns in 
making the 1919 assessment, the loss to the state in taxes would 
have been more than the entire appropriation made to the tax 
commission for the same fiscal year. The employees of the tax 
commission must all be of a high order as the work is very tech- 
nical in nature, and carelessness or incompetency could result in 
very costly blunders to the state. With this statement of the 
facts before the legislature, we trust that an emergency appropri- 
ation of $74,275 for the balance of the fiscal year ended June 30, 
1921, will be made. An appropriation of $292,475 for 1921- 
1922 and $309,275 for 1922-1923 will in the opinion of the tax 
commission be necessary to secure that efficiency of service to 
which the people of the state are entitled. 



COUNTY ASSBSSOiRS; REASSESSMENTS. 21 



CHAPTER II 



COUNTY ASSESSORS; REASSESSMENTS 

Article VIII of the state constitution provides that "the rule of 
taxation shall be uniform, and taxes shall be levied upon such 
property as the legislature shall prescribe." The supreme court 
has repeatedly held that this provision applies to all taxable prop- 
erty in the state, and contemplates equality of the tax burden be- 
tween property of the same value. The constitution does not 
preclude diversity in the method or form of taxation so long as 
the burden imposed is proportionate to value, but does condemn 
every method and system of taxation which results in imposing 
unequal burdens on property of the same value. This constitu- 
tional provision is supplemented by not less than half a dozen 
statutes emphasizing the importance of equality in the assessment 
and collection of taxes, and prescribing severe penalties for fail- 
ure to comply with their terms. Neither constitution nor statutes 
are necessary to establish the principle for it is inherent in the 
nature of all ad valorem taxes and required by every consideration 
of justice and common sense. 

Notwithstanding these plain and positive provisions of law, as- 
sessing officers continued to use different standards and bases of , 
assessment for upwards of fifty years. Realizing the impossibility 
of securing equality by mere declaration of law, the legislature in 
creating the tax commission specifically provided that it should 
"have and exercise general supervision over the administration of 
the assessment and tax laws of the state, over assessors, boards of 
review, assessors of incomes, and over county boards in the per- 
formance of their duties as county boards of assessment, to the 
end that all assessments of property be made relatively just and 
equal, at true value, in substantial compliance with law.'* We 
have, therefore, not only the constitutional mandate and several 
statutory enactments but the specific direction of the legislature 
as well to see that equality in the assessment and distribution of 
taxes be secured. 

But while the legislature imposed this duty on the tax commis- 
sion, it utterly failed to provide it with the necessary /machinery 
to attain that end. There are about 1700 assessment districts in 
the state of Wisconsin, many of which have one or more assistants 



22 RBSPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

engaged In the work so that the total number of persons employed 
in the assessment of property in the state (each year is not less 
than 2000. Except in a few chartered cities, all these assessors 
are chosen by popular vote at the general spring election in April 
and required to begin their work on the first (day of May follow- 
ing. There is no test of ability, standing, or experience required 
by any of the statutes \ providing for the selection of these assess- 
ors, and the salary prescribed is such as to deter competent men 
from receiving or accepting the post. While ,the tax commission 
is charged with the duty of securing uniformity in assessments 
and equality in the distribution of the tax burden, it can neither 
select the assessing officers, nor prescribe their qualifications, nor 
fix their compensation, nor dismiss them for incompetency. The 
result is that 2000 different assessing officers are chosen at random 
every spring with no requirement !of qualification, responsibility, 
or experience, and no compensation sufficient to attract competent 
men to the service, iand directed to assess over $4,500,000,000 
worth of property in the succeeding two months in a uniform and 
equitable manner. Is it possible to conceive of a more absurd or 
illogical method of securing the desired result? Imagine for a 
moment the effect on a private business required to be conducted 
in the same manner; namely, by employing a general manager to 
conduct It, and then depriving him of power to hire his own help, 
fix their compensation, or dismiss them for neglect or incompe- 
tency. Yet this is precisely the status of the tax commission 
towards assessments under existing law. Uniformity of assess- 
ment under these conditions would be little short of a miracle, and 
the age of miracles is gone. 

The absurdity of this situation was pointed out in our 1916 and 
1918 reports, and a recommendation made that a system of county 
assessors with competent help, all chosen under civil service rules, 
be substituted for the system of local assessors now in vogue. 
The conditions which led to that recommendation are the same 
now as then, and the reason for the change becomes more urgent 
as the weight of the tax burden increases. We, therefore, renew 
and repeat the argument and recommendation, believing it to be 
the most urgent and important step in tax reform. . 

The county assessor system is neither new nor untried, but on 
the contrary, has been in operation for years in many southern 
and western states, (23 in number according to the latest avail- 
able information), and has the endorsement of all administrators 
economists and students of taxation. In answer to an inquiry, 
the tax commission of Arizona under date of January 31, 1919, 
wrote as follows: 

There are 14 counties in Arizona, and each county has one as- 
sessor who appoints all his assistants, and together they assess all 
of the property in the county that is not assessed by the state tax 



COUNTY ASSBSSORS; REASSESSMENTS. 23 

commission.    i think that every Rocky Mountain state 
has county assessors, and that there is not a citizen in the whole 
area who can comprehend the township assessor. — To him, the Idea 
Is silly. 

The assessors of the city of Milwaukee have been chosen by the 
tax commissioner of the city under civil service rules for many 
years past, and there has never been any demand for return to the 
elective system. There is a parallel In the position of assessors of 
incomes except that these officers are neither authorized by law 
nor equipped with the necessary machinery to make original as- 
sessments. Their only authority is to supervise and direct the 
work of assessors, and report their delinquencies to boards of re- 
view. Even this partial authority has resulted in a material im- 
provement In assessment conditions, but the progress made has 
been at the price of ernormous waste of time and energy, and still 
faills short of what the result might be if the persons chosen to 
make the assessment in the first instance wei^e selected in the same 
way. 

It Is a trite observation that assessment is the most important 
step in tax administration. As stated by a committee of the Na- 
tional Tax Association appointed to report on the method of se- 
lecting assessors: 

The local assessor is the very foundation upon which the admin- 
istration of the whole general property tax rests. Unless he Is a 
man of good judgment, familiar with values, endowed with suffi- 
cient moral courage to be fair, and diligent enough to find and 
place all the property in his district upon the assessment roll, his 
work invariably falls short of the legal standard, and usually re- 
sults In the grossest injustice. 

• 

If the local assessor omits property from the roll or fails to use 
the same standard of value for all persons and classes of property, 
no subsequent county or i state equalization can cure the defect. 
The latter deals with municipalities as units, but does not restore 
omitted property or correct inequalities in the local roll. Any in- 
crease in the valuation of a district for the purposes of equaliza- 
tion necessarily falls upon the property already on the roll, and 
according to the valuation given it, however unequal that may be. 
Property which has been omitted still escapes, and that which ap- 
pears on the roll, already over-assessed, must bear the increased 
burden. Equitable distribution of the property tax can only be 
secured by proper local assessment. 

The legislature early recognized this principle by requiring all 
property to be assessed according to the same standard, but that 
it was not sanguine of securing this result is indicated by the fur- 
ther provision for the equalization of assessments within each dis- 
trict and between different districts through state and county 



24 REiPORT OiP THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMIiSSION. 

equalization. Of coarse, if the original asBessments were made on 
a uniform basis as the law prescribes, no further equalization 
would be necessary. The utter failure to secure either legal or 
equitable assessments by the prevailing method has been recog- 
nized by courts, commissions, and administrators everywhere and 
is a matter of common knowledge. The subject was fully dis- 
cussed in former reports and need not be repeated here. It suf- 
ficiently *appears from the fact that after sixty years of experience 
the average rate of the assessment of all property in the state of 
Wisconsin for the year 1911 was less than 65 per cent of its true 
value, while specific descriptions of proi>erty were assessed all the 
way from 10 to 200 per cent of their value. 

The act creating the commission empowered it to cause com- 
plaints to be made for violation of the assessment laws and to 
apply for the removal of assessors but only dissatisfied taxpayers 
could make the complaint and only the district attorney could 
prosecute. The law's delay is proverbial, the assessment season 
short, and the average district attorney not overzealous in antagon- 
izing the sentiment of the community whose commission he bears. 
It is needless to state that this remedy proved of little value. The 
statute authorizing the reassessment of any town, city, or village 
when the original assessment was not made in substantial com- 
pliance with law, and public interest required such reassessment, 
was enacted the same year and proved a very material aid so long 
as the commission was permitted to act on its own motion. In 
1911 the ofiice of assessors of incomes was created and the duties 
formerly imposed on supervisors of assessment were transferred 
to them. These ofilcers are appointed by the tax commission un- 
der civil service rules and have proved a very intelligent and use- 
ful force, but their powers are only advisory and the reassessment 
statute remains as the only remedy for compelling obedience to 
the law. 

By the aid of these two agencies substantial improvement has 
been made, as shown by the fact that between 1912 and 1919 the 
average ratio of assessed to true value for all property in the 
state increased from less than 65 per cent to 87 per cent, and that 
the most flagrant inequalities have been removed. But this re- 
sult has been secured at the cost of much needless friction and at 
an enormous waste of time and energy. The practice of under- 
valuation is one of long standing, based upon widespread misun- 
derstanding as to its effect. The prejudice against a full value 
assessment in some districts amounts to a fetish and the effort to 
secure it provokes violent opposition. Of course, this prejudice 
has no justification in reason or law but it exists just the same. 
Through a campaign of education it has been largely overcome in 
the southern part of the state where values are reasonably Certain 



COUNTY ASSESSORS; KEASSBSSMENTS. 25 

« 

and stable and greater respect for law prevails, but it still per- 
sists in many northern districts. 

Efforts to prevent such discrimination and compel some recog- 
nition of the assessment laws provoke bitter opposition, but that 
is not an unnatural outgrowth of our antiquated and illogical sys- 
tem of assessment machinery, which imposes upon the tax com- 
mission the duty of securing proper and equal assessments and 
then industriously denies them every means of securing that result. 

At its 1914 meeting the National Tax Association appointed a 
committee to investigate and report upon the method of selecting 
assessors. The committee was made up of representatives of six 
different states, chosen for their acknowledged ^^bility as adminis- 
trators and tax experts. The report of the committee submitted 
at the 1915 conference summarized the situation in the following 
language: 

The office of assessor, as at present constituted in nearly all 
States of the union, because of the meager pay and small import- 
ance attached to it by i^ople generally,, is seldom sought after and 
rarely filled by capable men. More often than not, m»en competent 
to make a good assessment if tendered the position, refuse to ac- 
cept. Not infrequently the place is given to some one simply be- 
cause he needs it or because he will do the work for less than any- 
body else or because he will be an easy mark for influential tax 
dodgers. Men of this type soon discover that the surest way to re- 
main long in office is to be easy apd accommodating AND ABOVE 
ALL TO KEEP THE ASSESSMENT OF THEIR DISTRICT DOWN 
TO THE LOWEST POSSIBLE POINT. The inevitable outcome is 
of course a low assessment and the usual outcome is an assessment 
that is most glaringly unjust. 

Similar expressions might be quoted from tax authorities every- 
where. It would be unjust, however, to classify Wisconsin assess- 
ors generally as mere *'good fellows" or "ne'er-do-wells" or 
"easy" in the sense of yielding to what they believe to be unjust. 
Undoubtedly, officers of this stamp are to be found but the ma- 
jority of our assessors are fairly intelligent and well meaning men, 
ranking well up with the average of their communities. In many 
cases they are both able and willing to make a proper assessment 
and would do so if relieved from the pressure for under-valuation. 
Their failure to do so is traceable in most cases to the sentiment 
of their communities and their unwillingness to incur the dis- 
pleasure of their neighbors and friends rather than by desire to 
retain office or show favoritism. This attitude is natural enough 
under present conditions, and the remedy is not by abuse of the 
assessor but by change in the system. Unless perpetual friction 
is desired, a change in our assessment machinery should be made. 



26 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

Proposed Remedy 

The complete remedy for this situation undoubtedly would be a 
force of assessors appointed by the tax commission or other state 
agency under civil service rules, working under the direction of 
and subject to removal by the appointing power. All adminis- 
trators and students of taxation agree in this view. 

In discussing the subject before the National Tax Association 
in 1913, Honorable D. M. Link, Tax Commissioner of Indiana, 
said: The ideal system would comprehend machinery as inde- 
pendent of local influence as the Internal Revenue Department of 
the Federal Government. But this is an ideal which can only be 
attained through the process of evolution and not by revolution. 

This is also the conclusion of the committee appointed to report 
on the Methods of Selecting Assessors, above referred to. 

But this system is not available in Wisconsin for two obvious 
reasons: First, It conflicts with the much vaunted and more 
abused principle of home rule, to which our people have become 
accustomed, and are strongly attached. Second, because this 
method of selecting local officers is prohibited by Section 9 of Ar- 
ticle XIII of the state constitution. So far as material that sec- 
tion reads: 

All county officers whose election or appointment is not pro- 
vided for by this constitution shall be elected by the electors of the 
resi>ective counties or appointed by the boards of supervisors or 
other county authorities as the legislature shall direct. 

The following clause prescribes the same rule for town, city, 
and village officers, so that whether the assessor so chosen be re- 
garded as a local or county officer, his appointment by state au- 
thority is prohibited. Further consideration of this plan is, there- 
fore, futile. Having in mind the impossibility or impracticability 
of the foregoing program in many states, this committee recom- 
mended an alternative plan in the following language: 

This plan, like that already outlined, makes the county the unit 
of government for assessment purposes, but unlike the other, the 
assessor instead of being appointed is elected by i>opular vote for a 
term of at least four years and is removable from office only for 
cause and in the same manner that other county officers are re- 
moved. This plan provides that no one shall be eligible to hold the 
office of assessor who has not passed a satisfactory civil service ex- 
amination to determine his fitness for the place and received a cer- 
tificate from the examining board showing that he is qualified to 
hold the position. *   It further provides that the assessor 
shall devote all his time to the work of his office and that when he 
is unable without assistance to properly assess all property in his 
county, he may under certain regulations and restrictions, appoint a 
sufficient number of deputies and assistants to insure a complete 
and accurate assessment. Such appointees in all cases to be se- 
lected from a civil service list and to be removed by the assessor 
at will. 



I 



COUNTY ASSESSORS; REiASSESSSMENTS. 27 

The model system of state and local taxation prepared and rec- 
ommended by the National Tax Association within the last three 
years after emphasizing the importance of assessments in tha 
process of taxation, declares: 

Assessment districts should be large enough to justify the em- 
ployment of at least one permanent official in each such district, 
who should receive a salary sufficient to make it possible for him 
to give all his time to the work. Such permanent assessors should 
be provided with well-equipped offices, a suitable, number of perma- 
nent clerks, and such part-time assistance as may be needed for a 
short period in each year. • Even if assessments are not made an- 
nually, there is always enough work of investigation and of keep- 
ing track of new developments to justify the employment of a 
permanent force. At present many assessment districts are too 
small to make proper compensation possible; and the result is that 
the work is done by persons who cannot give to it the time it ought 
to receive and seldom acquire the necessary expert and technical 
knowledge. MANIFESTLY, THE COUNTY IS A BETTER AS- 
SESSMENT DISTRICT THAN THE TOWNSHIP; AND GENER- 
ALLrY SPEAKING, WE MAY SUGGEST THAT IT IS UNDESIR- 
ABLE TO ERECT ASSESSMENT DISTRICTS SMALLER THAN A 
COUNTY UNLESS SUCH DISTRICTS HAVE A SUFFICIENT 
POPULATION TO ENABLE THEM TO EMPLOY AT LEAST ONE 
PERMANENT ASSESSOR AND A SUITABLE STAFF. 

This plan could be adapted to our situation by making the 
county the unit for assessment purposes instead of the local dis- 
trict, by prescribing definite qualifications under civil service rules 
as a condition of eligibility to the office of assessor, and by placing 
the work under the supervision of and making the incumbent sub- 
ject to removal by the tax commission. Instead of election by 
popular vote it may be preferable to have the assessor appointed 
by the county board, or such county authorities as the legislature 
may designate. The method of selection is relatively unimportant 
compared with the qualifications to be required, the permanency 
of tenure to be secured, and the freedom from local infiuence that 
would result. 

Xo Constituttonal Objection 

The consensus of expert opinion and our own experience point to 
the necessity and desirability of such a change and it is believed 
that it can be made without confiict with the constitution. The 
only effect would be to enlarge the assessment districts from the 
town, city, or village to the county unit and make the assessor a 
county instead of a local officer. The people of the county served, 
or their authorized representatives, would still make the selection 
without encroaching on the principle of home rule. In this way 
no violation of the constitution would result. 

The advantages to be derived from such a course would be: 
(1) A competent assessment force, permanently and continu- 
ously engaged in the work. 



28 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX OOMMIiSSION. 

(2) Uniformity of assessment as to all persons and classes of 
property in the county, thus doing away with local Influence and 
the friction incident to equalization by the county board. 

(3) The elimination of the incompetent and indifferent assessor 
with all the evils that follow in his train. 

(4) A great reduction in the assessment force and consequent 
reduction of expense. 

(5) The adoption of more uniform and systematic methods of 
assessment and a more equitable distribution of the tax burden. 

(6) Preservation of all the advantages without the disadvan- 
tages of the principle of home rule. 

We strongly recommend the adoption of this program as the 
greatest and most urgent measure of tax reform. 



REASSESSMENTS 

An indicated elsewhere in this chapter, the authority conferred 
on the tax commission to make reassessments by sections 1087 — ^45 
and 1087 — 52 in cases where the original assessment is radically 
defective, is the only means provided for compelling obedience to 
the assessment laws. The provisions for removal of assessors 
and imi>06ing penal fines are practically useless for the reason that 
complaint can seldom be made until the assessment is well ad- 
vanced and the delays incident to court procedure make it prac- 
tically impossible to bring these proceedings to a head until after 
the assessment season is closed. Moreover, both of these remedies 
merely penalize the assessor and neither of them operates to cor- 
rect the defects in the assessment itself. 

In this situation, it is all important that the tax commission be 
authorized to exercise the power of reassessment whenever condi- 
tions arise to require that course. The commission is in constant 
touch with assessment conditions through reports of assessors of 
incomes and correspondence from taxpayers who naturally look to 
it to correct inequalities and prevent discrimination. Many 
of these complaints are received during taxpaying time when 
property owners first learn of the inequitable assessment of 
their property. Some of them show such unmistakable violation 
of law and clear discrimination against the parties complaining 
as to call for summary relief, and property owners have difllculty 
in understanding what the tax commission is for if not to correct 
such abuses. In the case of non-residents or small taxpayers, it 
is practically impossible to secure the number of signers to a peti- 
tion now required as a condition for ordering a reassessment. 
Indeed, as the statute now stands, the remedy is not available to 



COUNTY ASSESSORS; RBASSEfSSMENTS. 29 

the average small taxpayer at all and is seldom invoked except by 
large land companies and timber owners. 

As originally enacted, the statute permitted reassessments to be 
made on the complaint of a single taxpayer. Later the commis- 
sion was authorized to act on its own motion. The amendment of 
the statute at the closing hours of the session of 1917 so aa to 
require a petition of the owners of ten per cent of the taxable 
property of the district in order to institute the proceedings, ma^ 
terially weakened and impaired the authority of the- commission 
and assessors of incomes throughout the state. The legislature 
of 1919 reduced the percentage of taxable property required to 
apply for a reassessment to five per cent of the assessed valuation 
of the entire district, but this has not materially improved the 
situation. At the same session a bill was introduced to authorize 
the correction of the assessment of specific classes or descriptions 
of property in cases of gross inequality or flagrant discrimination, 
but the bill as presented was so encumbered by limitations and 
amendments as to be practically useless. 

It is difficult to understand why a department charged with the 
duty of enforcing the assessment and tax laws and securing the 
equality guaranteed by the constitution should have its hands tied 
and feet hobbled in the performance of that duty. No such re- 
striction is placed upon any other department of the state govern- 
ment charged with the same or similar duties. For example, the 
agricultural department can order the destruction of valuable live 
stock infected with contagious disease. The dairy and food com- 
missioner can seize and confiscate impure food in the interest of 
public health; and the health department can quarantine resi- 
dences, shops and places of business and otherwise Interfere with 

I 

the business and daily activities of the community. Even the dis- 
trict attorney can make complaint on his own motion charging any 
citizen with a crime, thus bringing humiliation to him and his 
family. All of these officers are authorized to take these steps on 
their own motion and are not' required to secure a petition or 
take a referendum as to whether they will enforce the law or not. 
Surely, a reassessment for the purpose of equalizing assessments 
and equitably distributing the tax burden is a less drastic inter- 
ference with private rights than those above recited. Neverthe- 
less, for years past this department has been deprived of the only 
weapon in its possession for the performance of its full duty under 
the law for the sole reason that it may restrict the prerogatives of 
a local boss or displease a disgruntled partisan. 

It is not believed that the people of the state favor or desire 
these unreasonable restrictions on the administration of assess- 
ment and tax laws and it is hoped that the time has at last arrived 
when the subject can be considered with moderation and common 



30 REPORT OP THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

sense. If so, there is little doubt that the legislature will remove 
embarrassing limitations and restore the reassessment statute to 
its original form by authorizing the commission to order reassess- 
ments in the manner prescribed by the statute when conditions 
disclosed manifestly call for that course. An amendment to the 
law in this respect would prove a material aid In securing more 
equitable assessments and a fairer distribution of our constantly 
'^ increasing tax burden. 

f 






'.1 



INCOME TAX iLBGISLATION RECOMMENDED. 31 



CHAPTER HI 



INCOME TAX LEGISLATION RECOMMENDED 

Repeal of the PerBonal Property Tax Offset 

The tax commission has twice recommended the repeal of the 
personal property tax offset provision, first in its biennial report of 
1916, and then in its report of 1918, and renews the recommenda- 
tion in this report. 

Out of the ten or fifteen states that have enacted income tax 
laws, Wisconsin and North Dakota are the only ones that permit 
taxes paid on personal property to he used as an offset, to income 
taxes. North Dakota in framing its income tax law adopted sub- 
stantially the offset provision in the Wisconsin law. Hence, no 
sanction for the offset can be found in the legislation of other 
states. We must look to our own experience in, the past to guide 
us in the future. 

The provision under discussion reads as follows: 

Section 1087m — 26. Any person who shall have paid a tax 
assessed upon his personal property during any year shall be per- 
mitted to present the receipt therefor to the tax collector, together 
with any similar receipts for personal property taxes paid by mem- 
bers of his family whose incomes have been assessed to him, and 
have the same accepted bf the tax collector to their full amount 
in the payment of income taxes assessed against such person dur- 
ing said year; provided that no receipt for taxes paid on the 
shares of stock in any state, national or mutual savings bank or 
trust company shall be allowed as an offset against any income 
tax within the meaning of this section. If in any year a person 
failed or neglected, or, shall in the future fail or neglect, to pre- 
sent his personal propierty tax receipt in payment of income tax 
as provided by this section, and the council of the city or board 
of the town or village to which such taxes shall have been paid is 
satisfied that such person was entitled to such offset, and that by 
reason thereof, such person has paid to the town, city or village 
an amount In excess of that which he was legally obliged to pay, 
it may within two years after such payment remit such excess to 
such person without interest and charge the state and county for 
their respective proportions of such excess, as provided in sec- 
tion 1164. 

The first assessment of incomes in this state was made in 1912. 
The tax on this assessment was collected in 1913. The last as- 
sessment of which we have full data was made in 1919 and was 
collected in 1920. 

The following table shows the amount of income tax paid in 



32 REJPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

cash In each year and the amount paid by perBonal property tas 
offaet since tha incidence of tlxe law: 



JUD«SI) 


TOtW 


CoHectionH 


' "toui - 


OffseU 


 "ToTal "■ 


































































































Totals.. 


52.m,m.S! 


2a.wn.iw. It 


fi6.23 


23,116.421.11 


41.77 



From the above table it appears that during the period of state 
income 'taxation, there has been collected 152,813,681, of which 
J33, 116,131, or 43.77% of the whole, was paid with personal prop- 
erty tas receipts and yielded no income. That Is to say, on an 
average approximately |3. 000, 000 of aEsessed income tax has been 
annually forgiven taxpayers and stricken from the rolls because, 
forsooth, they were the fortunate possessors of some millions of 
dollars of personal property as welt as the recipients of this vast 
amount of income. But for the operation of the offset, tlie revenue 
actually available for public expenditures during the last eight 
years would have been increased from Income taxation by over 
(23,000,000 and the general property tax decreased by the same 
amount. 

We submit below another table showing the total personal prop- 
erty tax oitset used in cities in comparison with that used In towns 
and villages during the years 1916 to 1920 Inclusive. 

TABLE i 





" Used 


Total In 
Cities 


Totsl in 




$1,8^,641.62 

III! 


t .503,065.80 

•iill 


























J17.6!3,478.K 


il4, 800.424.94 









It appears from the above data that the total offset used in the 
years 1916 to 1920 was 517,623.479, of which $2,823,054 was used 
In towns and villages and (14,800,425 In cities. In percentages, 
appToxImately 16% of the whole was used in villages and towns 
and 84% In cities. 



I 



INCOME TAX LEGISLATION RECOMMENDED. 



33 



00 



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Tax Per 

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336,472.15 
256,245.48 
201.715.93 

156,387.94 
129,415.42 
115,124.50 
104,074.60 
94.734.14 

81.857.19 

74,284.96 

76,938.95 

128.037.73 

396.433.01 

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64,125.33 

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34 RDPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 





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COME TAX iiEWISLATlON RECOMMENDED. 



35 



I statistical infoi-mation it follows that the repeal of 
-^^ ^^..^w i^'OTislon would bear more heavily on the city popula- 
tion where large incomes are produced than on the country popu- 
lation where incomes are relatively small. What 1b said above 
applies to corporations with even greater force than to individuals 
as with few exceptions corporations producing taxable income are 
located In cities. 

Income tax Table 3 shows the number of individual income tax- 
payers in the state and classifies Incomes from fl.OOO to $100,000, 
and Table 4 claesifles taxpayers by vocations and shows the amount 
of tax assessed in each vocation. 



BdslDess In which EngMced 



1, GrnlD anii rarm croducF 

2. iQveatment nod securll; companiec 

4 tFlerc&ntUe— tetaii and wholasaie... 
S. MlnliiB 

i. MBDufoCtlirlDSt Tl>tKl 

(a) AlumlaQin 

(b) Bootsaod shoes 

<c) CaanioE. 

(d) Dairy Droducta 

(r) Gas. eleclrlc and water 

(gi Flour and teedmlllii 

(fi) Iron and stoel 

II) Lumber 

(J) Mall products 

Ik) Meat nackina 

11) Motor vehicles 

'nl Tanneries 

(o) Teitile 

(p) Trunks and leather gt>odN. 

(ci) Other 

7. Miscellaneous 



,S98 S;. 190.139. 1! 



s s 



or THE WISCONSIN TAX C0MMI68IDN. 



iU 

m 



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iiiiiiiiliiisl ^ 



INCOME TAX iLEaiSLATION RECOMMENDED. 37 

From table number 3, it will be noticed that the total number 
of individual taxpayers in iai9 with taxable incomes of $1,000 or 
less was 146,015, and the average tax assessed against each was 
$4.00+. The total number assessed was 206,626. On this basis, 
should the family exemption be increased to $2,500 or more, as is 
proposed, all taxpayers with less than $2,500 of net income would 
not in the future be assessed. This will reduce the total of tax- 
able persons to something less than 60,000. 

While the total number of farmers in the state on January 1, 
1920, was 189,000 according to the U. S. Census report and 182,000 
on January 1, 1919, according to our own department of agri- 
culture, only 35,000 were assessed for income tax, and of these, 
the average tax was only $15.00+, as appears from Table 4. The 
average assessment was $1,209. With the proposed increase in 
family exemption, assessment against farmers would, therefore, 
practically disappear. The same may be said of laborers or wage 
earners, and to a large extent, professional men and women. 

Referring to Table 6 it will be found that the total number of 
corporations assessed in, 1920 was 6,921; that the total tax as- 
sessed was $7,390,439; and that of this amount 85.14% was as- 
sessed to 802 corporations. 

The conclusions to be drawn from the foregoing statements are: 

First, that the proposed repeal of the offset in its practical op- 
eration would affect in the main, city taxpayers to the exclusion 
of taxpayers in villages and towns; 

Second, that it would not materially add to the tax burdens of 
farmers, laborers, or in any large number, of salaried or profes- 
sional men; 

Third, that the increased burden from its repeal would fall 
principally on merchants, manufacturers, capitalists, and others 
enjoying large incomes. 

What is said above is not presented so much as an argument for 
the repeal of the offset provision as to present certain facts in con- 
nection therewith that should be considered, showing what the 
proposed repeal would mean in revenue, and the localities and 
classes of taxpayers that would be most affected thereby. 

The best reason for the repeal of the personal property tax off- 
set lie& in the fact that it has no proper place in an income tax 
law. It is a mere device, the tendency of which is to defeat in- 
come taxation. It was introduced into the law under the pre- 
tense that it would supplant or practically abrogate personal prop- 
erty taxation. It claimed no othei] right to a place in the law. 
To substantiate this statement, we quote, first, from the message 
of the governor to the legislature upon his approval of the law at 
the time it was passed: 

Because personal property taxation has broken down and the 
burden upon real estate is daily increasing, the prime desideratum 



38 RBDPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

at this time is improvement in local taxation. This improrement 
is here attempted by providing an income tax. It comes to the 
people of Wisconsin, therefore, as a relief rather than as a burden; 
as a substitute for something that has failed rather than as an 
additional tax. 

Second, from the Wisconsin Tax Commission: 

Those who followed the agitation will recall that one of the 
common arguments In favor of the Income tax was that it should 
displace the personal property tax. 

Third, from the opinion of the Supreme Court, sustaining this 
provision of the law. Referring to the enactment of the offset 
provision, It said: 

It was evidently done with the idea of accomplishing without 
too violent a shock to taxing machinery a substantial elimination 
of personal property taxation and the substitution therefor of abil- 
ity taxation. 

Again: 

By the present law it is quite clear that personal property taxa- 
tion for all practical purposes becomes a thing of the past. The 
specific exemptions of all money and credits and the great bulk of 
stocks and bonds, as well as of all farm machinery, tools, wearing 
apparel, and household furniture in actual use, regardless of value, 
goes far to eliminate taxation of personal property while the pro- 
vision that he who pays personal property taxes may have the 
amount so paid credited on his income tax for the year seems to 
put an end to any effective taxation of personal property. That 
taxation of such property has proven a practical failure will be 
admitted by all who have given any attention to the subject. 
Doubtless, this was one of the main arguments in the legislative 
mind for the passage of the present act. By this act the legis- 
lature has in substance declared that the state's system of taxa- 
tion shall be changed from a system of uniform taxation of prop- 
erty (which so far as personal property is concerned has proven a 
failure) to a system which shall be a combination of two ideas; 
namely, taxation of persons progressively according to ability to 
pay and taxation of real property uniformly according to value. 

That upon the passage of the income tax law, personal property \ 

taxation would be substantially eliminated from our tax system I 

seems to have been the accepted theory of the legislature which 
passed the law, the governor who approved it, the court which de- 
clared it constitutional, and the tax commission which afterwards i 
administered it. And it should be particularly noted that the off- j 
set provision, when attacked as unconstitutional, was sustained by 1 
the court on the sole ground that it would work a substantial elim- 
ination of personal property taxation. 

Experience, however, has proved the utter groundlessness of 
the claim. The income tax with the offset has never been, and 



INCOME TAX iLEOISLATION RECOMMENDED. 39 

never will be, a substitute for personal property taxation. It has 
fallen so far short of it as to make the promise that at would abro- 
gate personal property taxation seem a mere travesty. We wonder 
now how such an idle promise could ever have been made or ser- 
iously considered as affording sufficient ground for introducing the 
provision into the law or sustaining it as constitutional. In 1911 
before the income tax law was in force, the assessment of personal 
property in the state was $366,386,379, and the tax thereon at the 
average local rate was $6,262,000. In 1912, notwithstanding the 
exemption from taxation of moneys and credits, farm machinery, 
household furniture, etc., exempted by the income tax law, the 
personal property assessment was $356,629,923, the tax on which 
at the average local rate was $5,765,000, of which $1,609,711 was 
used as offset to income tax and the balance was collected in cash, 
leaving $4,154,289 of personal property tax for which the income 
taxi was not in that year a substitute. In 1917, the assessment 
of personal property on the local roll was $570,941,372 and the 
tax -at the average local rate was $9,308,000, of which $3,307,435 
was used £is an offset to income tax, leaving $6,563,000 which was 
not used in that year as a substitute for income taxation. In 1919, 
the total tax levied on personal property was $15,208,000, of which 
$5,571,606 was used as offset to income tax, leaving $9,637,000 
for which income tax was not in that year a substitute. 

Thus it will be seen that the assessment of personal property 
has steadily increased since the income tax law was adopted and 
that, after allowing for all personal property tax offsets, the 
amount actually collected in cash in 1920 exceeded by more than 
$3,000,000, the total amount of personal property tax assessed 
before the adoption of income taxation. 

The offset provision, therefore, has proved an utter failure so 
far as accomplishing its purpose is concerned, and experience hav- 
ing shown that it found its way into the law, so to speak, under 
false pretences, why longer retain it? 

If it is desired to eliminate the personal property tax from our 
system of taxation, the obvious way to do so is to enact suitable 
legislation, repealing the personal property tax laws. In its bi- 
ennial report of 1914, the commission discussed this subject quite 
fully. It summed up its discussion by saying, 

The commission believes that far greater simplicity in adminis- 
tration and reduction of public expense as well as a more equitable 
distribution of the tax burden will result if all personal property 
be exempted from the general tax roll. Such a course would re- 
quire a revision of the statutory classification of property. 

But there are many other reasons calling for the repeal of the 
offset provision, to some of which attention is briefly called. 

First, during the 1919 session of the legislature, an exhaustive 



40 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

hearings was had before the Taxation Committee of the Assembly 
on the proposition to repeal the offset provision. Almost the en- 
tire businesfl interests of the state were represented at the hear- 
ing in opptTsition to the repeal. The main argument advanced 
against the repeal was that It would greatly increase the tax of 
those persons who receive large Incomes and would, in conse- 
quence, be disastrous to the commercial and industrial interests of 
the state. This was the fundamental objection urged at that hear- 
ing, and by a curious coincidence was exactly the same argument 
that was used against the enactment of any Income tax law. It 
deserves no more attention than it did in 1911. The predicted 
disaster did not follow the enactment of the original law, and It is 
safe to say it will not follow the repeal of the personal property 
tax offset. True, it must be conceded, as claimed, that the repeal 
of the offset will in many cases increase the tax burden of those 
enjoying large incomes, but it will seem to many that this is the 
very reason why it should be repealed. Its repeal simply means 
taxing .the opulent and fortunate possessor of a large income in 
accordance with the admittedly just principle of "ability to pay" 
and by that much relieving the less opulent and less fortunate man 
upon whose income or property any tax strains the "ability" prin- 
ciple to the limit. 

Second, the offset is not in keeping with uniform, graduated, 
and progressive taxation in accordance 'with the constitutional 
amendment adopted by the people. It is true that in the first 
section the law declares boldly that, "There shall be assessed, 
levied, collected and paid a tax upon incomes received during the 
year ending December 31, 1911, and upon all incomes received an- 
nually thereafter,'* etc. But strangely, the offset section intro- 
duced in the last part of the law, apparently as an afterthought, 
provides that nearly one-half of the tax lawfully assessed and 
levied need not be collected and paid. The result is to place a 
tax burden on one income and exempt another of the same size, 
either in whole or in part. To illustrate. A, B, and C are each 
assessed an income tax of $75. A owns a Cadillac upon which the 
tax is $75; B owns a Hudson upon which the tax is $50; C, being 
in more moderate circumstances, is not the owner of an automo- 
bile and has no personal property tax. A, the owner of the 
Cadillac pays no income tax at all; B, the owner of a Hudson, pays 
a tax of $25; but C who is unable to afford an automobile pays a 
tax of $75. Thus, a person with a large income must pay a tax on 
all of it or part of it or on none of it, just according to the amount 
of personal property he may have been fortunate enough to ac- 
cumulate. In other words, the amount of income tax a person 
must pay is measured not by the amount of income received but 
the amount of personal property owned. Taxation under the per- 
sonal property tax offset is the reverse of "ability taxation." The 



INCOME TAX LEiGISLATION RECOMMENDED. 41 

more one has of this world's goods, the less his income tax. This 
is progression and graduation in the wrong direction and is cer- 
tainly not what is meant by the constitutional amendment when it 
said, "Taxes may be graduated and progressive." Indeed, it is 
difficult to reconcile on any principle of justice the taxing of ane 
person on personal property anji another person on income and 
where the income received and the personal property is owned by 
the same person, taxing one and exempting the other. If both 
are proper subjects of taxation, both should be taxed regardless 
of ownership. If one or the other is not a proper subject of tax- 
ation, it should not be taxed at all. 

Third, the offset discriminates against real estate owners. Real 
estate taxation cannot be used as an offset against income taxa- 
tion. Is this just? We can find no reason why, when one person 
engaged in manufacturing, owning his own building and machin- 
ery, both being assessed as real estate, no offset is allowed, while 
another engaged in the same kind of business, occupying and rent- 
ing a building, owning his own machinery assessed as personal' 
property, pays no income tax. Both enjoy the same income, con- 
duct the same kind of business, but the one who owns his own 
building is precluded from using the tax paid on it as an offset to 
his income tax while the other is permitted to use his personal 
property tax receipt to extinguish his income tax. In short, one 
person pays a tax on his income and the other, under practically 
the same circumstances, pays none. 

Fourth, another serious inequality is caused by the difficulty in 
properly administering the offset. Those who have income taxes 
to pay are interested in having as much of their taxable property 
as possible assessed as personal property. It is well known that 
local assessors are pressed by taxpayers to assess machinery* and 
other fixtures as personal property while the law denominates such 
property as real estate. Assessors with their proverbial tendency 
to follow the lines of least resistance in the performance of their 
official duties too often yield to the pressure. The result is that 
large amounts of property which should be assessed as real estate 
are assessed as personal property and used as offsets to income 
tax. One taxpayer gets the benefit of the good nature of the as- 
sessor while his neighbor receives no such favor. There is no pro- 
tection against this abuse. Illustrative of this criticism, attention 
is called to the recent case of State of Wisconsin ex rel Gisholt 
Company vs. O. S. Norsman, reported in 167 Wis. 429, in which 
the lower court held that certain property assessed as real estate 
at $301,173 should have been assessed as personal property. In 
reversing the lower court, the Supreme Court said: 

The relators contend and the circuit court held that this ma- 
chinery is personal property and should have been so assessed. 
This presents the main question for consideration. It is import- 



42 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX OOMMIiSSION. 

ant because if the property assessed is personalty, the tax thereon 
operates as an offset to the income tax paid by the relator. 

The Supreme Court restored to the real estate assessment roll 
over 1300,000, resulting in largely decreasing the offset which the 
relators would otherwise have enjoyed, and which doubtless it im- 
properly had enjoyed in previous years. This Is only an example 
of many instances of similar nature that might be cited in which 
the public has been unlawfully deprived of large amounts of in- 
come tax by the placing of real estate on the personal property tax 
roll through the ignorance or indifference of assessors. One as-' 
sessor makes a lawful assessment; another, an unlawful one; and 
one taxpayer pays a larger tax than he should, and another a 
smaller one. This discrimination might be avoided, of course, if 
each taxpayer would see to it that his assessment was properly 
made, but so prone is human nature to avoid taxes that no such 
ideal condition can be expected in the near future. Until this 
happy time arrives, revenue laws to be effective must be strict in 
their terms, even to harshness, and be strictly enforced by tax 
officers. 

Fifth, the question of the repeal of the offset should be con- 
sidered in connection with increasing public expenditures. How 
are such increases to be provided for, — in part by a larger tax on 
incomes, or wholly by a larger tax on property? In 1910, state, 
county, and local taxes levied on general property amounted to 
$30,675,518. In 1919 the levy was $77,128,834, an increase in 
ten years of $46,453,316. As previously stated, had there been 
no personal property tax offset, this enormous increase in property 
taxation might have been decreased by over $23,000,000. Prop- 
erty tax levies are increasing at the average rate of over $4,600,000 
a year and are quite likely to increase still further. If the off- 
set provision shall be repealed, something over $3,000,000 an- 
nually may be expected from income taxation over that now re- 
ceived from that source, which, assuming that public expenditures 
have reached the maximum, will reduce property taxation by the 
same amount. Assuming that the rate of increase in public ex- 
penditures will continue, the additional income tax would, at least, 
meet in part, such increase and help hold down property tax rates. 

Sixth, in addition to the foregoing objections, the unnecessary 
expense which the offset incurs is one well worth considering. It 
has been shown that 43.77% of all income tax levied during the last 
eight years was paid by personal property tax receipts and yielded 
no income. All the time consumed and the expense incurred in 
assessing nearly one-half of all income tax represents sheer waste. 
The tax commission and the assessors of incomes must, of neces- 
sity, devote as much time to the assessment of taxes extinguished 
by the offset as those that are to be collected. They must all pass 



INCOME TAX LEGISLATION RECOMMENDED. 43 

through the same channel. Returns must be made by taxpayers, 
the income assessed, the tax computed and certified to the county 
clerks of the various counties of the state and by them, in turn, 
certified to the town, city, and village clerks, and by them to town, 
city, and village treasurers at which point they disappear. From 
the beginning to the end, the income tax assessed which is extin- 
guished by the personal property tax offset represents useless ex- 
pense, both of time and money. 

In brief, the reasons urged by the commission for the repeal of 
the offset provision may be restated as follows: 

First, it is entirely foreign to any true conception of income tax- 
ation and tends to defeat rather than to promote that form of tax- 
ation; 

Second, it is wholly inconsistent with ''ability taxation"; 

Third, it deprives the state and the municipalities therein of 
large revenue to which they are justly entitled; 

Fourth, it favors thoQe best able to pay. and is discriminating 
between taxpayers; 

Fifth, in administration it entails a waste of public funds. 

Individual Incomes, Assessment of 

Under the law only such income as is derived from sources 
within the state is subject to taxation. In all countries where 
the income tax law is in force, income of their own citizens 
whether earned at home or abroad is subject to taxation. Under 
the federal income tax law, income received by subjects of this 
country is taxed notwithstanding a part or all of it may have been 
deriviBd from property or business located abroad. Other prece- 
dents may be found in the recent personal income tax laws of 
Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, and Connecticut, all of which 
provide for the taxation of all the net income of individual resi- 
dents regardless of the source from which derived. We recom- 
mend the incorporation of this principle in the Wisconsin law so 
far as it applies to individuals. 

Exemptions 

We recommend a change in the section providing for family ex- 
emptions, extending the exemption to nonresidents having taxable 
income in this state, to conform to the recent decision of the Su- 
preme Court of the United States wherein it was held that a pro- 
vision in the income tax law of New Yorkl identical with that in 
Wisconsin, denying exemption to nonresidents, violated Section 2 
of Article 4 of the United States Constitution and was null and 
void. Travis vs. Yale and Towne Manufacturing Co., 252 U. S. 60. 

While there is warrant for an increase in the family exemptions 
under present economic conditions, the commission refrains from 

• 

making any specific recommendation on the subject. In passing, 
however, it may be said that a material Increase in such exemption 



• 



44 REPORT OP THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

would cause a material decrease in the number of taxable persons 
and a consequent decrease in taxable income. This loss, however, 
will in all probability be more than made up if the foregoing pro- 
posed changes are adopted, especially if such legislation shall be 
supplemented by a moderate increase in rates of taxation on indi- 
vidual incomes. 

Bank Dividends 

In the event that the personal property tax offset provision shall 
be abolished, we recommend that the provision of the law exempt- 
ing bank dividends from taxation be repealed and such dividends 
be taxed as other dividends are taxed. 

Publicity 

Much has been said and written in advocacy of publicity of in- 
come tax returns. Some advocate making the returns public 
records open to the inspection of everybody under the same rules 
and regulations as other public records and documents are open 
to the public. This is strongly objected to on the ground that in- 
come tax returns should be treated as confidential communications 
and used only as a basis for taxation. This was undoubtedly the 
original conception of the authors of the law and the legislature 
which enacted it. The commission is of the opinion that a middle 
ground may now fairly be taken. It is believed that income tax 
returns contain ,valuable information "which might well be made 
available for statistical purposes and as a guide to legislation along 
lines of taxation and for other legitimate purposes. During the 
last year, the Division of Markets and certain civic bodies have 
sought for information for the purpose of more effectively carrying 
on their respective activities but the commission has been obliged 
to withhold it because of the secrecy clause in the law. While 
the commission does not believe it wise to open up the returns to 
the general public, it is of the opinion that access to them may 
properly be given, at least, to other departments of state for proper 
purposes under appropriate rules and regulations. 

Dividend Deductions, Limitation of 

The income tax law provides that dividends paid out of earnings 
of a corporation shall be exempt from taxation when received by 
stockholders to the extent that such earnings have been taxed. In 
analogy with the federal surtax act, it is suggested that the divi- 
dend deduction allowed individuals be reduced to $5,000. Should 
this recommendation be followed, it is predicted that the income 
assessed will be considerably greater and that those individuals 
whose taxable incomes are increased will, with the exemption of 
1 5,0 00 plus the family exemption, have sufficient income left un- 
touched by tax upon which to live In comparative comfort. To 
Illustrate what is meant by this recommendation, assume that a 



INCOME TAX I^XJISLATION RBOOMMBNDED. 45 

as an income of $10,000, all in dividends from Wisconsin 
ations. Under the law he would be allowed flrst, a. family 
tion of $2,600 — assuming that the exemption shall be In- 
i to that amount. To this, there would be added a dividend 
ion of $5,000, making a total of $7,500, leaving a taxable 
I of $2,500, the tax on which at present rates uould be $30. 
ertainly would be no hardship. 

Increase In 

increase in the rate on corporation incomes is recommended. 
eight of the Increase in taxation by reason of the repeal of 
set provision will fall heavily on corporations and will prob' 
lace on them all the additional tax burdens they ought to 
There is a limit beyond which corporations, H they are to 
ind remain in the state, ought not to be taxed, 
re is no law requiring corporations to maintain a corporate 
ice in this state, or to compel persons doing business here to 
orate, and it may be taken as an accepted truth that when 
ation taxes get so high as to make it profitable (or corpora- 
;o emigrate or dissolve, they will not hesitate to do so. The 
of New York seems to have recognized this principle in 
ig its corporation income tax law by exempting from tax- 
all personal property owned by corporations taxable there- 
commission does, however, recommend that the rate of tax- 
on Individual incomes be increased to correspond at least 
he rate now In force on corporation incomes. We can see no 
I why an income whether received by a corporation and an In- 
al should not bear the same rate Just aa the same rate of 
3n is applied to real and personal property whether owned 
individual or corporation. 

connection with the foregoing recommendation, attention Is 
ed to the character of income tax legislation that has been 
id since the Income tax law was originally adopted. In gen- 
It may be said that such legislation either granted new de- 
ins, enlarged old ones, or restricted the meaning of the term 
ne" so as to exclude what was before taxable. 
detail, these laws are: 

Chapter 615, laws of 1913, (a) exempting bank dividends 
taxation; (b) exempting from taxation the income of banks, 
companies, and building and loan associations. 
Chapter 2B3, laws of 191E, which added to the Hat of de- 
>ns "all inheritances, devises, bequests, gifts", and practically 
e insurance. 

By Chapter 347, laws of 1917, the term "dividends" was de- 
to mean "any distribution made by a corporation out of earn- 
ir profits accrued since January 1, 1911, and paid to its share- 



46 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX CJOMMLSSION. 

holders whether in cash or in stock." Previous to the enactment 
of this amendment, dividends were taxable to shareholders receiv- 
ing them whether earned before or after January 1, 1911. Since 
the passage of this act, corporations frequently have confined their 
distribution of profits in the way of dividends to surplus accrued 
prior to January 1, 1911, and thereby, have withdrawn from tax- 
ation a very large volume of income. And in all cases of liquida- 
tion, surplus accumulated prior to January 1, 1911, now goes to 
stockholders free from all tax liability. 

4. Chapter 248, laws of 1917, fixed the basis of determining 
profits on the sale of capital assets acquired before January 1, 
1911, as the fair market value thereof on January 1, 1911. Since 
the passage of this amendment, a general disposition on the part 
of taxpayers has been manifest in the case of sales of property ac- 
quired prior to January 1, 1911, to vigorously insist that the fair 
market value as of Januai'y 1, 1911, was equal, and in many cases 
greater, than the amount received on the sale. 

5. Chapter 374, laws of 1917, exempted from taxation the esti- 
mated rental of the homestead occupied by the owner. 

6. Chapter 231, laws of 1917, increased the deductions by addi/ 
ing cash bonuses paid employees and practically all interest paid 
by corporations, while previous to this amendment a corporation, 
could not deduct interest on an indebtedness in excess of its paid 
up capital stock. 

7. Chapter 147, inlaws of 1919, made further inroads on the in- 
come tax by making contributions and gifts to religious, charital;)le, 
scientific, and educational associations deductions from income. 

8. Chapter 435, laws of 1919, added to the list of deductions 
excess profits and war taxes paid to the United States government. 
The effect of this amendment is evident in the assessment of in- 
comes for the year 1920, the assessment of that year being less than 
that of 1919 by $658,246. 

Thus it will be seen that the whole tendency of recent legislation 
has been to limit the scope of the income tax law and reduce its 
yield. We do not say this in the way of criticism for most of 
these amendments have been enacted at the suggestion or with the 
approval of the tax commission. The point we want to emphasize 
is this: That almost every amendment offered which would in any 
manner lighten the burdens of income taxpayers has been enacted, 
while amendments suggested that would tend to increase the reve- 
nue from income taxation have been rejected. Clearly, if this 
process of elimination of taxable incomes goes on long enough and 
no substitute is adopted, the Wisconsin income tax law will be- 
come a mere shadow. 

We point out the danger at this time because the period of de- 
clining incomes has arrived. For four years incomes have been 



INCOME TAX LEGISLATION RECOMMENDED. 47 

abnormally large and the effect of the legislative program has not 
been materially felt but with the reversion to something like nor- 
mal incomes we will get its full force, and the net revenue from 
income taxation will show a marked falling off because of the 
amendments referred to, and this at a time when public expend- 
itures are rapidly increasing. 

As a matter of information, attention is called to the following 
classes of corporations whose income is wholly exempt from tax- 
ation by express statute, Sec. 1087m — 5, paragraphs 2 and 3. 
Whether or not the exclusion of some of these classes from the 
operation of the law should be continued longer is a question that 
is submitted for consideration. 

State banks 

National banks 

Mutual savings banks 

Trust companies 

Mutual loan corporations 

Building and loan associations 

Religious, scientific^ educational, benevolent, or other corpora- 
tions or associations not organized for pecuniary profit 

Railroad companies 

Palace and sleeping car companies 

Freight line and equipment companies 

Express companies 

Street railway companies including connected electric light, heat 
and power companies 

Telegraph companies 

Fire insurance companies 

Life insurance companies 

Accident, surety, etc. companies 

Telephone companies 

Title guaranty companies 

Conservation and regulation companies. 

* 

These recommendations are made in pursuance of the mandate 
of the law which requires the commission "to investigate the tax 
systems of other states and countries and to formulate and recom- 
mend such legislation as may be deemed expedient to prevent the 
evasion of assessment and tax laws, and to secure just and equal 
taxation and improvement in the system of taxation in the state." 



48 RE3iPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COIOilSiSION. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE INCOME TAX AS A SOURCE OF MUNICIPAL 

REVENUE 

An Address Delivered by Thos. E. Lyons of the Wisconsin Tax Com- 
mission Before the League of Minnesota Municipalities At 

Bemldji June 17. 1920 

Introduction 

Income taxes are based upon the principle of contribution to the 
support of the goyernment in proportion to ability to pay, — a. principle 
nearly as old as the history of public finance. With the single excep- 
tion of the poll or capitation tax, every system of taxation which has 
ever been widely used dimly recognized this principle. The tithes of 
Biblical times, the Roman or Italian estimo, the French dixieme, the 
English tenth and fifteenth, and the more modern taxes on production, 
consumption and general property, were all designed as rough meas- 
ures of ability to pay. Indeed, the history of public finance represents 
little more than the successive steps in the evolution of this principle 
and the Income tax marks its latest and most perfect development. 
The income tax, therefore, is neither new nor experimental in principle 
but an old and well established form of taxation, developed in recent 
times into a great branch of the science of public finance. 

While the principle underlying this form of taxation was early 
recognized, it was not until 1842 that income taxation in its modern 
form was fully developed and established. The English act of that 
year introduced by Sir Robert Peel, to compensate for the loss of 
revenue resulting from the repeal of the corn laws, is the parent of 
all modern income taxes. Although this act was intended to meet a 
special emergency with an express promise of repeal as soon as the 
emergency should have passed, the English government has never, 
been able to repeal it, and the income tax now constitutes the key- 
stone of the arch of the British fiscal system. The permanent adop- 
tion of income taxes in England was followed by various attempts to 
introduce the tax in Germany, resulting in the Prussian act of 1891, 
which was soon followed in many other German states. 

Within the last half century the taxation of income has been intro- 
duced in all the advanced countries of the world, and is now in suc- 
cessful operation in England, Germany, (Prance, Belgium, Denmark, 



THE INCOME TAX AS A MUNICIPAL REVENUE. 49 

, Sweden, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, India, Japan. 
Hawaii, Canada, New Zealand, Austria, and the United States, 
tme of the Btatea, provinces or political subdivisions of theae 
>s. The Income tax tias the sanction of economists, legislatures. 
irtB throughout the world, and a long precedent of successful 
m under widely varying conditions. In view o[ this record, 
sumption is strongly in favor of th!s form of taxation, and the 
of proof rests heavily on the shoulders of Its critics to malie 
elr claims. 

! so-called faculty taxes found favor and were employed in some 
\meTlcan colonies during tne colonial period, the general prop- 
{ was the common and general method of raising revenue, and 
the prevailing system in all the American states. This form 
tiou was well suited to agricultural communities and primitive 
ins, while the forms of property were simple, and the problemrf 
inistration few. But as personal property increased in quantity 
mmed more complex forms, the defects in the general property 
^me apparent. Nevertheless, that form of taxation was so 
established as to preclude the adoption of the iucmne tax or 
ubstitute for many years. 

The Income Tax In This Coitntbt 

leral income tax was adopted in 1S62 to meet the expenses of 
di War, and was continued with frequent changes until 1871. 

the existence of this law a total yield of about {375,000,000 
iTlved. In 1894, Congress enacted a general income tax law 
the United States Supreme Court later Jield unconstitutional in 
e of Pollock vs. Farmers Loan £ Trust Company, 157 U. S. 429; 
S. 601. Soon after this decision was rendered steps were taken 
nd the constitution in this respect, resulting in the adaption of 
teenth amendment In 191S, permitting the taxation of incomes 
t apportionment according to population. In 1909, Congress 
id for a tax of one per cent on the net Income of corporations 
was in effect an income tax as to them, and this act was sus- 

by the Supreme Court as an excise tax in the case of IFUnt vs. 
Tracy 220 U. S. 107. The federal act of 1913, followed by the 
ns of 1916, 1917 and 191S, marks the general, and 1 believe, 
sent introduction of Income taxation In this country. 
ral of the southern states resorted to the income tax to meet 
traordinary expenses of the Civil War, and derived substantial 
e therefrom. (But few, if any, of these laws applied to all 
of Income; as a general rule, the lax was confined to special 

of income and profits derived from sources not otherwise taxed. 
idlcal defect in all these laws was the lack of adequate mach- 
of admlnlBt ration. In each case the administration was com- 

to local assessors, and while under the stress of war conditions 
Qtlai revenue was produced, when peacetime returned, the ad- 
ration became lax, and the yield of the tax negligible. The 

1— T. C. 



50 RElPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMJISSION. 

states of Virginia, North Carolina, and Louisiana still retain remnants 
oi these war time taxes, but derive little revenue therefrom. South 
Carolina repealed her war time tax in 1917. As a result of these con- 
ditions, the impression became general, that while an income tax may 
be suitable and desirable for national revenue, it had never been and 
could not be effectively administered in the separate states. 

State Income Taxes 

This was the situation when the Wisconsin income tax law was 
adopted in 1911, — widespread disbelief in the practicability of the in- 
come tax for state purposes and strong opposition to its adoption. The 
comparative success of the experiment here and the substantial reve- 
nue produced under the law contributed largely to a change of atti- 
tude in this res>pect, and in recent years, the income tax has been con- 
stantly growing in favor as a source of both state and federal 
revenue. The remarkable record of income taxation during the late 
war assures the continuance of the system as part of our national 
fiscal policy. 

According to the latest available information, twelve American 
states now have income tax laws in one form or another, and 
seven of these have been adopted since the Wisconsin law was 
passed. These laws differ widely in scope and detail, and are not 
of equal importance. (For example, the taxes imposed by the laws 
of West Virginia, Connecticut and Montana are in the nature of 
excise or business taxes on the net income of corporations at mo- 
derate rates. The laws of North Carolina and Virginia are sur- 
vivals of the Civil War acts of these states, although that of Vir- 
ginia has been modified and extended. The late Alabama income 
tax law has been declared unconstitutional, and the New Mexico act 
of 1917, was repealed by the legislature of 1919, but the governor 
vetoed the repealing act, and no attempt to apply the law has yet been 
made. The high Exemptions under the Oklahoma law materially 
reduce the yield of that act. The Mississippi, Missouri and North 
Daikota laws are so recent that no statistics of results are yet avail- 
able, and we are therefore primarily confined to Wisconsin, Massa- 
chusetts and New York for examples of comprehensive state in- 
come tax laws, and their results in operation. 

Understanding that Minnesota is considering the adoption of an 
income tax, and that the League of Municipalities is desirous of 
obtaining information in reference thereto, it may be profitable to 
devote the time at our disposal to a consideration of (1) the 
nature and distinctive characteristics of an income tax, (2) its 
effect upon the increase or decrease of the total tax burden or in 
the cost of government, (3) whether the adoption of an income 
tax in one state operates to the disadvantage of its people or handi- 
caps business in comparison with neighboring and competing states 
having no such tax, (4) the productiveness of income taxes in gen- 
eral as sources of public revenue and particularly in urban districts. 



\ 



THE INCOME TAX AS A MUNICIPAL REVENUE. 51 



Nature of Tax 

The cardinal virtue of an income tax as compared with other 
kinds of taxes is that it is based upon the net income received 
by the taxpayer, after deducting all expenses incurred in produc- 
ing it. It applies only to profits realized during the' year which 
are available to the taxpayer for expenditure or reinvestment, and 
is therefore the best measure of his ability to pay. As no tax is 
imposed until a net income is realized and the burden is then grad- 
uated in proportion to the amount of such income, the income tax 
automatically adapts itself to changing conditions of business. If 
there is no income for any given year, there can be no tax; if 
a moderate income, there will be a moderate tax, and if a large 
Income, a large tax. New enterprises are thus relieved of heavy 
burdens during their lean and struggling years, moderately buc- • 
cessful concerns pay in proportion to their proiflts and only the 
highly successful are required to pay a heavy tax. The advantages 
of such a system to mercantile, manufacturing and other lines of 
business of irregular yield is self-evident. In addition to these con- 
siderations the income tax taps sources of revenue which cannot be 
reached by the property tax, such as salaries, commissions, profes- 
sional fees, profits derived from the sale of capital assets, and many 
other forms of gain. As the tax is neither levied nor collected until 
after the profit has been made, it cannot be added to the price of 
property sold, nor readily shifted to the consumer. It has the further 
merit of being well suited to the unusual emergencies as demonstrated 
by the wide use made of it in all the belligerent countries during the 
world war. 

Federal War Revenue Acts 

The taxation of income was comparatively new and untried in 
this country when the United States entered the war, but the rev- ' 
enue act of 1917 produced an aggregate yield of $3,700,000,000 from 
this source during the first year of its operation, by far the great- 
est amount of revenue ever raised by any one country in a sin- 
gle year during the entire history of the world. The revised act 
of 1918 produced approximately $6,000,000,000, or 50% more than 
the high water mark of the preceding year, and about 60% of the 
yield of each of these years was produced by the income and ex- 
cess profits tax. Whatever else may be said of our American profi- 
teers, it cannot be truthfully claimed that they were favored in 
the matter of taxation, or escaped without heavy contributions to 
. the cost of the war. On the contrary they contributed more of 
their unholy spoils for public purposes than their brethern any- 
where else in the world. In the face of this record and in view 
of the fact  that wlir times prices still prevail and public expen- 
ditures are still heavy, there is every reason to believe that the 



52 REPORT OF THE WISCONS^IN TAX COMMIiSSION. 

taxation of incomeB will be continued as a permanent feature of 
our national fiscal system. 

Objections To State Income Taxes 

But it ha» been and will be said that while an income tax may 
be all right for national purposes, it is unsuited to and impractica- 
ble for individual statea. Various objections lare .utrged in sup- 
port of this contention, many of them plausible, some of them sub- 
stantial, but most of them superficial and few, if any, wholly sound. 
The first and most valid of these objections is the difficulty of sep- 
arating the income produced In different states. Modern com- 
merce pays little heed to state boundaries, and most commercial 
concerns of any magnitude conduct business in more than one state. 
The difficulty of allocating this income to the Estate of its origin is 
a real one, and may be flatly acknowledged. It is not insupera- 
ble, however, nor is it confined to income taxation alone. The same 
problem arises in the admims<tration of inheritance tax laws and in 
the assessment of interstate railroads and other public utilities un- 
der the general property tax. It also arises in the regulation of 
public service companies where national and state Jurisdictions 
conflict, and In administration of pure food laws and other exer- 
cises of the police power. Although difficult the problem has been 
met in these flelds. Recent decisions of the United States Supreme 
Court on assessments made under state income tax laws go far to 
remove this objection, and indicate that the principles already es- 
tablished in dealing with interstate problems under the property 
tax, rate regulation and pure food laws will be applied to the tax- 
ation of incomes. 

Another common objection is that the existence of an income 
tax in a given state operates as a handicap to business and an ad- 
ditional burden on its citizens in competition with rivals in states 
where no such tax exists. (But this objection does not stand the 
test of analysis on either theoretical or practical grounds. The 
people of every community must raise whatever revenue is required 
to maintain their own government. Whether they use one or many 
methods of taxation for that purpose is wholly immaterial. The 
system of taxation employed can neither increase nor decrease the 
amount of revenue required in any given community. Nearly all 
communities have more than one form of taxation and to the extent 
that part of the necessary revenue is raised by one system, it is 
reduced on others. This principle is axiomatic on a priori grounds, 
and it is equally clear as a matter of actual practice, as a few 
illustrations will show. 

Experience Elsewhere 

There are many examples of the existence of an income tax in 
one 01 more of several competing communities without similar tax 



THE INCOME TAX AS A MUNICIPAL REVENUE. 



53 



) others. For instance, the Prussian Income tax was adop'ted 
91, and the example was followed from year to year by other 
in states, but the taxes adopted in the different states were 
legusl weight and unlike in many respects, acd no Income 
as ever adopted In several of the states. The same is true ol the 
18 of Switzerland. The income tax was widely used among 
il of the Swiss cantons during the latter part of the nineteenth 
arly years of the twentieth centuries, but five of these cantons 
adopted an income tax. These German states and Swiss can- 
i^ere in direct competition with each other, and eo far as known 
tim was ever made, much less maintained, that the ahsence of 
come tax in some of these states and its existence in others 
ted to the disadvantage of the latter. On the contrary, each 
and canton felt at liherty to adopt whatever method of taxa- 
seemed best suited to its needs, and no reason is apparent 
;hat course may not be followed in the United States. 



Tax Ij^vibs in Wiscomsin j 



r Adjoinikg States 



further evidence to the same effect attention is called to the fol- 
g tahles containing a statement of the assessments and tax levies 
sconsin and the four surrounding states tor the years 1917, 191S 
i 1919. 



COMPARISON OP ASSESSMENTS IS 
FOR 1»17, 


WISCONSIN 
»18 AND lOlfl 


AND ADJOINING STATES 


1917 




Population 


SQ.mre'MHes 


*^,^f 


True V»lue 




i. zi'.n 

2. M.5? 


5S.6IS 

I'i 

5«.0tS 


2.E77.«9(I,81D 

iltii 

j;»7!.lg«.'458 
















■"i^-^i" 


S.fm'.m.U2 


1918 




fl,2»7,M» 

III 


5e.<t$5 

iii 

56,068 


2.626,(184.386 
1. 441.078, 5T» 

3,326.009.418 


.878.293.158 




















1919 




«.485,0»» 

III 


66,966 

1 


4,110,174.907 
8.515,262,808 


















4.048,268.531 





54 



RBPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMIiSQION. 



The above table gives the population of each state as estimated by 
the census bureau for the years 1917 and 19<1^, and according to the 
1920 census for the year 1919, the area in square miles, the aggregate 
assessment of taxaible property therein for each year, and the true value 
of such property as reported by the several states or derived by divid- 
ing the aggregate assessed value by the ratio of assessed to true value 
prescribed by law. It will be observed that Illinois, Iowa, Michigan 
and Wisconsin have approximately the same area, and that Iowa, 
Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin do not differ widely in population. 
While Minnesota has the greatest area it had the smallest population in 
1920, and of course the population of Illinois greatly exceeds that of 
either of the other states. All these states are, therefore, comparable 
in some respects, and Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin are closely 
comparable in all essential respects except area. 

COMPARISON OP TAXES TX WISCONSIN AND ADJOINING STATES FOR 

1917, 1918 AND 1919 



1917 



Illinois 

Iowa 

Michiffan .. 
Minnesota. 
Wisconsin . 



General 
Prop. Tax 



148,609.890 
62.381,314 
73.612,698 
67.329.550 
50.134,005 



Other Taxes 



5,885,038 

1,150,763 

5,071,329 

10,264.226 

11,383,375 



Total Taxes 
Levied 



154,494,928 
63,532,077 
78,684,027 
77.593,776 
61,517.380 



Per Capita 
Taxes 



24.86 
28.56 
25.27 
53.75 
24.21 



A verasre ver capita tax 27 . 33 



1918 



Illinois 

Iowa 

Michieran . . 
Minnesota. 
Wisconsin. 



149,997.044 
66.216,151 
85,132,857 
73,200.786 
56.271,297 



3,910.080 
1.150,763 
5,630,330 
9,921,926 
15,452,941 



153,907,124 
67,366,914 
90,762,987 
83.122,712 
71.724,238 



24.44 
30.28 
28.78 
35.66 
27.93 



A verasre per capita tax 29.42 



1919 



Illinois 

Iowa 

Michigran.. 
Minnesota. 
Wisconsin. 



188,786.182 
79,872,709 

110,776,104 
89,737.263* 
70,176,526* 



6.693,957 

622,527 

11,548,675 

9,735,345 
15.244,273 



195.480,139 
80,495,236 

122.324.779 
99,472,608 
85,420,799 



30.15 
33.49 
33.36 
41 '69 
32.46 



Averasre per capita tax 34 . 23 



 Without bonus. 



Column 1 of the above table shows the aggregate amount of general 
property tax levy in each of these states for the years 1917, 1918 and 
191&, and column 2 shows the amount of revenue derived from all 
other forms of taxation for each of these years. Column 3 shows 
the aggregate amount of taxes of all kinds levied in each of the 



THE INCOME TAX AS A MUNICIPAL REVENUE. 55 

states for the years mentioned, and column 4 shows the per capita 
tax levied in each of said States for each of the said years, to- 
gether with average per capita tax of all five states for each year. 
It will be observed 

(1) That the general property tax levy for the State of Wiscon- 
sin for each of the years mentioned was lower than that of any 
of the other states. 

(2) That the amount of revenue derived from other forms of tax- 
ation for each of said years was greater in Wisconsin than in any 
of the other states, and 

(3) That the aggregate amount of taxes of all kinds levied in 
Wisconsin for each of the years mentioned was the lowest in the 
entire group for the year 1917, and lower than any of the other 
states except Iowa for the years 1918 and 1919. 

(4) That the per capita tax levy in Wisconsin was materially 
below the average for all five states for each of the years men- 
tioned, lower than any of the states for 1917, and lower than any 
except Illinois for the years 1918 and 1919. 

Why does not this favorable showing for Wisconsin effectually 
refute the claim that the existence of an income tax in this state 
operates to the disadvantage of Its people as compared with the 
neighboring and competing states which have no such tax. 
' Again in 1909, the general property tax levy was in round num- 
bers $35.00O,0O(> in Michigan, $31,000,000 in Minnesota, and $29,- 
000,000 in Wisconsin. It will be observed that in 1919 the general 
property tax levy had increased to $110,776,104 in Michigan, $89,- 
737,263 in Minnesota, and $70,176,526 in Wisconsin. In other words, 
the general property tax levied in each of these states and its 
political subdivisions during this ten year period increased 140% 
in Wisconsin, as against 19il% in Minnesota and 217% in Michi- 
gan. Wisconsin has had an income tax since 1911, but there was 
no such tax in either Michigan or Minnesota. Is it not reason- 
able to conclude that the more moderate rate of increase in the 
general property tax in Wisconsin is due to the yield of the in- 
come tax in that state, the amount of which would have to be 
levied on property, if not raised in that form? A comparison of 
the total amount of taxes raised from all sources in each of these 
states for the year 1919 confirms this contention. For example, 
the total amount of taxes levied in each of these states in 1919, 
was in round numbers $122,325,000 in Michigan, $99,472,000 in Min- 
nesota, and $85,420,000 in Wisconsin. But $15,244,000 of the total 
tax levy in Wisconsin was derived from income, public service 
and inheritance taxes, thus reducing the property tax levy to $70,- 
000,000 for that year. Clearly, the effect of the income tax is re- 
flected in this reduced property tax, and the total tax burden borne 
by the people of that state is no greater than that borne by the 
people of its neighboring states. 

A more concrete illustration of this fact is shown by the experi- 



r>6 



REPORT OP THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



cnce of Wisconsin cities which receive 70% of the tax on the in- 
come produced within thedr borders. Thus, the total budget of 
expenses in the City of Milwaukee for the year 1919 was $17,000,000, 
in round numbers, but a credit of $1,500,000 was deducted from 
this amount as the estimated yield of the income tax, and only 
$15,500,000 actually levied upon property and all other , taxable 
sources. [Plainly the income tax operated to reduce the burden 
that would otherwise fall upon property in that city and the same 
practice was followed in all the principal municipalities of the state. 



Testimony op Fe^eeal Census 6ureat3 

Still further evidence to the same effect may be derived from the 
following statistics of all cities in the United States for the year 
ending July 1, 1918, as compiled by the Federal Census Bureau. 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF ALL CITIES OF THE UNITED STATES HAVING 
A POPULATION OVER 500,000, SHOWING THE POPULATION, TOTAL REV- 
ENUE RECEIPTS, PER CAPITA COST FOR ALL GOVERNMENTAL PUR- 
POSES. OUTLAY AND NON-OPERATING EXPENSES FOR THE YEAR 1918 



Per Capita 



Name of City 



New York. . . . 

Chicago 

Philadelphia. 

St. Louis 

Boston 

Cleveland.... 

Detroit 

Baltimore,... 
Pittsburg . . . . 
Los Angeles . 



Average for Group. 



Population 



5,738,000 
2,547,000 
1.7S6,000 
772,000 
769,000 
692.000 
630,000 
595,000 
586.000 
550,000 



40.16 



Total cost of 


Outlays 


Net Operating 


Government 


Expenses 


$41.54 


$5.05 


$36.49 


38.45 


13.13 


25.32 


38.12 


11.36 


26.76 


31.04 


6.57 


24.18 


50.02 


7.65 


42.37 


39.26 


12.14 


27.12 


47.19 


18.13 


29.06 


31.43 


5.41 


26.03 


39.61 


7.58 


32.03 


42.21 


8.88 


33.33 



8.59 



31.57 



THE INCOME TAX AS A MUNICIPAL iRBVBNUE. 



57 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF ALL CITIES OF THE UNITED STATES HAV- 
ING A POPULATION BETWEEN 300,000 AND 500,000 FOR 1918, SHOWING 
THE POPULATION AND TOTAL AND NET PER CAPITA COST OF GOV- 
ERNMENT. 





Per Capita 






Name of City 


Population 


All Govern- 
mental Costs 




Outlays 


Net Operating 
Expenses 


Buffalo, 


479,392 
474,776 
445,008 
418,789 
414,248 
377,010 
373.448 
371.933 
366.415 
312.039 
308.172 
307,321 


$40.67 
45.09 
38.86 
49.78 
40.41 
25.90 
35.89 
59.75 
47.50 
31.83 
40.62 
32.56 

38,68 


$6.12 

12.72 

14.64 

7.40 

7.34 

5.52 

10,26 

9.62 

14.82 

5.13 

12.39 

8.15 

9.58 


$34.55 


San Francisco 


32.27 


Milwaukee 


24.23 ' 




33.29 


Cincinnati 


33.08 


New Orleans 


20.38 


Minneapolis 

Washington, D. C 

Seattle 


25.63 
30.13 
32.68 


Jersey City, N. J 

Kansas City 


26.70 
28.24 


Portland 


24.40 


Aver acre for Group.. 


29.10 



In this classification all the principal cities of the United States are 
divided into groups, the first consiisting of all cities having a popula- 
tion over 500,000, and the second of all cities having from 300,000 to 
500,000 population. (For the ten cities having a population of oyer 
500,000 each, the total per capita cost of government was $40'.16, an^J 
the net operating cost of government, excluding outlays, or amounts 
expended for permanent improvements, was $31.67. Detroit is the 
only city of the three states mentioned in this group, and the 
corresponding figure for that city was $47.19 as the total per 'capita 
cost of government, and $29.06 as the per capita net operating ex- 
pense. It will be observed that the total per capita cost for Detroit 
exceeds the average, but the net operating expense is below 'the 
average. 

There are 12 cities in the next group having a population of from 
300,000 to 500,000, which includes Milwaukee and Minneapolis. The 
average per capita cost of government in all these cities was $38.68, 
and the net operating expense, exclusive of payments for permanent 
improvements, $29.10. The per capita cost of ail government in the 
City of Milwaukee was $38.86, or 18 cents above the average, but the 
net operating expense was only $24.23, or 4.17 below the average. 
• Minneapolis also shows up well with a per capita cost of all govern- 
ment of $35.89, and a per capita of $25.63 for net operating expenses. 
It appears, therefore, that the net operating cost of government in the 
City of Milwaukee was materially below the average of both groups 
and the third lowest in the entire list. While neither of the foregoing 
tests are absolutely conclusive, the fact that they all point in the same 
direction strongly indicates that there is no disadvantage in the adop- 
tion of an income tax by one ^tate even though neighboring and com- 
peting states may fail to adopt or reject the system. 



58 RBOPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



Effect on Business Competition 

If in fact the cost of government in a state having an income tax 
I;? no greater than in states which have no such tax, it necessarily 
follows that the people as a whole will not suffer in competition or 
otherwise. Gut it may be said that the income tax falls mainly upon 
business concerns which must compete in the market with rivals In 
states having no income tax, and that in consequence these concerns 
will suffer in competition. The obvious answer to this argument Is 
that no business concern pays an income tax until it shows a clear net 
profit. It follows as a necessary corollary that the competition has 
been successfully met and overcome before the tax attaches. The 
amount of the tax to which it is then subject will be graduated ac- 
cording to the amount of such profit. 

It may well be that a prosperous concern in a state having an 
income tax would pay more taxes and therefore have less final 
profit than if it were located in a state where no such tax exists. 
But a fiscal system should be framed with reference to the equita- 
ble distribution of the cost of the government among all its citizens, 
rather than with a view to protecting a limited number of them 
in exorbitant profits. In view of the well known disparity In the 
productiveness of different classes of property, and the fact that a 
proi>erty tax fails to reach many profitable lines of business at all, 
the income tax is the most satisfactory and efficient system thus 
far devised of accomplishing that result. 

Productiveness of Income Tax 

A final and crucial test of every tax system is its capacity to 
produce revenue with a maximum of justice and a minimum of 
hardship to its citizens, and judged by this test the income tax 
easily qualifies. Reference has already been made to the great yield 
of the federal war revenue acts of 1917 and 1918, receipts from 
which aggregated in round numbers $3,700,000,000 under the former 
act, and approximately IGjO-OOjOOO.OOO under the latter. Of these vast 
sums $2,839,000,000 were derived from income and excess profits, taxes 
in 1918, about $4,000,000,000 from the same source in 1919, or near- 
ly $7,000,000,000 yield in a two year period. The State of Minne- 
sota contributed to the federal government $58,000,000 in the 
form of inicome and excess profits taxes in 1918, and $30,650,000 from 
the same source in 1919. In 1917, there were over 80,000 individ- 
ual residents of Minnesota subject to the federal income tax, and the 
number has undoubtedly increased since that time. Clearly Minne- 
sota offers a fertile field for taxation of incomes. 

Turning to the experience of state income tax laws, we note that 
the Massachusetts income tax law took effect on the first of January, 
1917, and that the first year's operation resulted in a tax of $12,6^1,000, 
the second year produced $14,907,000, and the third year, with slightly 
increased rates, $15,501,000. The first assessment under the New York 



THE INCOME TAX AS A MUNICIPAL REVENUE 59 

income tax law on 1918 income produced a revenue of $32,871,000. In 
both states the amounts stated were derived from personal incomes 
alone, and if corporations had been included these figures would prob- 
ably have been doubled. The first assessment under the Wisconsin law 
in 1912 produced a yield of over $3,500,000, and the assessment has in- 
creased from year to year until it reached $12,018,056 in 1919. The 
total amount of income tax assessed for the eight years during which 
the Wisconsin law has been in effect is $54,164,348. All these vast 
sums have been produced in the states named under moderate rates 
without hardship to taxpayers or prejudice to business. It is clear, 
therefore, that the income tax furnishes a fruitful source of public 
revenue for state as well as for the national government. 

The most cursory examination of income tax returns, and the 
reports based thereon, conclusively shows that the great bulk of tax- 
able Income is derived from urban centers. For example, of iJhe 
$2,839,000,000 income and excess profits taxes assessed under the war 
revenue act of 1917, over one billion was derived from the States of 
New York and Pennsylvania alone, and more than half the entire 
amount was derived from New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and 
Ohio, where the great urban centers exist. Of the $12,018,056, aggre- 
gate income tax assessed in the State of Wisconsin during the year 
1919, $3,938,500, or approximately 33%, was derived from the City of 
Milwaukee. $6,497,000, or about 54% of the aggregate was produced 
by the nine cities of the state having a population of more than 20,000, 
$8,556,077, or more than two-thirds of the entire income tax assessed 
was derived from the 36 cities of the state containing over 5,000 popu- 
lation. Experience everywhere shows that outside of mining the great 
incomes are derived from manufacturing, mercantile and investment 
occupations, and as these lines of business are almost uniformly car- 
ried on in cities, they afford the most fruitful field for income taxa- 
tion. It may be said, therefore, without reservation, that the income 
tax affords a peculiarly productive source of revenue for urban centers. 

Tax Paid By Rich and Well-To-Do 

In 1917, 3,472,800 individual returns were filed with the federal 
government, and the total net income reported amounted to over 
$13,652,000,000. More than three million of these reports showed a 
taxable income of less than $5,000, and the aggregate taxable income 
reported by these was $6,642,000,000, or approximately one half of the 
total amount returned. But the amount of tax paid by these three 
million individuals was only $27,380,836, or about one per cent of the 
total. On the other hand, the 456 returns which showed a net income 
of more than $500,000 each paid an aggregate tax of $168,774,186, 
or about twenty-five per cent of the total. In this number were 
141 returns showing a net income of more than one million dollars 
each, and the total amount of tax paid by this limited group was 
$109,425,000, or approximately four times the amount paid by the three 
million small taxpayers, whose net income was less than $5,000 each. 



60 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMIiSSION. 

The total number of Income taxpayers great and small was less than 
three per cent of the population and one per cent of that number paid 
over 99% of the total tax. The operation of state income tax laws as 
far as results are available, furnishes further proof that the great 
bulk of all Income tax is paid by the rich and well-to-do. 

Conclusion 

The foregoing discussion is intentionally confined to the broader 
aspects of the income tax, and therefore leaves untouched many im- 
portant problems which will confront the framers of appropriate law 
for any given locality. The scope of the law, — whether in any given 
case the tax should apply to all income received by residents of the 
state from whatever source derived or shall be confined to income 
produced within the etate whether received by residents or non- 
residents; the propei; exemption and rates to apply, and whether the 
latter should be graduated or proportional; whether a distinction 
should be drawn between earned and unearned income and how to 
treat profits derived from the sale of capital assets; what, if any, 
allowance should be made for the exhaustion of mines and other 
wasting assets, and the distribution of the tax among the various 
taxing districts of the etate, are questions for detailed and intensive 
study in view of the conditions prevailing in the s-tate rather than 
for general diacus^ion at a gathering of this kind. 

The important matter here is that the problem be approached in 
8 fair spirit and with open mind. Income taxes like all other bur- 
dens Imipoeed under state laws are subject to the equal rights clause 
of the federal constitution, which frowns upon favoritism and dis- 
crimination. But they are subject to a higher law, the law of jus- 
tice and equality among the citizens and taxpayers of the state. In 
this day of rapid change and seething unrest, there is special neces- 
sity for both courage and moderation, courage to change an old sys- 
tem when found inadequate or unjust and moderation to confine the 
remedy within its proper limits. There is no room for favoritism, re- 
sentment or class iMrejudice. To frame a law of this character and 
in this spirit is a task worthy of your wisest economists and states- 
men. May their labors be guided by the conviction that in the field 
of taxation as elsewhere righteousness exalteth a state as well as a 
nation. 



/ 



THE INCOME TAX AS A MUNICIPAL REVENUE. 



61 



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REPORT OF TIIR WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TABJiK 8 



THE TOTAL 1918 INOQME TAX LEVY, CASH COLLECTIOXS, OFFSETS, AND DE- 
LINQUENTS FOR THE YICAK ENDING JUNE 30. 1919. 



Adams 

Ashland 

Barron 

Bayfield 

Brown ...... 

Buffalo 

Burnett 

Calumet . . . . 
Chippewa . . . 

Clark 

Oolumbf a . . . 
Crawford . . . 

Dane 

Dodge 

Door 

Douglas ..'... 

Dunn 

. Eau Claire . 

Florence 

Pond du Lac 

Forest 

Crant- 

Green 

Green Lake .. 

Iowa 

Iron 

Jackson 

Jefferson 

Juneau 

Kenosha 

Kewaunee 

La Crosse 

Lafayette .... 
Langrlade . . . . . 

Lincoln 

Manitowoc . . . 

Marathon 

Marinette 

Marquette . . . 
Milwaukee . . . . 

Monroe 

Oconto 

Oneida 

Outagamie . . . 

Ozaukee 

Pepin 

Pierce 

Polk 

Portage 

Price 

Racine 

Richland 

Rock 

Rusk 

St. Oroix 

Sauk 

Sawyer 

f>hawano 

Sheboygan — 

Taylor 

Trempealeau .. 

Vernon 

Vilas 

Walworth 

Washburn 

Washington 
Waukesha — 

Waupaca 

Waushara . — 
Winnebago ... 
Wood 



Total Tax 



Total 



^28.12 
100J92.9f> 
24.788.68 
1.52,418.67 
233,^92.78 
6,,'«7.3.'? 
2,3.>4.95 
:rr. 734. 09 
76.7rK3.79 
28.f>'L'4.41 
45,9ef^rK) 
12.876.42 
322,104.74 
139,(»«).13 

?Cl,.')2l.9r> 
28,:;76.(>2 
i;J7.-2-V2.f:7 
3.!m.83 
129,815. U) 
18.834.0.1 
47,2.'if».49 
62.914.20 
30,0<«.O8 
.f)S,06S.67 
64,206.30 
8, 309. 3 t 
104, 6r>* 06 
6.799.^2 
725,184.,% 
9.478.90 
189,870.45 
e9,3B8.07 
19,862.60 
«>,025..51 
201, 958. :« 
270.. 570.0^ 
I36,f»^?.78 
2,620.42 
4, 945, 71 3.. TT 
17,104.49 
.'^.781.27 
80,873.65 
322,694.87 
28,9{)3..54 
3,701.91 
14,109.34 
15.262.36 
48,804.13 
21.S76.73 
709,994.11 
37,153.32 
279,973.97 
25,947.42 
26,843.18 
53,188.24 
2,207.12 
27,236.73 
240,353.40 
14.473.81 
10,512.44 
40, ST^. 98 
8,6.32.67 
100,692.90 
3,. 5,56. 15 
50,990.28 
1.32,226.94 
163.. 3.57. 61 
6,942.79 
288,971.06 
175,580.93 



$11,784,151.34 



Offsets 



i^.22 
67,609.75 

17,004.48 
39,912.45 
90,67^.77 
5,281.89 
1,813.. 53 
14,441.89 
.%,.583.72 
17.198.89 
23,085.40 
8,186.22 
131,328.68 
41,123.52 
3,941.21 
140.342.54 
15,483.80 
(J8,008.67 
1,!«1.12 
44,.'?S'».04 
18.3.56.09 
28,3f)8.48 
24,836.14 
10,772., 3-> 
22.801.40 
17,258.70 
6,. 5.54. 41 
42,449.75 
4,385.19 
219.909.59 
6,013. m 
92,031.28 
12,479.74 
1.5,798.80 
.32.475..'W 
111, (558. 20 
69,717.03 
.54,282.28 
1,978.65 
2,050,685.34 
11,703.73 
24,130.19 
.34,425.98 
90, 991.. 56 
14.935.05 
2,687.64 
9,870.81 
12,323.37 
13.401.14 
16,770.11 
172,368.31 
19,027.09 
111,682.00 
11,001.84 
17,963.46 
22,704.33 
1,572.11 
12,614.57 
125,019.05 
13,1.50.89 
8,7.52.22 
11,463.43 
6.8.5«?.66 
34,745.07 
2,. 501. 65 
30,927. .31 
31,817.91 
72,5.S7.24 
5,023.21 
116,674.85 
46,800.35 



^,707,1S7.!>6 




$305.11 

41,900.29 

6,452.55 

142,132.17 

1,064.39 
507.08 
23,256.77 
.39,398.73 
11,236.19 
22,78R.45 
4,606.20 
183,419.10 
97,.5!?7.:/S 
1,363.76 
117,957.83 
11,727.24 
68,200.10 
1.960.75 
82,043.68 
436.72 
18,393.09 
37,860.75 
20,108.11 
34,973.55 
46,502.46 
1,626.23 
92,051.85 
2,414.43 
500,372.85 
3,4.56.90 
94,573.85 
56,391.92 
3,764.77 
.32,. 516. 19 
89,. 531. 63 
199,819.77 
 82,197.27 
632.77 
2,800,709.48 
4,785.81 
15,327.16 
45,651.27 
231,208.78 
13,551.30 
1,014.27 
4,140.84 
2,859.22 
31,867.07 
5,005.17 
5.30,325.48 
18,0.52.68 
lfs7.4ti tn 
14,903.19 
8,473.90 
29,966.27 
624.05 
14,382.86 
114, .542. 40 
1,313.42 
1,742.40 
8,. 514. 63 
1.710.35 
64, 748.. 51 
762.17 
19,539.18 
02,539.31 
00,413.09 
1,778.79 
1(59.142.43 
128,212.26 



Delinquent 



$11.79 

692.91 

1,331.66 

2,660.76 

1,081.84 

1.55 

4.34 

36.33 

2,773.34 

189.33 

115.65 

84.00 

7,356.96 

417.0.3 

.390.91 

3,221.58 

1,164.98 

1,043.90 

52.96 

1,986.28 

42.24 
474.92 
217.31 

22.65 
293.72 
445.14 
128.69 
152.46 



4,842.12 

8.48 

2.966.82 

496.41 

299.03 

33.^6 

768.49 

1,033.22 

504.28 

9.0O 

37,318.75 

614.95 

323.92 

796.40 

499.53 

506.59 



97.69 

79.77 

3,53.5.92 

101.45 
7, 300.. 32 

73..-' 
8"' "^ 

42.. 39 
415.82 
.517.64 

10.96 
•'30. 30 

791.35 



17.82 

20,381.92 

63.66 

1,198.92 

292.. 33 

523.79' 

7,809.72 

407.28 

140.79 

3,1.33.78 

568.. 32 



.$6,9.".1,482.70 



$125,480.68 



THE INCOME TAX AS A MUNICIPA 



(9 INCOME TAX I,EVT, OABH C 

LINQOIXTS POE YEAR ENDING JUNE 
IKXOI.DSrVE OP SUKTAXES) 





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64 



REPORT OP THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TABIiB 10 



THE TOTAL 1919 INCOME SURTAX LEVY, CASH COLLECTIONS, AND 

DELINQUENTS 



Adams 

Asbland 

Barron 

Bayfield 

Brown 

Buffalo 

Burnett 

Calumet 

Chippewa 

Clark 

Columbia 

Crawford 

Dane 

Dodge 

Door 

Douglas 

Dunn 

Eau Claire 

Florence 

Pond du Lac 

Forest 

Grant 

Green 

Green Lake 

Iowa • 

Iron 

Jackson 

JelTerson 

Juneau 

ivenosha 

Kewaunee 

La Oosse 

Lafayette 

j^anglade 

Lincoln 

Manitowoc 

Marathon 

Marinette 

Marquette 

Milwaukee 

Monroe 

Oconto 

Oneida 

Outagamie 

Ozaukee 

Pepin 

Pierce 

Polk 

Portage 

Price 

Racine 

Richland 

Rock 

Rusk 

St. Croix 

Sauk 

Sawyer 

Shawano 

Sheboygan 

Taylor 

Trempealeau 

Vernon 

Vilas 

Walworth 

Washburn 

Washington 

Waukesha 

Waupaca 

Waushara 

Winnebago 

Wood 

Total 



Total Tax 



$80.75 

20,746.87 

9,402.51 

86,800.94 

164,. 518. 85 

1,938.92 

1,118.21 

10,(M6.22 

30.617.20 

8,861.16 

39,690 72 

5,426.37 

242,861.39 

114,061.72 

2,521.91 

120,525.53 

16,968.40 

72,879.61 

8,649.24 

82,302.67 

6,424.69 

20,107.69 

14,902.08 

12,091.48 

23,519.31 

2,581.^ 

2,096.38 

44,247.73 

1,817.51 

867,052.71 

3,625.02 

123,774.47 

15,479.72 

8,112.06 

37,128.50 

207,868.57 

131,613.29 

32,516.28 

1,136.32 

4,364,679.39 

10,069.93 

9,345.48 

31,296.95 

157,155.66 

26,549.40 

2,108.94 

5,559.66 

3,210.00 

31,967.37 

6,331.81 

887,290.91 

13,399.01 

246,794.06 

5,717.63 

13,814.45 

34,034.26 

1,321.85 

6,961.88 

225,691.13 

10,547.06 

5,246.49 

17,022.05 

6,646.88 

67,560.78 

472.43 

23,185.17 

65,960.77 

201,807.22 

1,210.34 

263,793.12 

04,042.32 



$8,986,842.96 



Cash Collections 



$00.75 

20,696.18 

8,824.11 

86,113.32 

161,404.16 

1,933.92 

1,118.21 

10,046.22 

26,918.47 

8,761.40 

39,686.30 

5,436.37 

237,787.74 

113,679.60 

2,482.45 

119,450.^ 

16,727.12 

71,907.68 

8,687.43 

81,947.92 

6,424.69 

19,762.27 

14,806.00 

11,916.90 

23,498.31 

2,581.57 

2,096.38 

48,877.23 

1,079.85 

865,405.91 

8,625.02 

123,535.21 

15,065.68 

8,112.06 

37,128.50 

297,465.17 

181,541.27 

32,007.43 

I,l36.ris2 

4,325,010.^3 

9,167.77 

8,882.38 

31,296.96 

157,110.46 

26,202.52 

2,108.94 

5,686.11 

8,205.05 

81,001.43 

6,264.59 

884,200.75 

13,399.01 

154,814.23 

5,618.80 

11,586.74 

34,069.36 

1,290.07 

6,961.88 

225.614.50 

10,547.06 

5,245.49 

16,994.02 

6,646.88 

67,539.41 

472.43 

23,144.68 

65,326.90 

201,515.09 

1,210.34 

263,772.35 

63,603.71 



$8,834,000.37 



Delinquent 



$51.69 

^8.40 

747.62 

3,064.69 



8,696.82 

109.76 

5.42 



6,008.05 

482.12 

89.46 

1,074.96 

241.28 

071.98 

11.81 

354.75 



846.42 
37.08 

174.58 
21.00 



870.50 

737.66 

1,046.80 



239.26 
414.04 



3f/3.40 

72.02 

508.85 



29,569.16 
902.16 
463.10 



45.20 
346.88 



23.46 

4.95 

365.94 

77.22 

8,090.16 



91,979.83 

96.83 

2,228.71 

4.90 

22.78 



76.63 



28.03 
2i!37' 



40.49 
654.87 
291.53 



20.77 
538.61 



$152,842.59 



THE INCOME TAX AS A MUNICIPAL* REVENUE, 



65 



TABIiE 11 



COST or INCOME TAX POR FISCAL YEARS 1915-16 AND 1919-20 



Main Office: 

. Salaries 

Traveling expense ....* 

Stationery and office supplies.. 

Postage 

Express, freight and dray age. 

Printing 

Sundry supplies and expenses. 



Total main office. 



Salaries of assessors 

Salaries of employes 

Traveling expense 

Stationery and office expenses. 

Postage 

Telephone and telegraph 

Express, freight and dray age. 

Printing 

Sundry supplies 



Total assessors of incomes. 

Boards of review 

Cost of field 



Total cost to state. 



1915-16 



1,721.84 

31.62 

112.35 



1,121.57 
15.00 



$8,002.38 



$51,926.90 

21,570.40 

14,122.91 

807.24 

3,761.74 

24.95 

215.40 

212.29 

837.70 



$93,478.93 

2,514.55 

95,998.48 



$103,995.86 



1919^20 



$13,078.27 

1,424.80 

11.15 



1,806.26 

39.60 



$15,860.08 



$62,907.01 

46.858.88 

15,550.71 

1,645.62 

9,083.69 



160.04 
4,042.33 
1,648.79 



$141,847.02 

2,587.30 

144.434.32 

$160,294.40 



5— T. C. 



...Vj. 



IJ 



THE INCOME TAX AS A MUNICIPAL REVENUE. 67 

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70 REPORT OP THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



CHAPTER V 



THE TAXATION OF BANES 

Habbt Jeboms 

Assessor of Incomes, Dane Gounty, and Assistant Professor of E^- 

nomics, University of Wisconsin. 

For many years there has been evident in banking circles a desire 
to modify the| present system of taxing ))anks, not only in Wisconsin, 
but in most of the other states of the Union. The belief that the 
.taxation of banks is unsatisfactory has been frequently voiced in 
addresses and articles within the last few years. Usually the pro- 
test is directed against the great diversity in the various state taxing 
laws, or, more particularly, against the lack of uniformity in the ap- 
plication of the statutes in the various assessment districts of a state. 
'In bank taxation," says Milton W. Harrison, secretary of the Savings 
Bank Section, American Bankers Association, "the complaints of 
bankers have not been so much with reference to the law of the state 
as to the method of assessment or the discretion or indiscretion of 
local assessors.''^ A similar protest has been expressed by a repre- 
sentative of the Wisconsin Bankers Association, in the statement that 
there are "about as many methods of assessing banks as there are 
assessors in the State." 

With this criticism in mind, and with the general thought that 
taxation laws work best when most thoroughly understood by all 
concerned, the following paragraphs are devoted chiefly to a descrip- 
tion of the present method of assessing banks in Wisconsin, both for 
the information of the taxpaying public and as an aid to the local 
assessors and supervisors of assessment in the processes of assessment 
and equalization. 

Inasmuch as the following analysis of the existing law and practice 
indicates some ground for the complaint that there are features of 
our system of taxing banks in need of improvement, a few suggestions 
are ventured as to how this improvement might be accomplished 
within the limits of practicable amendment to the existing law and by 
means of administrative machinery now in existence. 



* National Tax Association, Proceedings, 1919, p. 35. 



THE TAiKATION OF BANKS. 71 



The Law of Bank Taxation 

The character of bank taxation in the United States has been largely 
determined by the provisions of Section 5219 of the federal statutes, 
which prescribes the way in which national banks may be taxed by the 
states. Their real estate may be taxed as other real estate is taxed, 
but no other taxes may be levied by the states on national banks, ex- 
cept that their shares may be taxed as personal property to the indi- 
vidual shareholders, on the same basis that other moneyed capital is 
taxed. As state banks are close competitors of national banks, the 
dictates of expediency and justice have brought it to pass that the 
taxation of state banks usually accords with the limitations imposed 
upon the taxation of national banks. 

Within these limitations, however, there is still room for consider- 
able variation in the methods of bank taxation established By the stat- 
utes, 9ot to mention the still greater diversity wl^ich appears in 
actual practice. A brief survey of a few typical methods will suffice 
to suggest the extent of the diversity possible even under existing 
limitations, and possibly aftord some clue to the lines which remedial 
legislation might follow. 

The simplest of all the methods is the placing of a fixed rate on the 
book value of all banks in the state. Thus, in New York banks are 
taxed one per cent on their capital, surplus, and undivided profits. 
Or, as provided in the Connecticut law, the rate may be a fixed percent- 
age of the market, instead of the book, value of the stock. Again, 
the value of the bank stock may be determined, either at market 
value or at book value, and then a certain percentage of this value 
assessed for taxation purposes. This is the classified property tax 
scheme, as found in Minnesota, where banks are taxed on forty per 
cent of their book value. In the majority of the states, however, 
the law requires the assessment of bank stock at full market value, 
or at book value, at the rate applied to other property. The assess- 
ment is usually made by local assessors, but may be made by a central 
authority, as the state tax commissioner or commission. Further varia- 
tion may be introduced into any of these methods by providing for 
certain deductions. The most common provision of this type is for the 
deduction from the total value of the stock of the assessment on the 
real estate used as a banking house. 

The Wisconsin system is local assessmenti and taxation at the local 
rate, on the market value of the bank shares less the assessment on 
the banking house and site if owned by the bank. The Wisconsin 
statutes provide that personal property shall be assessed at its "true 
cash value," and bank stock, which is assessed as personal property, 
falls under this rule. True cash value is taken to mean the ordinary 
market value; that is, the amount which an investor would ordinarily 
be willing to pay for the stock at private sale. Neither the artificially 
high value which a buyer anxious to get control of a bank might pay 



', I 



1^ uErOUT OF THE WiSCOKSlN TAX COMMISSION. 

tor a traction of the stock, nor the low price of a forced sale repr^.- 
sents "true cash value." 

I'here is a frequent misunderstanding to the effect that banks in 
W iBconsin are assessable at their book value. It may be true that book 
value is often taken as a measure of market value, but the law 
clearly means that bank stock shall be assessed at its market value 
to the stockholders, which is not necessarily the same as the value of 
the net assets of the bank or the investment in the bank as measured 
by book value. Occasionally where a bank is in bad repute or other 
unusual conditions exist, the market value may be less than the book 
value^i^ though ordinarily book value may be considered the minimum. 
Often the market value will be larger than the Investment or book 
value, including an element of excess over capital, surplus and un- 
divided profits, partaking of the nature of a good will value. 

The rule in Wisconsin is, that from the market value of the bank 
stock the assessment on the banking house, if it is owned by the^ bank^ 
is to be deducted in determining the amount to be assessed to the 
stockholders as personal property. The assessment on the banking 
house includes the assessment on the building occupied by the bank 
and also the assessment on the site thereof. Though the bank may 
occupy only a part of a building, it is ordinarily permissible to deduct 
the assessment on the entire building. In some instances in assessing 
banks, this provision of the law has been interpreted to mean that 
where a bank occupied, for example, only half of the ground floor of a 
building, only half of the total assessment on the banking building 
should be deducted, but the Tax Commission is inclined to hold that 
"when the stock is properly valued the assessment of the entire build- 
ing in which the bank carries on its business may be deducted there- 
from, even though part of such building is used for other than bank- 
ing purposes."'* Such complete deduction, however, is upon the con- 
dition that the building be essentially a single indivisible structure, 
not merely two buildings with a nominal structural connection. As- 
sessments on real estate owned by the bank other than the banking 
house and site may not be deducted. 

How TO Assess Banks in Com]?liance with the Law 

To assess banks in compliance with the law, one should first deter- 
mine the full market value of the banking house and site. This is 
not necessarily the value at which the property is carried on the books 
of the bank, as it is a common practice for banks to "write down" 
the value of their banking houses. This is looked upon as a good bank- 
ing practice, but may be a little misleading to the assessor. 

The assessor should next determine the market value of the shares 
of the bank, and, if the bank owns its place of business, deduct the 
assessment on the banking house and site from the total market value 



•Wisconsin Tax Commission, pamphlet, "Assessment and Collection 
of Taxes," 1920, p. 78. 



THE TAjXATION OF BANKS. 73 

of the bank stock. The remainder should be divided by the number 
of shares, and the assessment per share thus obtained multiplied by 
the number of shares held by each stockholder and entered on the as- 
sessment roll against the names of the respective stockholders, on the 
special pages in the roll reserved for bank stock. Assuming a bank 
with a capital of $10,000 divided into 100 shares of $100 each, the 
process may be Illustrated thus: 

1. Assume that the market value of the stock is determined 

by the assessor from all available evidence to be $15,000 

2. Deduct the assessment for the current year on the banking 

house and site, if owned by the bank, for example 2,000 

I 

3. Record as the net portion of the value of the stock sub- 

ject to taxation as bank stock $13,000 

4. Compute the taxable value per share ($13,000 divided by 

number of shares or 100) $130 

The chief task in this process is the determination of the market 
value. The easy-going assessor will frequently merely assess a bank 
at its book value without further inquiry into its market value, or, 
if he is inclined to underassess, at the amount of the capital only. The 
careful assessor who tries to obey the law will take other factors Into 
consideration. Though book value is the first factor to consider in de- 
termining market value since it will ordinarily not be less .than book 
value nor markedly greater, yet it is also true that the stock of two 
banks with the same book value may have a different market value. 
The principle that the investment in a corporation is not the necessary 
equivalent of the market value of the stock of a corporation has been 
unequivocabaly stated by the courts' and is. for banks, frequently 
substantiated by the sale of shares at prices other than book value. 

The assessor should give some weight to dividends paid by the 
bank, or, better yet, to the total earnings during a period of years; 
to the ratio of deposits to investment; to, market quotations or un- 
quoted sales; to the extent to which there are concealed assets not 
shown in the book value; and to any other facts that might influence 
the prospective purchaser of the stock. Market quotations are not 
available except for banks in the larger cities.* The values Indicated 
by the occasional sales which occur in the smaller banks should be 
taken into consideration but only after being closely scrutinized. The 
price paid for one or two shares is not always a good single criterion 
of the value of the stock as a whole, particularly where it is bought 
for the purpose of getting control of the bank, or for other reasons 
aside from those actuating the ordinary investor. The fact of such 
sales will appear from the changes in the lists of stockholders and in 
the number of shares owned by each from year to year. Sometimes 



•See the Union Trust Co. v. Michael Coleman, 126 N. T., 433; also the 
Home Savings Bank v. Des Moines, 205 U. S., 503. 

* The writer has some doubts as to whether the quoted market values 
of the large city banks are always accurate indications of the current 
market value of the bank stock. 



74 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

the sale prices will be shown in the income reports and will aid the 
assessor of incomes in making equalization recommendations but such 
Information can be used only within the limits imposed by the se- 
crecy provision of the income tax law, and in any event should be 
checked by further inquiry. 

Those charged with the determination of the value of bank stock 
will frequently find that persons familiar with local investment con- 
ditions will be glad to give them information concerning the market 
value of bank stocks if assured that the information will be held con- 
fidential. 

How TO Estimate the EARinNQS of a Bank 

The ordinary published statements do not directly show the earn- 
ings, but where the earnings of a bank cannot be readily ascertained 
by direct inquiry from the bank officials, they can be estimated by 
adding together the following amounts: — 

(1) The dividends paid during the period under consideration. 

(2) The increase in the book value during this period. 

(3) The extent to which building or fixtures have been written 

down in excess of actual depreciation. 

Some consideration should also be given to the amount of salaries 
paid stockholding officials of the bank. If these are unusually large, 
they virtually represent in part earnings on the stock. There are, 
also, other ways of concealing assets In the form of side accounts be- 
longing to stockholders; The dividends paid can be ascertained by 
inquiry of the officers of the bank or its stockholders; or by the asses- 
sors of incomes from the income reports of the stockholders by com- 
paring the dividends reported with the shares owned by them as 
shown by the lists of stockholders furnished each year to the assessoj 
and recorded In the assessment and tax rolls. The Increase in book 
value can be ascertained by comparing the total of capital, surplus and 
undivided profits at the end of the period under consideration with 
that at the beginning. The writing down of the value of the building 
will appear in the same way. 

There is a tendency for banks to establish a regular dividend rate 
which is adhered to even when profits would permit a larger dividend, 
the excess being passed to surplus. Six, eight, or ten per cent dividends 
are common. Such a standardized dividend rate has probably more 
infiuence on market value than its mathematical relation to the total 
of actual earnings would justify. Of two banks which earn twelve 
per cent regularly, the stock of the one which pays eight per cent 
would probably sell more readily than that of the bank which pays 
only six per cent. 

With sufficient preliminary investigation, it would perhaps be pos- 
sible to develop a satisfactory mathematical rule which could be ap- 
plied to the determination of the value of bank stoclc In such a way 



THE3 TAiXATION OF BANKS. 75 

as to give approximately the correct weight to the various factors 
such as book value, dividends, total earnings, ealesi, and the volume 
of the business as indicated by deposits; but with the limited in- 
formation now at hand it would seem wiser to set forth the facts to be 
taken into consideration and leave it to the judgment and knowledge 
of thosei charged with the duty of assessing banks to give the proper 
weight to the various influences which go to determine the value of 
bank stock.* 

How Banks, are Actually Assessed in Wisconsin 

It is a familiar fact that actual practice may vary far from the 
rules set down in the statute books. Thus it is frequently asserted, 
particularly by the banks, that because of the fact that the banking 
business is subject to close examination and publicity, and that con- 
sequently the Investment of the bank is readily ascertainable, banks 
as a rule are overassessed as compared with other kinds of property 
subject to the general property tax. It is also suggested that the 
reluctance of bankers to antagonize public opinion by protesting 
against high assessments makes them easy prey to disproportionate 
assessments. 

To test the accuracay of thesel suggestions an examination. has been 
made of the 1919 assessment of a large number of Wisconsin banks, 
all chosen, to make easier the identification of assessments on indi- 
vidual banks, from districts having but one bank. Comparisons were 
made between the gross assessment (assessment on building plus 
assessment on stock) of 305 banks and the book values as shown by 
statement of May 12, 1919. A marked tendency to assess at less than 
book value appears. Sixty-three banks were assessed at less than 
capital stock; 28 at the amount of capital stock; 93 at something more 
than capital but less than capital plus surplus, while only thirty banks 
were assessed at more than book value, of which twelve were located 
in two counties. 

It is true these 305 banks are all located In districts where there Is 
but one bank and that the assessments on banks are probably some- 



''As an Illustration of the type of studies which, if conducted on a 
sufficiently comprehensive scale, would be a material aid in estimating- 
thp value of bank stocks, it may be noted that for 306 banks in Wis- 
consin, located in districts where there is but one bank, the arithmetic 
mean ratio of deposits to book value "wras. according- to the Mav 12th. 
1919, statements, 9.4. and the median ratio 9.1. The average deviation 
from the median ratio was 3.18. 

These facts suprgest that the typical relation between deposits and 
book value for a bank of the type included in this study is about nine 
or ten to one. and that a ratio of deposits to book, value of more than 
about thirteen to one is to be looked upon as indicating an unusuallv 
active business as compared with the size of the bank measured bv in- 
vestment, and that consequently the earning- capacitv of the bank is 
nrobably relatively large. On the other hand a ratio of deposits to 
book value of less than about six to one would seem to indicate sub- 
normal conditions. These, of course, are tentative conclusions, merely 
set forth as illustrative of standards which might be established by 
m.ore thorough ^examination of the facts concerning banks. Perhaps a 
comparison of book value and loans and discounts would be more sig- 
nificant. 



"i 



76 REPORT OF TUK WISCONSIN TAX (COMMISSION. 

what higher in the larger districts. The book value of all bauks in 
the state on May 12th, 1919, was $76,726,749. Bank buildings were 
assessed that year at $12,OG»,642, and bank stock net at $58,991,692, 
making a total assessment on the banks of $71,055,234, or 92.6 per cent 
of book value. In only eleven of the seventy-one counties does the 
aggregate of the assessments against bank stock and bank buildings 
equal the aggregate book value of the banks. Clearly, unless we make 
the highly improbable assumption that bank stock is on the average 
w^orth less than the investment which it represents, we must reach 
the conclusion that bank stock is, as a rule, assessed in Wisconsin 
below its true value. 

The complaint of the banks, however, is not so much that they are 
assessed more than the law stipulates, but that the methods of deteF- 
mining bank assessments are irregular and uncertain and that other 
property is underassessed to a greater extent than bank stock. It Is 
not an easy matter to determine the exact merit in this criticism. 
After deducting assessment on buildings, the 1919 local assessment on 
bank stock was $58,991,592, or 82.9 per cent of the estimated value' of 
bank stock used in the state equalization, while the local assessment 
on all property was 86.3 per cent of the state equalization value, which 
would indicate that if tjie standards used in the state equalization 
were substantially correct bank stock as a whole was underassessed 
somewhat more than other personal property. But too much signifi- 
cance should not be attached to this comparison, as it may be that 
the standards adopted were too high for banks or too low for other 
persona] property. In any event, the use of the state-wide aggregate 
obscures the wide range of variation between bank stock and other 
property which appears in the assessments of particular districts. 
From the point of view of equitable distribution of the tax burden, 
the essential question is, how are banks assessed as compared with 
other property in the same district. The following table will Illustrate 
the problem. From the list of 305 banks examined, one bar.k with a 
capital of $10,000 was picked at random from each of ten coimties. 
The table sho-ws the book value per share, the combined a.ssessment 
ner share on stock and banking house, the ratio of the nssessraent to 
the book value, and the ratio of the assessment of real pstate in the 
same district to the so-called true value based on a five-year sales 
average. 



THK TAiXATION OF BANKS. 



77 



TABILE NO. 1 



Bank No. 


Book value 
' per share 


1919 

Assessment 

per share 


Ratio of 

assessment to 

book value 


Ratio of real 
estate assess- 
ment to true 
value 


1 


162 
235 
223 
120 
198 
146 
119 
• 140 
164 
134 


100 
130 
115 

94 
117 
100 
145 
105 
159 

46 


61.7 
55.3 
51.6 
78.3 
59 . 1 
68.5 
81.0 
75.0 
96.9 
34.3 


77.0 


2 


75.1 


3 


91.9 


4 

5 


77.1 
78.0 


6 


70.0 


7 


122.1 


8 


81.6 


9 


87.7 


10 


72.2 



It will be noted that each of these banks is assessed at less than Its 
book value, in a proportion ranging from 34.3 per cent to 96.9 per 
cent, but that real estate is also assessed below the "true value'* in 
each district but one. It is needless to say that the meager evidence 
afforded by these ten banks does not justify *conclusions that banks as 
a whole are more or less underassessed than other property, but it 
does illustrate the fact that relative rather than absolute assessments 
are most significant. Though the stock of bank number 6 is assessed 
at only 68.5 per cent of book value, this assessment is apparently on 
about a parity with the assessment of real estate, and the same relation 
holds true in a number of instances as shown in the table. In the case 
of bank number 3, on the other hand, the stock of the bank seems to 
be markedly underassessed while the assessment on real estate in the 
same district exceeds 90 per cent of the true value .based on sales. 

A somewhat broader basis for judging the relative assessments of 
banks and other property is found in the following comparisons: the 
local net assessments of bank stock in Wisconsin aggregated, in 1919, 
91.2 per cent of the book value of the banks less assessments on the 
banking buildings, v/hereas the local assessments on all personal prop- 
erty aggregated only 88.6 per cent of its true value using as the 
standard of true value the estimates made by the assessors of in- 
comes. On this basis It would appear that the banks were relatively 
overassessed. On the other hand, if we use the same standards for 
true value, but compare the assessments by counties instead of for the 
state as a whole, wo find that in 37 counties, of a total of 71 in the 
state, banks wore undorassessod more than all ])orsonal property com- 
I'ined. As conipartul with real estate the ])anks appc^ar to have been 
relatively overassessed. For the entire state the local assessment of 
real estate aggregated only 87.3 per cent of its true value based on the 



78 



REPORT OP THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



five-year sales average, and in all but 21 counties of the 71 the banks 
were assessed nearer the book value than real estate was to the five- 
year average. In using the five-year sales average for real estate and 
book value for the banks, the full market value of both kinds of prop- 
erty is probably underestimated by something like ten per cent, but this 
standard offers the most readily available basis of comparison. The 
variances between the districts become more apparent upon examina- 
tion of the following table comparing the assessment of bank stock and 
the assessment of real estate for the ten districts where the differences 
between the assessment of banks and the assessment of real estate are 
greatest In this table the ratio of bank assessment means the percent- 
age ratio of the assessment of bank stock, after deduction of the assess- 
ment on the building;, to the book value of the bank less the building 
assessments. The ratio for the real estate represents the percentage 
relation between the local assessment and the five-year sales average. 

TABLiE 2 

A comparison of the ratios of 1919 assessments of banks and /real estate 

to true value based on book value and' the five year sales 

average, in 10 selected counties. 

Per cent of true value 



County 



La Crosse. . 
Outagamie 

Dunn 

Eau Claire . 
Juneau.... 
Forest .... 
Marinette. . 

Wood 

Washburn , 
Ozaukee . . 

Adams 

Lafayette.. 




Difference 

(1) Jess (2) 



+ 35.1 

+ 33.6 

+ 26.7 

-f 25.3 

+ 22.4 

21.3 

18.3 

12.0 

15.2 

15.8 

16.3 

34.7 



What conclusions can be drawn from the facts presented above? In 
the first place, there is clearly a wide variance in the assessment of 
stock of banks representing substantially the same investment and 
having presumably somewhat similar market value. For example, 
bank No. 1 and bank No. 9 in table 1 have about the same book value 
per share, but one is assessed at 100 and the other at 159. In the 
second place, the frequency with which banks are assessed at capital 
or capital plus the assessment on the buildings, indicates, either a 
failure on the part of the local assessors to understand that surplus 



THE TA^XATION OF BANKS. 79 

and undivided profits affect the* market value of bank stocks, or a de- 
liberate intention to assess below market value. Lastly, while the 
fact of underassessment is partially neutralized, and to some extent 
justified, by the underassessment of other property, the degree of un- 
derassessment of bank stock and other property is seldom the same. 
In some districts, the banks are bearing more than their share of the 
burden; in other districts, less than their share. 

But to point out defects in our tax laws or administration is a 
fruitless undertaking unless it tends to the removal of those defects. 
How can we improve the method of taxing banks in Wisconsin? 
Mustj we wait for a sweeping change in the whole system of property 
assessment, or can a plan be devised which will accomplish the pur- 
pose without involving changes for which conditions are not yet ripe? 

Pkogoam. fob Ikpbovement 

Some improvement in the assessment of bank stock may possibly 
come without any change in the existing law, but there seems sman 
hope that substantial improvement can be attained without sucn a 
change. Granting this, what change should be made? For the present 
it is impracticable to attempt to bring banks under the state income 
tax law. National and state banks are active competitors and must 
lor that reason be treated alike, and until the federal banking law is 
changed the state income tax cannot be applied to national banks. 

Nor is it feasible to attempt to tax bank stock in Wisconsin under 
a classified property tax. Whether classification is constitutional or 
not the Wisconsin tradition is against classification. There is no 
evident body of public opinion favorable to the classification idea. An 
income tax, which to some extent accomplishes the same objects as 
classification, is thoroughly established, and the practice of either ex- 
empting property entirely or endeavoring to assess it on the same 
basis as all other property is so well established that the burden of 
prool] is thrown upon any proposal to adopt the somewhat hazardous 
principle of classification. 

It. would be possible to substitute a county assessor for the present 
local assessors and such a change has much to recommend it, but it is 
not the best device for securing satisfactory assessment of banks. 
The assessment of bank stock lends itself to even greater centralization 
of administration than is involved in the county assessor scheme, and 
it is not desirable to postpone an improvement in the assessment of 
bank stock until such time as public opinion can be educated to the 
advantage of the relatively sweeping changes involved in the substitu- 
tion of a county assessor for the local assessors. The conditions are 
exceptionally favorable to assessment of bank stock by some central 
agency, such as the state tax commission. Where accurate assess- 
ment rests largely on intimate knowledge of local conditions, there 
may be some justification for the retention of the local assessor, but 
where it rests on the interpretation of corporation statements, such 



80 REPOKT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COAIMISSION. 

as bank statements, the only satisfactory method is centralized assess- 
ment. There are not so many banKs as to make it impossible to give 
aaequaie attention to each, 'ihe valuation ot railways is now uiaae by 
a centralized authority in Wisconsin and in many other states, auu 
the valuation of bank stocks would be a less complicated tasK. on liiu 
v^hole than the valuation of a railroad. Complete reports could be 
required showing practically all facts essential to accurate assessment, 
and a member of the staff of the commission could make himself much 
more tamiiiar with the technique of bank statements than it is possioie 
for the local or county assessor to do. We should not, of course, 
overlook the value of intimate knowledge of local conditions. But 
there is no essential reason why advantage could not be taken of such 
knowledge by obtaining information from local assessors without 
relying on them for final determination of the value of the bank stock. 
With the aid of supplementary information from the local assessors 
and assessors of incomes, it would be possible to ascertain the true 
values of the bank stock more closely than it can he calculated by 
any other agency. 

However, the very thoroughness of the available information, mak- 
ing readily possible the assessment of bank stock at full cash value by 
the tax commission, might serve to intensify existing inequalities be- 
tween the taxation of hank stock and other property. If banks are 
submitted to state assessment, and the assessment of other property 
remains at less than the full cash value, equity requires that means 
be devised to adjust the assessment of banks to the degree of local 
underassessment of other property. This may be done, either by tax-' 
ing all banks at a fiat rate adjusted to allow for the extent to which 
other; property is imderassessed in the state as a whole, or by adjust- 
ment to the assessment practice in each local district, and taxation at 
the local rate on other property. 

For example, all banks might be taxed at the average rate on all 
property in the state, obtained hy dividing the sum total of taxes by 
the true value of all taxable property. This method is applied in 
Wisconsin to railroads and, in view of the state-wide nature of the 
railroad business, appears to be the logical method of determining 
the rate. The average state rate is not, however, well adapted to 
banks, for the reason that the great majority of banks in Wisconsin 
are essentially local institutions and should be taxed at rates varying 
with local conditions rather than at an average state rate. The local 
nature of banks is recognized in the provision that bank stock shall be 
taxed where the bank is located, and there is a sound basis in fact for 
looking upon banks as local institutions. Their stockholders are 
largely local business or professional men or local property owners; 
they serve the local community and compete with other banks in the 
same immediate district. Hence in questioning whether the tax 
burden of a given bank is equitably proportioned, it is more to the 
point to compare its taxes with those of other businesses or other prop- 
erty, and particularly with the taxes of other banliing institutions, in 



THE TA+XATION OF BANKS. 81 

tile same assessment district, than to compare its taxes with those 
ot Danks in some other community. The burden caused by i/Ubnu 
expenditure varies considerably in the various' communities, auu a 
method which will assess and tax a bank equitably as compared w.Uxi 
other taxpayers in the same assessment district is more to be desirea 
than a system which will assess all banks ou a nxea basis wnich ai&>- 
regards the local conditions. This is one weakness ot the irequentiy 
commended New \:oik system ot imposing a nac rate ot one per cent 
on the book value ot all banks. Banks shouid be taxed at a locai 
rate, varying with local tax burdens, rather than at a flxea rate or at 
the average state rate. 

The argument that the assessment of banks shouid vary with local 
assessment oi other property does not necessarily carry wita it xne 
conclusion that tne income trom the o>ynersnip o£ bank stocK shouia 
be taxed at the same rate as income trom other corporation stock. 
Even if a personal property tax on the value of bank stock represents 
a higher proportion of the income from the stock than is taken by the 
income tax trom tne owners of other corporation stock, the bank tax 
is not necessarily to be condemned as proportionally excessive. It 
must be remembered that there is no state income tax applying to the 
earnings of banks, and that a bank stands in a somewhat different 
relation to the public than an ordinary corporation. Both creditors 
and stockholders are hedged about with safeguards provided by the 
state, and such income as is earned partakes of a somewhat greater 
degree of permanency and less of the risk element than income from 
ordinary corporation stock. The double liability of stockholders, how- 
ever, offsets this advantage to some extent. 

But whether or not the market value of bank stock is considered the 
correct base upon which to levy bank ta;xes, the argument still holds 
that if the banks are to be assessed by a central authority, the as- 
sessment should be adjusted to the fact of local underassessment, 
w^herever it exists, and then the local rate applied to the adjusted 
value. This method is now applied under the provisions of Chapter 
645, Laws of 1917, to interdistrict public utilities, such as a gas plant 
serving patrons in a city and the adjoining rural territory. The tax 
commission determines the true value for the entire utility, and ap- 
portions this to the several districts in which it operates, and then 
in each district makes an assessment which bears the same ratio to 
the true value that the assessment of real estate in the district bears 
to its true value. If the true value of the utility assigned to a given 
city is $100,000, and the real property in that city is assessed at 
ninety per cent of its true value, then the utility is assessed at $90,000, 
at the local rate of taxation. 

This method could readily be applied to banks, as under the regula- 
tion to which banks are subjected reports can be obtained from them 
which would give a quite accurate index of the condition and earnings 
of the bank. The present method is satisfactory to no one. The local 
assessor finds it difficult to assess bank stock satisfactorily, partly 

6— T. C. 



52 REPOKT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

because the banker is often a powerful local influence, but more often 
because the assessor does not understand how to interpret bank state- 
ments; the supervisor of assessments often finds himself in the 
dilemma of recommending- to the local assessor a value which he knows 
violates the letter of the law or an assessment at full value which will 
be disproportionate in view of the probability that the assessor will 
imderassess other property. The bankers themselves condemn the 
present system as arbitrary and unfair in its operation. The only 
parties who stand to lose by a change are those banks which are now 
escaping with an underassessment and other taxpayers in those dis- 
tricts which are now taxing the hanks relatively too high. Of course, 
the change proposed, if the work is to be done in the thorough way 
necessary to accompl^h the desired improvement in the taxation of 
banks, would throw additional burden on the staff of the tax commis- 
sion, particularly in the first year when an initial investigation of the 
status of individual banks and of the factors influencing the value of 
bank stock was being made. However, under the present system the 
statement of each bank is digested in the process of determining 
values for the purposes of the state and county equalizations, hence, 
in the long run, it does not seem prohable that the total amount of 
effort involved in the assessment of banks would be appreciably in- 
creased, and the process of county equalization would be simplified, 
as the true values established by .the Tax Commission could appro- 
priately be used for the county equalization, just as the true values 
found by the Commission for inter-district public utilities are now the 
usual basis for determining the true value of these properties in the 
county equalizations. 

It would be somewhat of an exaggeration to say that there is an 
imperative need for change in the method of taxing banks, but most 
progress comes by degrees, and it does appear that the change sug- 
gested would be a step toward a more logical and more equitable 
method of taxing banks in Wisconsin. 



ASSESSMENT OP PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION. 



83 



CHAPTER VI 



ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATIONS 

Properties of public service corporations valued at approximately a 
half billion dollars are under existing laws assessed annually by the 
tax commission. Measured in terms of valuation these properties 
represent 98% of all public service corporations in the state, the ro- 
mping 2% being assessed by local assessors. 

The table below shows the valuations and taxes for the year 1920 
of each class separately. 

TABIitE 15 

ASSESSMENT OP PUBLIC SEBVIOE CORPORATIONS FOR THE YEAR 1920 



Railroads 

Street Railways 

Conservation Companies 

Telegraph Companies 

Eicpress Companies 

Sleeping Oar Companies 

Freight lAne Companies 

Inter-district Electric, Gas and Water Companies 
(f^tered on local rolls) 



Assessment 


Taxes at 

.01895318 


$SO0,734,00O 

71,360,000 

350,000 

4,325,000 

500,000 

1,775,000 

1,384,000 

34,411,500 


$6,837,066.47 

1,352,496.03 

6,633.61 

81,972.50 

9,476.59 

33,641.89 

26,231.22 

652,172.94* 


$474,839,500 


$8,999,684.15 



*Note: This figure is an estimate based on the rate above. These companies are in 
fact subject to local rates of the districts through which the properties extend which 
had not been reported at the time this report goes to press. 



Notwithstanding the fact that the present system of taxation of pub- 
lic service corporations has long been in operation it is evident from 
the nature of inquiries made that there is still considerable mis- 
apprehension as to what is the basis of valuation for assessment. 
This condition prevails among public officials, the legal profession, 
and corporations themselves, as well as the general public. For this 
reason a brief explanation and discussion of the system and the 
activities of this department of the work is herewith presented. 

All of these properties are assessed under what is known as the ad 
valorem system of taxation. While necessarily there are special pro- 
visions in the law applicable particularly to each of the classes men- 



\ 

84: REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

tioned in the above table, the general scheme of assessment is sub- 
stantially the same for all classes. 

The basis of the assessment under the ad valorem method, as the 
term indicates, is value. No set formula is given for ascertaining this 
valuation, — on the contrary the method to be pursued is left to the 
judgment of the assessing officers. 

The following are the sources of information from which statistics 
are obtained upon which valuation of these companies is based: 

1. Annual reports by the companies 

(a) To the tax commission 

(b) To the railroad commission 

(c) To the Interstate Commerce Commission 

(d) To stockholders 

2. Appraisals of physical property 

(a) By the state engineer 

(b) By the Interstate Commerce Commission • 

3. Financial publications 

4. Briefs, oral arguments, correspondence, and special reports made 

by the companies before or after hearings. 
From the annual reports made to the tax commission the following 
important data as to each company are secured: 

1. Number of shares of capital stock 

2. Par value of such stock, showing the amount authorized, amount 

issued, and the dividends paid thereon. 

3. Mfrket value of the shares. 

4. The funded debt, including all series of bonds, debentures, and 

securities, with date of issue and maturity, interest paid, etc. 

5. Schedules of property investments, length of lines, etc. 

6. Earnings, gross and net, both within and without the state of 

Wisconsin, and other details. 

The reports made to the railroad commission necessarily contain 
much more detail than those to the tax commission. Use is made of 
such reports in checking the data returned to the tax commission, and 
in obtaining more detailed information which is sometimes required 
in particular cases. They do not, however, contain all of the informa- 
tion that is required for tax purposes. 

All railroad companies and all other corporations engaged in inter- 
state business report to the Interstate Commerce Commission. As that 
commission prescribes the system of accounts for railroads and the 
larger interstate corporations, and the reports are public records they 
furnish a valuable source of information and comparison. Copies or 
portions thereof are required to be made for tax purposes and in 
general the system of reporting used by tliat body has been adopted in 
making up the forms for report to the tax commission. 

When the ad valorem system of taxation was adopted in 1900 it was 
deemed advisable to have a detailed inventory and ai)praisal made of 
the properties of all railroads. Expert engineers were placed in 



ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION. 85 

charge of this work, and with the co-operation of the companies the 
task was completed and report filed in 1905. (See Appendix A, Tax 
Commission Report 1907.) Later when the railroad commission was 
organized appraisals made by the tax commission engineer were avail- 

I 

able for that commission and the engineering department was by 
agreement supported jointly by the two commissions. 

Annually thereafter appraisals were submitted not only of the raft- 
roads but also of practically all other public service corporations. 
While this appraisal work has to a large extent been discontinued for 
taxation purposes the material heretofore gathered is still of great 
value and is used together with additions since last appraisal in de- 
termining the present cost of reproduction of the physical property. 
So far as railroads are concerned an inventory and appraisal is now 
in progress by the Interstate Commerce Commission and reports of 
Wisconsin companies are being received from time to time. 

The financial publications principally used in connection with these 
assessments are: "The Wall Street Journal," a daily paper published 
in New York, and "The Commercial and Financial Chronicle," a 
weekly periodical. These publications give reports of all sales of stocks 
and bonds of the larger interstate railroad companies and other cor- 
porations. Use is also made of Moody's Investment Service and Poor's 
Manuals which contain special analyses of capitalization, investments, 
earnings (past and prospective) of the different properties. These 
publications also furnish material for continuous studv of the general 
financial situation as affecting values of properties -imder consideration. 

Franchise and Going Value 

Undoubtedly among the reasons for placing public service corpora- 
tions in a special class for valuation and assessment is that they enjoy 
special privileges among which are right of eminent domain and in 
most cases virtual monopoly these being inherent in the nature of the 
business. These rights and privileges may and often are of consid- 
erable value over and above the investment in proDerty. The statute 
specifically reauires that franchises be included. Furthermore, the 
svstem set forth in the statute evidently contemplates that these com- 
panies shall be valued as going concerns and not as so many parcels 
of real estate and items of equipment. In fact a railroad, plectric 
or gas plant is something more than mere land, rails, cars, wires and 
machinery. It is a live, going business guided bv brains an<l having 
rights and privileges which gave it an organic unity. The theory of 
our ad valorem law as applied by the tax commission was upheld bv 
our supreme court in an exhaustive opinion involving the first valua- 
tTon for assessment nnrnose^? of railroads. {Chicago d Northwestern 
'R.nilroad v. fffote. 1?8 Wis. 553.) 

One of the thfns'*? which peemg to have been overlooked by a con- 
siderable Dortion of the nuhMc is that laws and regulations provided 
for valuations for rate regulation do not and cannot apply as to valua- 



86 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TlX COMMISSION. 

tions for purpose of taxation. Space will not be here taken for dis- 
cussion of the reasons for the difference in such valuations, but those 
interested will find the matter discussed in the 1916 report of the com- 
mission, pages 99 to 101. 

The meaning of the word "value" as taken for tax purposes is market 
or exchange value, i. e., the meaning ordinarily put on the word. 
The problem is to determine this value. Now, in putting a price on a 
parcel of land, a residence or a business block the obvious and cus- 
tomary method is to ascertain at what figure similar properties have 
sold. Such value in the long run is based on the opinion of the public 
or more particularly persons who stake their money back of their 
judgment. There is no better guide than this to market value. It is 
the basis of the method employed by the commission in fixing value of 
real estate in the state equalization. Unfortunately railroads and 
other public utilities unlike other property are rarely sold as units. 
However, shares as represented by stocks and bonds of some of the 
large corporations are constantly being transferred and these data 
afford one means of determining market value of the entire prop- 
erty. Now, this method would be sufficient and adequate without other 
flata were it not for the fact that as only a portion of the stocks and 
bonds of a given company are* sold In any one year, it is questionable 
whether prevailing prices would hold in case a controlling interest 
were to be transferred. Besides this the stocks and bonds of a rail- 
road represent not only all property used in the transportation business 
but also all investments made in securities of other corporations: 
other railroads, land, mines, timber, government bonds and many 
others, some of which in order to avoid duplication must be deducted. 
In addition to this, as is well known there is more or less manipula- 
tion of the stock market. For these reasons additional methods 
must be employed for comparison and verification. The most im- 
portant of these methods is what is known as "capitalization of net 
earnings." 

This method is based on the same theory that obtains in valuing 
annuities, i. e., that the capital or property value of a given annual 
Income may be computed providing the length of time such annuity 
Is to run is known or can be approximated. As a matter of fact, this 
method is that used by bankers, brokers, and investors generally In 
estimating value of corporate securities. Of course, other things are 
taken into account by them particularly those affecting the safety and 
stability of the investment. Likewise, these matters must be con- 
sidered in valuing the properties which these securities represent. 

Now, earnings of public utilities, unlike annuities, are not uniform. 
They fluctuate from year to year depending on a variety of circum- 
stances: management, markets, labor, crops, and the general trend of 
business. Furthermore, it must be kept in mind that it is not past 
earnings which really give value to these properties but the prospect 
of future earnings, and this means earnings over a period of years. 



ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION. 87 

The best method of measuring future earning capacity is, however, by 
past performance. The period taken has usually been five years. 
Averages of net earnings are computed and capitalized at various rates. 

The rates of capitalization employed being based upon the rates de- 
manded by the investing public necessarily cannot be uniform as to 
all classes of public utilities, nor even as to companies of the same 
character. Regularity, uniformity and stability, as well as amount of 
earnings, have an important bearing on the rate expected by investors. 
As a general rule, the larger the company the less fluctuation there is 
In earnings. For this reason larger railroads have been put in a 
special class and the lowest rates have been applied to them. These 
rates have ranged from 6% to 6%%. The smaller companies have been 
capitalized from 7% to 8% after giving careful scrutiny of the Income 
returns for a number of years back. In assessing street railways and 
light, heat and power companies the rates have ranged from 6% In the 
case of large and prosperous companies to '8%, depending on the hazard 
of the Investment and the stability of the enterprise. In a few cases 
involving small plants even higher rates were used, It being apparent 
that the risks were large and future prospects unattractive. 

In using this method it must be borne in mind that, notwithstanding 
the rules of accounting prescribed by regulating bodies, there are 
marked variations in methods of financing and management, all of 
which affect net earnings as reported. For example, some companies 
pursue a liberal policy as to maintenance and depreciation, while 
others in order to make the best possible showing to stockholders and 
prospective investors in securities have exactly the opposite policy — 
what is sometimes called "milking the property.'* 

There are considerations even more Important. Conditions some- 
times undergo radical change In a short time, so that average earnings 
of past years cannot safely be relied on as Indicating future earning 
power. Thus the opening of the world war; our entry therein; gov- 
ernment operation and control of transportation and markets so un- 
settled previous conditions and values that the earnings of prior years 
could not be accepted as an accurate criterion to gauge the future. 

Railim)ads 

In determining valuation for assessment of railroads two principal 
methods are used. One is the stock and bond method and the other 
the capitalization of net earnings method referred to above. Only the 
securities of the larger interstate roads are reported on the stock 
markets so that reliance must be had on capitalization method for 
most companies. In cases where there are no net earnings or where 
the business is operated at a loss the valuation must be based on the 
investment or cost of reproduction, consideration being also given to 
any factors which may affect future prospects of the property. Some 
logging railroads are worth little more than "scrap" or "junk" value 
as no traffic can be expected after the adjacent timber is exhausted. 



88 



REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



As will be seen from examination of the following table the earnings 
of the larger interstate railroads suffered a radical decline in the years 
1918 and 1919 during government operation. 



TABIM 16 

SYSTEM NET EARNINGS OF THE EIGHT LARGE INTERSTATE RAILROADS 

(Taxes Deducted) 



Chicago & Northwestern Ry. Co 

Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Ry. Co 

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R. R. Co 

Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Ry. Co 

Great Northern Ry. Co 

Illinois Central R. R. Co 

Minneapolis, St. Paul & S. S. M. Ry. Co 

Northern Pacific Ry. Co « 



5 yrs. Average 


2 yrg. Average 


Net Earnings 


Net Earnings 


191S-1917 


1918 and 1919 


Inclusive 




$22,423,290 


$13,244,288 


26,^5,333 


4,484,709 


31.684,595 


24,538,543 


4,916,lfl2 


2,876,496 


28,201.574 


10,882,904 


13,437,4.57 


7,412,982 


11,597,3.56 


4,949,566 


26.185,370 


19,169,548 



This reduction in earnings was reflected in market quotations of 
securities, (see paige 6) and necessarily could not be overlooked in 
determining valuations for assessment. As will be noted from the 
tables following there was a reduction of $24 605,000 in the total valua- 
tion for 1919, and a further reduction of $5,326,000 In 1920. The 
largest decrease was in the case of Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 
Railway which showed the greatest falling off both In earnings and 
stock quotations. Table 3 shows the total valuation, tax rate, and 
taxes of railroads in this state from the first assessment In 1904 to 
1920, inclusive. It will be noted that there was an increase each year 
over the preceding year until 1919. The effect of the increases In 
freight and passenger rates will doubtless be reflected in future 
earnings. 

In the case of interstate railroads there is no absolutely accurate 
way of determining the earnings and expenses in each state. Rate 
charges for passena:er and freight are, of course, based on distance 
traveled. Th^^ difficulty Is that track mileage as a basis of appor- 
tionment takes no account of termnial expenses which are claimed to 
constitute a considerable portion of the expense of transportation. 
The large cities with immensely valuable terminals, of course, are not 
given proper credit on a track mileage basis of apportionment. Re- 
neated attempts have been made by state and federal bodies to solve 
this problem but as yet no solution Is In sight. No specific system of 
ar>Dortionment has been prescribed for apportioning: earnings by anv 
state or federal regrulating body. Consequently, there is a lack of 
uniformitv in the methods of reporting as between the different com- 
panies. This being the case we have found it desirable to make in- 
denendent apportionments using all available data bearing upon the 
matter. Valuations are made of the entire system and then appor- 



ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION. 89 



tionment is made to the state, partially on earnings and partially on 
other data. The average percentage, Wisconsin to system, of the fol- 
lowing data is commonly used in apportioning system valuation to 
the state. 



Gross earnings 

Net earnings 

Revenue train mileage 

Car and locomotive mileage 

Track mileage 

Single track 

All track 

Table 4 gives the assessment and taxes of each company for the years 
1919 and 1920. 

TABI4E 17 



ASSESSMENT AND TAXES OF RAILROADS IN WISCONSIN FROM 1904 TO 1920 

INCLUSIVE 



1904... 
1005... 
1906... 
1907... 
1908... 
1909... 
1910. . . 
1911..'. 
1912. . . 
1913. . . 
1914. . . 
1915. . . 
1916. . . 
,1917. . . 
1918. . . 
1919... 
1920... 



Assrasment 



$218,024,900 
228,810,000 
237,239,500 
255,860,000 
267,861,500 
274,948,000 
284,066,000 
297.935,000 
325,085,000 
326,253,000 
340,242,000 
358,800,000 
360,960,000 
384,870,000 
390,665,000 
366,060,000 
360,734,000 



Tax Rate 



Taxes 



.01144085 


$2,494,282.57 


.01127263 


2,579,290.68 


.01138190 


2,700,237.58 


.01095050 


2,801,685.24 


.01151238 


S,063,720.8« 


.01143064 . 


3,142,888.78 


.01125323 


8,198,881.84 


.01117968 


3,830,819.6t 


.01108884 


3,804,165.58 


.01183243 


3,860,368.07 


.01387408 


4,720,529.80 


.01332733 


4,781,847.06 


.01317260 


4.764,784.88 


.01384487 


5,828,478.89 


.01389781 


5,429,813.84 


.01463091 


5.355.793.18 


.01895318 


8,837.058.47 



90 RETORT OF TJiK WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



l|i"iiiiiiiiiiiiiip 




ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION. 91 



TH£ Average State Rate 

The tax rate applied to railroads is the average rate applied to gen- 
eral property of the state. The value of the general property of the 
state as fixed by the tax commission for equalization purposes, i. e., 
the state assessment is used as a divisor, the total taxes levied by the 
state, county, towns, cities, and villages for all purposes is used as a 
dividend, and the quotient represents the percentage which constitutes 
the rate. As the state assessment is on the basis of full market value 
this tax rate is the true average tax rate of the state. The following 
table shows the application of the formula in computing rates for 1919 
and 1920 assessments. 



TABliB 10 

FORMULA USED IN OOMFUTING AVERAGE RATE APPLICABLE TO RAILRQABS 
AND OTHER PUBLIC UTILITIES FOR THE YEARS 1919 AND 1920 

These Data are In Continuation of that Shown on page W, Report 1918. 



Dividend 


Divisor 


Quotient 


Aggregate state, county 
and local taxes 


Value of general 
property 


Average rate 


1918.... $56,254, 857. 21 
1919.... 77,106,385.00 


1918.... $3,846,263,744 
1919.... 4,068,268,534 


.01463091.... 1919 
.01895318.... 1920 



AH of the tax paid by railroads goes to and is retained by the state 
except that derived from "docks, wharves, and grain elevators used in 
transferring freight or passengers between cars and vessels." In order 
to determine this tax the commission is required annually to make a 
separate valuation of each property answering this description. The 
basis of these separate valuations is the cost of reproduction less de- 
preciation. As some roads are assessed at more and some at less than 
the cost of reproduction the terminal properties are put on the same 
basis by applying in each case a percentage to the cost of reproduction 
of each dock property. The following table shows such separate 
valuations and taxes and the amounts going to each city where these 
terminals are located. 



I 



92 



REPORT OP THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



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ASSESSMENT OF PUB1.IC SERVICE CORPORATION. 



93 



Street Railways and Associated Light, Heat and Power Companies 

The method used in valuing street railways and light, heat and power 
companies operated in connection therewith is substantially the same 
as that employed in assessing railroads. One source of data, however, 
is not available, namely, market quotations. Only a few of these se- 
curities are listed on the markets. The valuation is. based mainly on 
capitalization of earnings and in case of new properties on investment 
or cost of reproduction. The rate of taxation is the average state rate 
applied to railroads. Table 7 following shows the total assessments 
and taxes of street railways from the first assessment under the ad 
valorem system in 1908' to 1920, inclusive. Table 8 shows the valua- 
tion and taxes of each company for the years 1918, 1919, and 1920. 

TABLE 21 

ASSESSMENT AND TAXES OF STREET RAILWAYS AND LIGHT, HEAT AND 
POWER COMPANIES OPERATED IN CONNECTION THEREWITH FROM 1908 
TO 1920, INCLUSIVE. 



1908 
1909 
1910 
1911 
1912 
1913. 
1914. 



Assessment 



$33,932,000 
36,919,000 
39,893,000 
42,163,000 
47,385,000 
51,490,000 
58,390,000 



Taxes 



$390,637.75 
422,015.21 
448,925.33 
471,369.07 
525,128.21 
609,252.19 
810,104.88 



1915 
1916 
1917 

1918 
1919 
1920 



Assessment 



$61,973,000 
62,688,000 
68,456,000 
67,792,000 
69,417,000 
71,360,000 



Taxes* 



$825,934.80 

825,764.50 

947,764.70 

942,146.78 

1,015,640.12 

1,352,498.93 



I 



REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX { 



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1 

ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION. 95 

Whil« the taxes derived from ' these companies are paid into the 
state treasury the state retains only 15%, the remaining 8S% going, 
20% to the counties and 65% to the towns, cities, and villages through 
which the properties extend. This 85% is required to he distributed 
on the basis of "property located and business transacted." "Property 
located" has been construed to mean cost of reproduction of physical 
property and "business transacted" to mean gross receipts. The idea 
of using fioth "property located" and "business transacted" as a basis 
for distribution of the tax was to give to the country districts credit 
for valuable power plants and transmission lines often located in or 
traversing same, and to give the cities credit for the business whlcb 
is largely derived from these districts. While some difficulty Is ex- 
perienced in getting accurate figures on which to make these distribu- 
tions of the tax, on the whole, the system works satisfactorily and 
there is little complaint. Some errors, however, are unavoidable on 
account of the large number of these apportionments and as no pro- 
vision is made for correction except through court procedure, the 

I statute needs some revision to provide for the sanie. In order to 

bring this about a bill has been drawn providing that the commission 
may correct a material error in any year by making an adjustment 
in the apportionment of the subsequent year. The following tables 
sbow how street railway taxes were distributed in 1918, 1919 and 

I 1920: 



96 



REPORT OP THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TABLE 23 



DISTRIBWrrON TAX ROLL OP STREET RAILWAYS AND LIGHT, HEAT AND POWER COM- 
PANIES OPERATED IN OONNEOTION FOB THE YEARS 1918, 1919 AND 1920 



ASHLAND LIGHT, POWER & ST. RY. Co.- 

1918 1919 1920 

Total Tax, 100% $9,033.45 $10,241.70 $12,319.67 

State, 15% 1,355.02 1,536.26 1,847.94 

Counties, 20% 1,806.69 2,048.84 2,463.91 

ToWM, etc. 66% 5,871.74 6,657.11 8,007.72 

Ashland County ^ 

Ashland city 

Sanborn town •. . . 

White River town 

Bayfield County , 

Barksdale town , 

Eileen town 

Washburn town 

Washburn city 

Iron County 

Gnmey town 

Saxon town 



Rock County , 
Beloit city 



BAY SHORE' STREET RAILWAY CO.— 

1918 1919 1920 

Total Tax, 100% $166.77 $175.57 $189.53 

State, 15% 25.02 26.33 28.43 

Counties, 20% 33.35 35.12 37.91 

Towns, etc., 65% 108.40 114.12 123.19 

Brown County 

Green Bay city 

Preble town 



BELOIT TRACTION CO.— 

1918 1919 1920 

Total Tax, 100% $2,293.11 $2,414.12 $3,506.34 

State, 15% 843.97 362.12 525.95 

Counties, 20% 458.62 482.82 701.27 

Towns, etc., 65% 1,490.52 1,569.18 2,279.12 



CHICAGO & MILWAUKEE ELECTRIC RY. CO.- 



Total Tax, 100% 

State, 15% 

Counties, 20% 

Towns, etc., 65% 

Milwaukee County 
Milwaukee city 



1918 

$2,987.99 

448.20 

597.60 

1,942.19 



1919 

$2,926.20 

438.98 

585.24 

1,902.08 



1920 

$3,790.65 

568.60 

758.13 

2,463.92 



DULUTH STREET RAILWAY CO.— 

1918 1919 1920 

Total Tax, 100% $15,287.37 $14,631.00 $20,848.51 

State, 15% 2,293.11 2,194.6^ 3,127.27 

Counties, 20% 3,057.47 2,926.20 4,169.71 

Towns, etc., 65% 9,986.79 9,510.15 13,551.53 



Douglas County 
Superior city 



Distribution to Counties, Towns, 
dtles and YUlages 



1918 



$1,669.20 

4,310.44 

304.16 

484.96 

$201.90 

546.10 

2.94 

12.92 

94.63 

35.59 
72.23 
43.46 



33.35 
39.60 
68.80 



458.62 
1,490.52 



$597.60 
1.942.19 



$3,057.47 
9,936.79 



1919 



$1,805.00 
5,289.74 



576.60 

$243.34 

715.64 

8.3S 

15.32 

56.58 



35.12 
38.51 
75.61 



482.82 
1,569.18 



$.'585.24 
1,902.03 



$2,926.20 
9,510.15 



1920 



$2,307.18 
6,781.02 



717.33 

$156.73 

376.92 

4.32 

19.06 

109.07 



37.91 
44.89 
78.30 



701.27 
2,279.12 



$758.13 
2,463.92 



$4,169/ 
13,551,! 



ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION. 



97 



TABLE aa — Continued 



EASTERN WISCONSIN ELEOTRIC CO.- 



Total Tax, 
State, 
Counties, 
Towns, etc. 



1918 
$50,081.40 
7,504.70 
10,006.29 
32,520.41 



100% 
15% 
20% 
65% 

Fond du I>ac County ,. 

Fond du L-ac city 

Fond du Lac town 

FrIendiShip town 

North Fond du Lac village 

Empire town 

Forest town 



1919 

$62,181.75 

9,327.26 

12,436,35 

40,418.14 



1920 

$75,812.72 

11,371.91 

15,162.54 

49,278.27 



Sheboygan County 

Elkhart Lrfke city 

Greenbush town 

Kohler village 

Plymouth town 

Plymouth city 

Rhine town 

Sheboygan town 

Sheboygan city 

Sheboygan Fails city. 
Sheboygan Falls town. 

Winnebago County 

Algoma town 

Black Wolf town 

Clayton town 

Neenah city 

Neenah toten 

Oshkosb city 

Oshkosh town 

Omro village 

Omro town 

Vinland town 



GRAND RAPIDS STREET RAILROAD CO.— 



Total Tax, 100% 
State, 15% 

Counties, 20% 

Towns, etc., 65% 



1918 
$1,389.76 
208.46 
277.95 
903.35 



1919 
$1,463.10 
219.46 
292.62 
951.02 



1920 

$1,895.32 

284.30 

379.06 

1,231.96 



Wood County 

Wisconsin Rapids city. 

Nekooga village 

Port Edwards town... 
Port Edwards village.. 



IRONWOOD & BESSEMER RAILWAY & LIGHT CO.— 



Total Tax, 100% 
State, 15% 

Counties, 20% 

Towns, etc., 65% 

Ashland County 

Ashland city 

Ashland town — 

Marengo town . . . 

Mellen city ...... 

Morse town 

Sanborn town ... 

White River town 



1918 
$6,253.92 

938.09 
1,250.78 
4,065.05 



1919 

$7,681.28 

1,152.19 

1,536.26 

4,992.83 



1920 

$9,476.58 

1,421.48 

1,805.32 

6,159.78 



Iron County 

Anderson town .. 
Hamilton village 

Hurley city 

Kimball town ... 

Knight town 

Montreal town . . 

Saxon town 

Gurney town — 
Carey town 



Distribution to Gounties, Towns, 
Cities and Villages 



1918 



$3,736.34 

10.723.38 

140.00 

815.62 

438.20 

13.55 

13.55 

$4,160.95 
184.28 
14.91 
224.93 
723.58 
414.64 
230.35 
531.17 

10,107.07 
415.99 
676.15 

$2,109.00 

411.60 
969.63 
121.40 
261.78 
233.30 
3,736.70 
297.80 
92.98 
457.18 
280.72 



$277.95 

417.53 

136.32 

61.70 

287.80 



$355.10 
39.84 
83.74 
4.88 
28.05 
863.42 
51.63 
82.52 

$895.68 

117.07 

956.10 

1,241.87 

73.98 

80.06 

138.62 

308.25 



1919 



$4,406.69 

12,384.12 

153.59 

1,042.78 

715.40 

16.17 

16.17 

$5,212.07 
153.59 
16.17 
359.72 
840.70 
359.72 
250.59 
885.16 

12,796.38 
331.43 
945.78 

$2,815.59 

• 498.10 

1,099.87 

165.71 
436.52 
270.81 
5,278.61 
363.76 
173.89 
525.44 
343.55 



$292.62 

442.66 

154.85 

69.81 

298.70 



$560.74 

254.13 

77.39 

3.50 

52.42 

795.36 

663.69 

75.89 

$975.52 

107.85 

1,081.52 

1,230.23 

68.40 

77.39 

116.33 

401.92 

136.81 



1920 



$5,819.17 

15,366.89 

128.12 

1,033.37 

736.71 

16.28 

16.26 

$6,153.87 

2021.04 

18.23 

437.69 

1,061.95 

492.78 

272.51 

1,004.29 

15,035.79 

441.53 

1,033.37 

$3,689.60 
712.07 

1,865.66 
184.30 
480.46 
394.72 

7,092.18 
504.11 
127.68 
667.72 
472.09 



$379.06 

568.18 

196.82 

79.73 

392.28 



$626.55 

274.85 

91.97 

6.10 

67.51 

881.34 

682.36 

82.17 

$1,268.77 

116.79 

1,338.52 

1,687.84 

73.67 

105.46 

181.84 

446.77 

147.70 

24.89 



7— T. C. 



98 



REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TABL£ 23 — Continued 



JANESVILLB TBAOTION 



Total Tax, 100% 

State, 15% 

Oountles, 20% 

Towns, etc., 65% 



CO.— 
1918 

$833.86 
125.08 
106.77 
512.01 



1919 
$877.80 
131.68 
175.57 
570.61 



]920 
,137.19 
170.58 
227.44 
739.17 



Rock Oount7 

Janesville city 



LA OBOSSE & ONALASKA STREET RAILWAY CO.— 







1918 


1919 


1920 


Total Tax, 


100% 


$416.93 


$512.09 


$.568.60 


State, 


15% 


62.54 


76.81 


85.29 


Counties, 


20% 


83.30 


102.42 


113.72 


ToTinis, etc., 


65% 


271.00 


332.86 


369.59 



La Orosse County. 
La Orosse city 
Campbell town 
Onalaska city . 



MADISON RAILWAYS 



Total Tax, 100% 
State, 15% 

Counties, 20% 

Towns, etc., 65% 



CO.— 

1918 

$13,152.63 

1,972.89 

2,630.53 

8,549.21 



1919 

$13,167.90 

1,975.18 

2,633.58 

8,559.14 



1920 

$17,057.85 

2,558.68 

3,411.57 

11,087.60 



Dane County 

Madison city 
Madison town 



MANITOWOC & NORTHERN TRACTION CO.— 



Total Tax, 100% 

State, 15% 

Counties, 20% 

Towns, etc., 65% 



1918 
$1,181.30 
177.20 
236.26 
767.84 



1919 
$1,097.32 
164.60 
219.46 
713.26 



1920 
$1,231.95 
184.79 
246.39 

800.77 



Manitowoc County .. 
Manitowoc dty . . 
Manitowoc town 
Two Rivers, city. 
Two Rivers, town 



MENOMINEE & MARINETTE LIGHT & TRACTION CO - 



Total Tax, 100% 
State, 15% 

Counties, 20% 

Towns, etc., 65% 



1918 

$4,169.28 

625.39 

833.86 

2,710.03 



1919 

$4,755.07 

713.26 

951.01 

3,090.80 



1920 
$5,685.95 

852.89 
1,1.37.19 
3,695.87 



Marinette County 
Marinette city 
Peshtigo town 
Wagner town 



Distribution to Oountles, Towns, 
Oities and Villages 



1918 



$166.77 
542.01 



$83.39 
82.92 

110.90 
77.18 



1919 



$175.57 
570.61 



$102.42 

105.19 

129.56 

OS. 11 



$2,630.53 

8,263.90 

285.31 



$236.26 
448.20 

90.67 
133.23 

95.74 



$833.86 

2,223.40 

18.19 

468.44 



$2,633.58 

8,296.60 

260.54 



$219.46 
414.49 

80.06 
133.85 

84.86 



$061.01 

2,558.46 

19.94 

617.40 



1920 



$227.44 
739.17 



$113.72 

95. 40 

174.15 

100.04 



$3,411.57 

10,521.80 

565. 80 



$246.39 
4«1.76 

83.61 
168.68 

86.72 



$1,1- 

8,0e 

S 



r 



ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION. 



99 



TABIiK aa— Continued 



MILWAUKEE ELEOTRIC RAILWAY & LIGHT CX>. 

1918 1919 

$416,928.30 $424,299.00 

62,539.25 6S,644.85 

83,385.60 84,859.801 

271,003.39 275,794.35 



Tax, 



Total 

State, 
OouDties, 
Towns, etc. 



100% 
15% 
20% 
65% 



1920 

$758,127.21 

113,719.08 

151,625.44 

492,782.69 



Milwaukee County 

Greenfield town 

Lake town 

Milwaukee city 

Shorewood village 

Wauwatosa city 

Wauwatosa town 

West Allis city 

West Milwaukee, village. 

Cudahy city 

Franklin town 

Milwaukee town 

North Milwaukee city 

Oak Oreek town.. 

South Milwaukee city 

Whiteflsh Bay village.... 



Jefferson County ... 
Ixonia town ..:. 
Watertown city . 
Watertown town 



Kenosha County 
Homers town 



Racine County 

Burlington city ... 
Burlington town . 
Caledonia town .. 

Dover town 

Mt. Pleasant town. 

Norway town 

Racine city 

Rochester town ... 
Rochester village . 
Waterlord town .. 
Waterlord village 
Torkville town ... 



Walworth County ... 
East Troy town... 
East Troy village. 



Waukesha County — 
Brookfleld town ... 

Delafleld town 

Genesee town 

Hartland village .. 

Merton town 

Mukwonago town 
Mukwonago village 
Muskego town .... 
Oconomowoc city . 
Oconomowoc town 
Pewaukee tovm . . . 
Pewaukee village .. 

Summit town 

Vernon town 

Waukesha city .... 
Waukesha town . . . 
New Berlin town.. 



Distribution to Counties, Towns, 
Cities and Villages 



1918 



$83,385.66 

825.20 

2,140.93 

262,249.98 

2,086.73 

243.90 

^ 2.140.98 

' 1,002.71 

813.01 



1919 



$84,859.80 

341.98 

2,107.07 

266,875.16 

1,944.35 

250.97 

2,383.90 

1,048.02 

832.90 



1920 



• * » 

• • • 



$124,722.54 

4,159.09 

7,549.43 

356,826.24 

2,912.35 

2,587.11 

4,395.62 

11,693.73 

2,399.85 

2,784.22 

1,631.11 

872.23 

694.82 

1,300.95 

5,070.73 

970.78 

l,9oO. a9 

2,370.28 
2,496.40 
1,586.76 

400.29 
1,300.95 

17,248.91 

1,473.42 

660.83 

1.754.81 

84.49 

1,074.27 

1,167.89 

47,844.27 

901.79 

236.54 

359.73 

512.49 

38.42 

765.71 
1,222.10 
1,266.45 

6,501.70 
4.93 

4,962.32 
73.92 
261.17 
172.47 
640.62 
478.00 

2,774.37 
921.50 
300.60 

1,458.64 
389.30 

1,956.35 

1,522.70 

2,232.31 
753.96 

2,227.38 



100 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TABIjE SS3 — Continued 



AHLWAUKEE LIGHT, HEAT & TRACTION CO.— 

• 1918 1919 1920* 

Total Tax, 100% $114,655.28 $128,021.25 

State, 15% 17,196.29 19,203.19 

Ctounties, 20% 22,981.06 25,604.25 

Towns, etc., 65% 74,525.93 83,213.81 

*The Milwaukee Idght, Heat & Traction Oo. was absorbed 
by the Milwaukee Electric Ry. & Lt. Co. in 1920. See Milwau- 
kee Electric Railway & light Oo. 

Jefferson County 

Ixonia town • 

Watortown city 

Watertown town > 

Kenosha County , 

Somers town 

Milwaukee County 

Cudahy city 

Franklin town 

Greenfield town 

Lake town 

Milwaukee city , 

Milwaukee town , 

North Milwaukee city 

Oak Creek town 

South Milwaukee city , 

Shorewood village 

Wauwatosa city 

Wauwatosa town 

West Allis city 

West Milwaukee village 

Whlteflsh Bay village 

Racine County 

Burlington city 

Burlington town 

Caledonia town 

Mt. Pleasant town 

Norway town 

Racine city 

Rochester town 

Rochester village 

Waterford town 

Waterford village 

Walworth County 

East Troy town 

East Troy village 

Waukesha County 

Delafleld town 

Genesee town 

Hartland village 

Merton town . ; 

Mukwonago town 

Mukwonago village 

Muskego town 

New Berlin town 

Oconomowoc city 

Oconomowoc town *■ 

Pewaukee town 

Pewaukee village 

Summit town 

Vernon town 

Waukesh!^ city 

Waukesha* town 

•^ '<* •>  

C * <i (, , 

• • • •• 

« 



Distribution to Counties, Towns, 
Cities and Villages 



1918 



5^1,300.36 

1,639.57 

1,751.36 

864.50 

256.83 
834.69 

8,190.98 

1,594.85 

968.84 

2,571.14 

1,736.45 

2,802.17 

4.54.61 

402.44 

730.35 

3,010.85 

447.16 

1,386.18 

2,310.30 

6,595.54 

1,013.55 

596.21 

8,475.32 
991.19 
447.16 

1,170.06 
^8.38 
797.43 
22,149.11 
626.02 
1.56.50 
231.08 
327.91 

SH81.55 
789.98 
775.07 

$4,217.02 

3,331.31 

29.81 

74.. 53 

81.98 

417.35 

298.10 

1,8.55.70 

1.53.5.23 

529.13 

193.77 

991.20 

208.67 

1,348.92 

1,(X)(>.10 

1,281.85 

521.68 



1919 


1930 


$1,286.61 

1,600.20 

1,739.17 

842.12 

256.56 
833.80 

9,267.46 
1,643.47 
1,011.88 
2,762.70 
2,557.16 
2,994.08 

496.79 

417.73 
1,040.17 
3,222.87 

590.82 
1,491.19 
2,524.71 
7,108.13 
1,650.13 

612.46 

10,071.94 

433.55 
1,163.33 
678.19 
779.71 
27,359.04 
607.46 
156.44 
230.50 
328.70 

$482.64 
774.72 
793.86 

$4,239.04 

3,309.41 

40.77 

132.31 

89.87" 

414.40 

312.05 

1,831.54 

1,498.68 

543.39 

198.05 

985.25 

233.83 

1,329.76 

994.41 

1,354.72 


(*) 












































< 


























• 
































508.44 





ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION. IQl 



TABLE 28 — Continued 



MILWAUKEE NORTHERN RAILWAY CO.— 

1918 1919 1920 

Total Tax, 100% $22,931.06 $23,409.00 $28,429.77 

State, 15% 3,439.66 3,511.44 4,264.47 

Counties, 20% 4,586.21 4,681.92 5,685.95 

Towns, etc., 65% 14,905.19 15,216.24 18,479.35 

Milwaukee County 

Granville town 

Milwaukee city 

]6[ilwaukee town 

Ozaukee County 

Belgium town 

Oedarburg city ^ 

Cedarburg town 

Grafton village 

Grafton town 

Mequon town 

Port Washington city 

Port Washington town 

Thiensville village .• 

Sheboygan County 

Cedar Grove village 

Holland town 

Oostburg village 

Sheboygan city 

Sheboygan town 

Wilson town 



ROCKFORD & INTERURBAN RAILWAY CO.— 

1918 1919 1920 

Total Tax, 100% $5,211.60 $5,486.62 $7,107.44 

State, 15% 781.74 823.00 1,066.12 

Counties, 20% 1,042.32 1,007.32 1,421.48 

Towns, etc., 65% 3,387.54 3,566.30 4,619.84 

Rock County 

Beloit city 

Beloit town '. 

Janesville city 

Rock town 



WAUPACA ELECTRIC SERVICE & RAILWAY CO.— 

1918 1919 1920 

Total Tax, 100% $1,181.32 $1,170.48 $1,421.49 

State, 15% 177.22 175.57 213.22 

Counties, 20% 236.26 234.10 284.30 

Towns, etc., 65% 767.84 760.81 923.97 

Waupaca County 

Dayton town 

Parmington towTo 

Waupaca city 

WISCONSIN GAS & ELECTRIC ^O.- 

1918 1919 1920 

Total Tax, 100% $55,590.43 $65,839.50 $85,289.31 
State, 15% 8,338.56 9,875.92 12,793.40 
Counties, 20% 11,118.09 13,167.90 17,057.86 
Towns, etc., 65% 36,133.78 42,795.68 55,438.05 



Dane County 

Deerfleld village 
Marshall village 
Medina town .. 
Deerfleld town . 



Distribution to Counties, Towns, 
Cities and Villages 



1918 



$1,645.07 

1,292.28 

3,147.96 

906.23 

$2,067.92 
573.85 
877.92 
235.50 
380.08 
529.13 
755.69 
2,489.17 
636.45 
242.95 

$873.22 
307.05 
430.76 
791.47 
394.99 
166.94 
746.75 



$1,W2.32 

1,345.87 

559.96 

741.19 

740.52 



$236.26 

13.21 

237.95 

516.68 



.$17.7^ 



46.97 
10.84 



1919 



$1,731.85 

1,269.04 

3,443.43 

me. 02 

$2,051.60 
584.30 
879.50 
281.29 
378.88 
517.35 
745.60 
2,461.99 
623.86 
244.98 

$898.47 
► 299.76 
423.01 
776.08 
524.96 
159.78 
736.46 



$1,097.32 

1,406.55 

595.21 

777.81 
786.73 



$234.10 

12.78 

224.03 

524.00 



$23.70 



64.19 
12.84 



1920 



$2,133.03 
1,476.13 
4,326.20 
1,130.01 

$2,431.31 
717.55 

1,049.07 
268.14 
598.73 
866.14 

2.018.44 

723.47 

301.08 

. 459.21 

$1,121.61 
361.27 
490.26 

. 916.76 
838.59 
185.16 
853.19 



$1,421.48 

1,849.09 

763.57 

997.79 

1,009.39 



$284.30 

15.47 

243.04 
665.46 



$38.04 

2.22 

86.48 

27.16 

7.76 



102 RBJPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TABIM as — Continued 



Dodjfe Oounty , 

Afihlppun town ... 

Olyman town 

Emmet town 

Iron Kidge villagre. 

Lebanon town 

Lomlra town ..... 
Lomira village ... 

Lowell town 

Beeseville village . 
llieresa town — 
Theresa vlllagp ... 
Watertown city .. 

Herman town 

Leroy town 



Fond du Lac County 

Ashford town 

Byron town 

Campbellsport village 

Eden town 

Eden village 



Jefferson Oounty 

Aztalan town 

Oold Spring town 

Parmington town 

Fort Atkinson city 

Jefferson city 

Jefferson town 

Johnson Greek village. 
Koshkonong town .... 

Lake Mills city 

Lake Mills, town 

Palmyra town 

Palmyra village 

Waterloo town 

Watertown city 

Watertown town 



Kenosha Oounty 

Bristol town 

Kenosha city 

Pleasant Prairie town . 

Salem town 

Somers town 

Wheatland town 



Milwaukee County , 

Oudahy city 

Granville town 

Lake town 

North Milwaukee village. 

Oak Creek town 

South Milwaukee city 

Wauwatosa town 



Ozaukee Oounty 

Mequon town — 
Thiensville village 



Bacine Oounty 

Burlington city 

Burlington town 

Caledonia town 

Corliss village 

Mt. Pleasant town., 

Racine city .* 

Union Grove village. 
Yorkville town 



IWstribution to Counties, Towns, 
Cities and Villages 



191S 



$495.87 

14.45 

72.27 

79.49 

68.65 

36.13 

166.22 

144.54 

43.36 

137.31 

119.24 

98.95 

635,96 



$1 



$90.06 
89.75 
46.97 

155.38 
10.84 
39.75 

,294.15 

224.03 

32.52 

39.75 

144.54 

144.54 

75.88 

187.90 

101.18 

79.49 

18.07 

57.81 

79.49 

57.81 

,818.44 

144.54 



$3,373.23 
21.68 

10,569.14 

^.13 

14.45 

303.52 

18.07 

$204.57 

148.15 

144.54 

7.23 

18.07 

158.99 

166.22 

21.68 

$33.35 
54.20 
54.20 

$4,766.32 

502.26 

.->7.S1 

140.92 

90.34 

263.78 

14,327.04 

68.65 

39.75 



1919 



1920 



$582.02 

12.84 

72.75 

85.59 

94.15 

47.08 

192.66 

188.30 

42.79 

158.34 

128.89 

132.67 

736.09 



$117.19 
66.63 
81.31 
175.46 
21.40 
47.06 

$1,360.25 

248.22 

42.80 

42.80 

166.90 

86.50 

55.63 

166.90 

111.27 

47.09 

21.40 

68.47 

128.39 

69.91 

3,0^6.65 

149.78 

$4,225.58 
25.66 

13,245.26 

38.52 

59.91 

320.97 

42.80 

$237.02 

188.30 

162.62 

8.56 

17.12 

162.62 

209.70 

21.40 

$47.41 
85.69 
68.47 

$5,721.45 

646.21 

98.43 

149.78 

102.71 

303.85 

17,165.35 

89.87 

88.52 



$789.61 

17.19 

104.22 

109.77 

116.97 

57.10 

278.30 

253.91 

60.45 

202.35 

150.24 

164.10 

940.28 

95.95 

25.50 

$144.31 
66.74 
■96.46 
217.87 
27.16 
56.76 

$1,724.89 

822.66 

51.00 

44.90 

70.96 

228.96 

99.23 

211.22 

132.50 

58.22 

23.84 

83.71 

176.29 

74.84 

3,852.89 

180.17 

$6,044.96 
29.94 

19,011.37 

51.56 

99.23 

880.86 

73.18 

$320.52 

271.65 

199.56 

8.32 

21.62 

231.73 

281.63 

27.16 

$58.17 

92 «=«» 
9< 

$6,804 

96£ 

146 

17f 

13^ 

35^ 
20,14< 

13 
4 



I 



ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION. 103 



TABLE 2A — Continued 



Walworth County 

Delavan city 

Delavan town 

Elkhom city 

Geneva town .», 

Lake Geneva city... 

Lyons town 

Blclunond town . . . . 
Spring Prairie town. 
Sugar Creek town.. 
Whitewater city .... 
Whitewater town ... 



Washington County 

Addison town 

Germantown town 

Hartford town 

Jackson town 

Jackson village 

Polk town , 

Richfield town 

Schleisingerville village 



Waukesha County 

£agle town 

£<agle village 

Lisbon town 

Menomonee town 

Menomonee Falls village. 
Merton town 



WISCONSIN INTERURBAN STREET 

1918 

100% $208.46 

15% 31.27 

20% 41.69 

65% 1.S5.50 



Total Tax, 
State, 
Counties, 
Towns, etc., 



RAILWAY 

1919 

$219.46 

32.92 

43.89 

142.65 



SYSTEM- 

1920 

$189.53 

28.43 

37.91 

123.19 



Columbia County 
Portage city 



WISCONSIN-MINNESOTA LIGHT 

1918 

100% $114,655.28 

15% 17,198.29 

20% 22,931.06 

65% 74,526.93 



& 



Total Tax, 
State, 
Counties, 
Towns, etc., 



POWER 
1919 
$131,679.00 
19,761.85 
26,335.80 
85,591.35 



CO.— 

1920 

$170,578.62 

25,586.79 

34,115.72 

110,876.11 



Barron County 

Bear Lake town., 
Cedar Lake town. 
Oak Grove town., 
Haugen village .. 



Buffalo County 

Alma city 

Belvidere town 

Buffalo city 

Buffalo town 

Canton town 

Cochrane village 

Fountain City village. 

Milton town 

Modena town 

Mondovi city 

Mondovi town 

Naples town 

Nelson town 



Distribution to Counties, Towns, 
Cities and Villages 



1918 



$421.37 

79.49 

108.40 

119.24 

180.67 

46.97 

303.52 

148.15 

7.23 

54.20 

195.12 

126.47 

$189.01 

140.92 

140.92 

68.65 

3.61 

25.29 

137.31 

90.34 

7.23 

$232.37 

25.27 

32.52 

119.24 

173.44 

357.73 

46.97 



$41.69 
135.50 



$222.43 
119.24 
320.46 
283.20 



$834.69 
245.94 
268.29 

22.36 
126.69 

29.81 

22.. 36 
17S.86 
231.03 
.S27.91 
320.46 
313.01 

44.72 
561.90 



1919 



$356.85 



115.55 

42.80 
188.30 



329.53 
154.06 
4.28 
55.63 
136.95 
132.67 

$234.39 

171.18 

171.18 

77.08 

4.28 

34.24 

171.18 

106.99 

25.68 

$262.04 

25.68 

55.63 

136.95 

213.98 

359.48 

59.91 



$43.89 
142.65 



1920 



$472.33 



133.61 

49.84 
223.42 



409.13 
183.50 
7.21 
67.08 
304.85 
157.44 

$320.52 

283.84 

210.66 

91.47 

10.53 

49.89 

218.96 

144.14 

32.15 

$340.47 

38.25 

60.86 

166.76 

297.70 

454.08 

80.94 



$37.91 
123.19 



$232.02 


$297.15 


123.25 


157.44 


336.37 


430.20 


5.14 


7.76 


289.30 


370.33 


$1,085.56 


$1,448.89 


438.23 


598.73 


313.26 


401.37 


22.26 


29.94 


286.73 


392.50 


31.67 


41.02 


82.17 


l.j({.34 


2io..'>r> 


2f:9.43 


267.05 


342.61 


.S74.89 


4S1.20 


378.31 


501.16 


3.58.63 


469.01 


.52.21 


67.63 


712.12 


957.97 



j 



104 



RBPOR,T OP THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TABLE 17 — Continued 



Chippewa County 

Goetz, town 

Anson town 

Auburn town 

Boyd village 

Bloomer village 

Bloomer town 

Cadott village 

Chippewa Falls city. 

Delmar town 

Eagle Point town... 

Hallie town 

Howard town 

Lafayette town . . . . 

Sigel town 

Stanley city 

Tilden town 

Wheaton town 



Clark County 

Hewitt town 

Mentor town 

NeilUville city 

Pine Valley town 

Thorps village 

Thorpe town 

Dunn County 

Colfax town 

£Ik Mound town 

Elk Mound village... 

Menomonie city 

Red Oedar town 

Rock Creek town.... 

Menomonie town 

Sherman town 

Stanton town 

Tainter town 

Weston town 

Weston village 

Eau Claire County 

Altoona city 

Augusta city 

Bridge Greek town.. 

Brunswick town 

I>rammen town 

Eau Claire city 

Pairchild town 

Pairchild village 

Tall Creek village... 

LJncoln town 

Seymour town 

Union town 

Washington town ... 

Jackson County 

Alma town 

Alma Center village. 
Cleveland town 



Pepin County , 

Albany town 

Pierce County 

Ellsworth town 

Ellsworth village 

Ehnwood village 

El Paso town 

Hartland town 

Oak Grove town 

Preseott city 

Rock Elm town 

Salem town 

Spring Lake town.... 
Spring Valley village. 

Trenton town 

TWmbelle town 



Distribution to Counties, Towns, 
Cities and Villages 



1918 



$11,986.06 



968. b4 

81.96 

141.60 



7.45 

7,615.55 

74.52 

17,275.11 

685.64 

104.34 

11,618.50 

52.17 

22.36 

290.65 

14". 91 

$316.45 

89.43 

216.12 

640.92 

81.98 



1919 



$4,006.06 

2(>S.29 

67.07 

59.62 

3,897.71 

7,348.26 

44.72 

67.07 

283.20 

238.48 

656.88 

74.. 52 

14.91 

.$4,393.50 

320.46 

44.72 

81.98 

.521.68 

171.41 

12,572.52 

67.07 

104.34 

67.07 

141.60 

44.72 

74.. 52 

67.07 

$52.74 

81.98 
59.62 
29.81 



$.529.71 

59.62 

394.99 

186.31 

231.03 

141.60 

178.86 

14.91 

81.98 

37.26 

22.36 

193.77 

44.72 

134.15 



$14,225.55 

5.14 

1,010.83 

87.30 

159.19 

9.41 

11.12 

33.38 

8,106.35 

134.37 

18,109.41 

987.72 

130.95 

16,745.09 

91.58 

252.49 

341.61 

17.18 

$410.84 
91.58 
228.54 
771.18 
87.30 
98.43 
58.20 

$4,227.16 

303.85 

70.19 

89.02 

4,060.14 

7,677.55 

52.21 

60.33 

317.54 

269.61 

711.26 

81.31 

16.26 

$4,841.31 

512.69 

47.93 

85.59 

597.43 

199.43 

13,579.07 

70.19 

155.78 

129.24 

152.35 

55.63 

75.32 

73.61 

$56.36 
84.74 
68.47 
29.95 

$3.16 
10.27 

$601.51 

65.91 

420.25 

199.43 

243.08 

148.07 

257.63 

26.53 

83.02 

35.95 

26.53 

208.85 

46.22 

193.44 



1920 



$17,875.62 

9.98 

1,292.82 

111.98 

263.89 

17.74 

23.28 

52.11 

8,032.97 

184.05 

23.18.9.74 

1,649.84 

168.53 

22,075.32 

126.40 

429.09 

450.16 

18.85 

$585.77 

117.53 

310.45 

1,268.42 

111.98 

8.87 

86.48 

$5,461.93 

389.18 

77.61 

121.96 

5,415.19 

9,792.58 

66.53 

104.22 

404.70 

344.82 

900.18 

104.22 

21.07 

$6,731.37 

724.02 

75.40 

109.77 

766.15 

256.12 

19,014.14 

89.81 

218.43 

176.29 

105.14 

74.29 

83.16 

94.24 

$92.11 

123.07 

137.49 

38.81 

$4.09 
13.31 

$787.73 
84.27 
546.€ 
272.7 
339.2. 
189.61 
310. 4i 
31.0 
105.3' 
45.4 
34.3 
307.1 
59.8 
233.9 



r' 



ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION. 105 



TABLE 17 — Continued 



St. Oroix Oounty ; 

Baldwin town 

Hammoncl town 

Rush River town 

St. Joseph town 

Springfield town 

Warren town 

Sawyer County 

Couderay town 

Washburn County 

Birchwood town 

Xongr L-alce town. 

Sarona town 

Spooner town 



WISCONSIN PUBLIC 

. Total Tax, 100% 
State, 15% 

Counties, 201^ 

Towns, etc., <>'>% 



SERVICE 

1918 

$34,744.03 

5,211.60 

6.948.81 

22,583.62 



OO.- 

1919 

$39,503.70 

5,925.56 

7,900.74 

25,677.41 



1920 

$47,382.95 

7,107.44 

9,476.59 

3a,798.92 



Distribution to Counties, Towns, 
Cities and Villages 



1918 



$408.17 
245.94' 
238.48 
22.36 
335.36 
253.39 
231.03 

$13.76 
44.72 

$167.40 

231.03 

223.58 

81.98 

7.45 



Brown County 

AUouez town 

Ashwaubenon town . 

Bellevne town 

New Denmark town, 
' Denmark village 

Depere city 

Depere town 

Green Bay city 

Holland town 

Howard town 

Lawrence town 

Preble town 

Suamico town 

Wrightstown town . 

Wrightstown village 



Calumet County . 
Brillion town . 
Brillion village 
Rantoul town , 



Manitowoc County 

Cato town 

Oooperstown town 

Kossuth town 

Manitowoc city 

Manitowoc town 

Manitowoc Rapids town, 

Two Rivers city 

Two Rivers town 

Rockland town 



Marinette County .. 
Beaver town — 
Coleman village 
Pound town — 
Pound viUage . . 
Stephenson town 



Oconto County 

Lena town 

Little Suamico town. 

Pensaukee town 

Stiles town 

Abrams town 



$4,399.29 
307.14 
291.32 
121.95 
167.12 

40.65 
774.62 

63.23 
10,995.96 

42.91 
178.41 
492.32 

76.78 
185.19 
250.68 
309.40 

$26.41 
49.69 
86.13 



$191.09 



187.44 
164.86 
11.29 
90.34 
76.78 
38.39 
51.95 



196.48 
72.27 

155.83 
22.58 

5,758.82 

$221.67 
185.19 
144.54 
210.03 
180.67 



1919^ 



$463.50 
275.60 
271.32 
22.26 
384.31 
287.59 
265.33 

$15.54 
60.49 

$173.29 

243.08 

232.81 

83.88 

8.42 



$4,328.66 
845.63 
268.59 
226.99 
808.61 

84.74 
785.99 

57.77 
10,516.69 

38.77 
165.87 
452.18 
139.68 
168.70 
214.92 
298.11 

$26.31 
46.47 
39.03 



$1,385.24 



344.07 
300.94 
3,232.53 
171.53 
140.71 
217.49 
94.75 



$1,755.07 

179.74 

58.29 

142.51 

27.99 

5,295.45 

$202.89 
168.44 
133.01 
192.58 
165.37 



1920 



$584.40 
3S2.59 
347.04 



491.18 
368.11 
340.89 

$19.79 
61.81 

$226.87 

327.19 

298.28 

106.44 

4.44 



$5,303.95 
398.85 
319.08 
252.24 
356.65 

93.32 
948.91 

64.06 
13,009.46 

43.42 
188.49 
528.82 
233.15 
187.26 
255.32 
358.81 

$34.21 

52.05 

59.13 

4.93 

$1,682.38 

4.93 

408.09 

386.83 

3,847.09 

190.03 

161.39 

354.19 

105.33 

4.93 

$1,960.43 

199.27 

64.68 

178.63 

32.34 

5,896.45 

$225.16 
186.95 
147.53 

""m.56' 
213.74 



106 REPORT OF THE3 WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TABIiE 17 — Continued 






Outagamte Oounty . . 
Kaukauna town .. 
Kaukauna city ... 
Vaodenbrock town 



WISCONSIN RAILWAY, LIGHT & 

1918 

100% $11,812.97 

15% 1,771.95 

20% 2,362.59 

65% 7,678.48 



Tax, 



Total 
State, 
Ck>ui)tie8, 
Towns, etc. 



POWER CO.— 

1919 

$12,436.35 

1,865.46 

2,487.27 

8,083.63 



1920 

$16,110.20 

2,416.53 

8,222.04 

10,471.63 



Buffalo County . 
Buffalo town 



dark County 

Dewhurst town .., 

Hewitt town 

Levis town 

Pine Valley town. 

Jackson Oounty 

Albion town 

Alma town 

Brockway town .. 
City Point town 

Irving town 

Komensky town . . 
Manchester town 
Melrose toyn .... 



La Crosse Oounty . . . 
Campbell town .. 
Parmington town 
Holland town . . . 
La Crosse city... 
Onalaska town . . 
Onalaska city — 



Monroe County 

Little Palls town. 

Trempealeau County . 
Caledonia town . . 
Trempealeau town 



WISCONSIN TRACTION, LIGHT, HEAT & POWER CO.— 



Total Tax, 100% 
State. 15% 

Counties, 20% 

Towns, etc., 65% 

Calumet County 
Harrison town 
Hilbert village 



1918 

$31,964.50 

4,794.68 

6,392.90 

20,776.92 



1919. 

$30,725.10 

4,608.77 

6,145.02 

19,971.31 



1920 
$42,644.66 
6,396.70 

27,719.02 



Outagamie County 

Appleton city 

Buchanan town '. 

Grand Cliute town — 

Kimberlev villare , 

Little Chute village..., 
Vandenbrock town — 

Black Creek town 

Center town 

Cicero town 

Dale town 

Greenville town 

Hortonia town 

Kaukauna town 

Seymour town 

Black On-ek village 

Hortonville village — 

Kaukauna city' 

Seymour city 



Distribution to Counties, Towns, 
Oltlea and Villages 



1918 



$200.82 

404.24 

210,08 

38.39 



$15.50 
60.68 

$69.28 

105.96 

30.71 

74.48 

13.82 

$1,302.73 

3,072.91 

4.61 

64.50 

115.94 

30.10 

855.38 

45.15 

45.30 

$919.99 

9. jtO 

100.59 

153.57 

2,531.58 

48.37 

145.89 

$16.. 54 
53.75 

$38.51 
36.09 
89.07 



290.88 



$5,199.35 
14,.tO?.W 

54.02 
401.00 
8i«.r>.'^ 
502.80 
224.39 



390.84 



1919 



$202.S7 

870.01 

252.92 

85.44 



$14.92 
48.50 

$66.41 

101.06 

29.10 

72.75 

12.93 

$1,406.65 

8,462.22 

4.04 

61.44 

110.75 

28.78 

817.25 

43.16 

43.65 

$946.65 

9.70 

96.20 

147.12 

2,623.95 

46.13 

163.53 

$15.93 
51.74 

$36.81 
34.76 
84.88 



$82.34 
267.62 



$4,911.10 
13,790 oo 

75.89 
351.50 

44.S.36 
199.71 



361.48 



1920 



$270.46 

415.48 

428.18 

40.35 



$18.56 
60.32 

$88.06 

126.18 

36.34 

91.00 

16.44 

$1,806.08 

4,486.47 

5.45 

76.97 

138.12 



1,018.89 
89.95 
53.98 

$1,248.68 

11.60 

119.48 

183.04 

8,488.49 

57.80 

202.84 

$1».78 
64.30 

$45.88 

43.04 

106.06 



1 



$114.88 

373.12 

.28 

$6,728.31 
18.llS.-t8 
116.97 
566.30 
.2m. 6*7 
539.41 
25P "9 

6 

9 

9 

41 

( 

] 

1. 

21 

7< 

I 

56( 

1 



i 



ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION. 107 



TAIU^K 5&i — Continued 



/ 



Winnebago County 
Menasba city . 
Menasha town 
Keenah city ... 



WISCONSIN VAI/LET 



Total Tax, 100% 
State, 10% 

Counties, 20% 

Towns, etc., 65% 



ELECTRIC 

1918 

$25,015.79 

3,752.45 

5,005.14 

16,260.20 



CO.— 

1919 

$30,725.10 

4,608.77 

6,145.02 

19,971.31 



1920 

$41,696.99 

6,264.55 

8,339.40 

27,108.04 



Distribution to Counties, Towns, 
Cities and Villages 



1918 



$1,104.05 

1,508.40 

384.37 

1,695.40 



Lincoln County 

Merrill city 

Pine River town. 



Marathon County 

Eau Pleine town 

^nowlton town 

Kronenwetter town 

Mosinee village 

Schofleld village ... 

Texas town 

Wausau city 

Weston town 

Cassel town 

Edgar village 

Marathon town 

Marathon village .. 
Rothschild village 
Stettin town 



Portage County , 

Carson town , 

Linwood town ... 
Stevens Point city. 
Hull town 



$1,069.16 

3,378.87 

63.41 

$2,762.23 
113.82 
118.70 
32.52 
162.60 
247.16 
144.72 
7,806.52 
351.22 



1919 



$1,1SL.5B 

1,621.66 

351.50 

1,769.46 



$1,181.75 

108.94 

3.25 

3,728.47 



$1,136.83 

3,624.79 

69.90 

$3,631.71 

123.82 

129.81 

35.95 

175.74 

275.60 

157.78 

10,087.51 

35.95 

33.95 

141.80 

33.95 

87.87 

359.50 

123.82 

$1,376.48 

119.83 

4.19 

4,157.83 

191.72 



1920 



$1,685.75 

2,572.88 

500.06 

2,406.29 



$1,464.00 

4,668.23 

89.17 

$4,965.90 
157.46 
164.24 

46.08 

256.89 

399.77 

200.29 

13,813.34 

29.00 

29.00 
208.00 

29.00 
152.32 
500.59 
156.98 

$1,910.10 

152.50 

5.69 

5,806.56 

243.39 



Electric Light and Power, Gas and Water Companies 

All interdistrict electric light and power, gas and waterworks com- 
panies not connected with street railways are assessed by the tax com- 
mission. Taxes, however, are paid into and retained by local treas- 
uries. Valuations are based on the same sort of data as In the case 
of street railways and^ associated properties. Taxes, however, are not 
computed as under the law the valuation of each company must be 
apportioned to the different districts and is subject to local rates on 
general property. 

The commission has previously directed attention (see report 1918. 
page 24) to the inconsistency of using the average state rate in the 
case of street railroads while the local rates are applied in the case 
of these interdistrict plants. Either one or the other of these methods 
should be changed so that the system may be uniform. 

In view of the fact that these interdistrict utilities are entered on 
the local rolls the commission felt obliged to take cognizance of the 
well known fact that other property is not assessed at its full market 
value. Accordingly valuations of these utilities in each district have 
been adjusted where necessary to place same on the same basis as 
other property. The first assessment by the commission was made in 
1918 (see page 55, Report 1918). The following table shows the true 
ind assessed valuation of these companies for the years 1919 and 1920. 



108 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



s 


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888888 


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r OF PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION. 109 



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110 



REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



Conservation and Regulation Companies 

Companies organized for the purpose of regulating the height, flow 
and conservation of water in public reservoirs are known as conserva- 
tion and regulation companies. The^e are two such companies in the 
state. They are assessed by the tax commission and are subject to 
the average state rate. Taxes are distributed as in the case of street 
railways. 

The following tables show the valuations and taxes of these com- 
panies. 



TABLE) 25 

CONSERVATION COMPANIES 



m8 

1917 

1918 

1919 ., 

1920 



Assessment 



1290,000 
290,000 
320,000 
345,000 
350,000 



Taxes 



$3,830.05 
4,015.00 
4,447.23 
5,047.67 
6,633.61 



TABIiE 26 

ASSESSMENT AND TAXES OF CONSERVATION COMPANIES FOR THE 

YEARS 1918. 1919 AND 1920 





1918 


1919 


1920 




Assess- 
ment 


Taxes @ 
.01389761 


Assess- 
ment 


Taxes @ 
.01463091 


Assess- 
ment 


Taxes @ 
.01895318 


Chippewa & Flambeau Im- 
provement Company 

Wisconsin Valley Improve- 
ment Company 


$20,000 
300,000 


1277.95 
4,169.28 


$20,000 

325,000 

$345,000 


$292.62 
4,755.05 


$25,000 
325,000 


$473.83 
6,159.78 




Totals 


$320,000 


$4,447.23 


$5,047.67 


$350,000 


$6,633 61 







Telegbaph, Express, Sleeping Cab, and Freight Line andi Equipment 

Companies 



The remaining corporations assessed under the ad valorem system 
are telegraph, express, sleeping car, and freight line and equipment 
companies. They have this in common: They are all closely con- 
nected with railroad operations and are largely engaged in interstate 
business. Most of them own no real estate within the state. 

Most telegraph lines are on railroad right of ways so with the ex- 
ception of office space, which is usually leased, there is no real estate. 
Express companies as a rule have only office equipment, horses, wagons, 
auto trucks, etc. Sleeping car and private car lines (freight line and 



ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC SEJRVICE COKFORATION. JJJ. 

equipmeut companies) own car^ which are hauled under contract by 
the railroads. There is only one sleeping car company, the Pullman 
Company, and since the World War, one express company, namely, 
the American Railway Express Company. There are 90 freight line 
and equipment companies assessed for the year 1920. 

All of these companies are called upon to make a report to the ism 
commission as to earnings, property, etc., both for the system and 
for Wisconsin separately. The entire property and business is first 
valued as a unit after which an apportionment is made to Wisconsin 
usually on the basis of the percentage which the car mileage, wire 
mileage, and earnings in Wisconsin bear to the system. 

The claim is constantly being made by these companies that the 
proper method of assessment Is on the basis of physical property only. 
As this, of course, leaves out of consideration the valuation, if any. 
of their contracts with and use pf the railroads, it has not been recog- 
nized. The Pullman Company is now contesting its taxes for the year 
1913 and all subsequent assessments are involved. Both the validity 
of the statute and the propriety of its application by the commission 
are under attack. 

The following tables show the assessments and taxes of these com- 
panies since they have come under the jurisdiction of the tax com- 
mission. 

TABIiE 27 

TELEGRAPH COMPANIES 



Year 



1907.. 
1008.. 
1900.. 
1910.. 
1911.. 
1912.. 
1913.. 



Assess- 
ment 



12,048.000 
L950.000 
1,878,000 
1,911,000 
1,961,000 
1,961,000 
2,026,000 



Taxes 



$22,426.61 
22,449.12 
21,409.96 
21.504.93 
21,923.36 
21,714.30 
23,972.52 



Year 



1914 

1916 

1917 

1918 

1919 

1920 



Assess- 
ment 



$2,025,000 
2,035,000 
2,385,000 
2,785,000 
2.985,000 
3.500,000 
4,325,000 



Taxes 



128,094.92 
27,121.12 
31,416.67 
38,557.97 
41,484.34 
51,208.20 
81,972.50 



TABLE 28 



Year 



EXPRESS COMPANIES 
(First ad valorem assessment in 1903) 



1903 
1904 
1905 
1906 
1907 
1908 
1909 
1910 
1911 



Assess- 
ment 



$765,555 
787.504 
808,453 
802,758 
853.332 
813,156 
822,421 
988,250 

1,455.000 



Taxes 



$8,865.12 
9,009.33 
9,113.39 
9,136.40 
9.344.39 
9,361.34 
9,400.96 
11,121.01 
16,266.43 



Year 



1912 
1913 
1914 
1915 
1916 
1U17 
1918 
1919 
1920 



Assess- 
ment 



$1,570,000 

807,500 

781,000 

805.000 

1.195,000 

1.330.000 

1,005,000 

700.000 

500.000 



Taxes 



$17,406.34 
9,554.69 
10,835.61 
10,728.50 
15,741.27 
18,413.67 
13.967.08 
10,241.64 
9,476.59 



REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



■=- 


Taxes 




















































811.89 



TABIiE 30 

FEEIGUT LIKE AMD EQUIPMENT COMVANIES 



Yeir 


"mwit 


Taxes 


Ye.r 


"me 


t 


Taxes 




tl77.ZS7 

is 


11 

IS! 




52 








ji 








m 

3. 


s 


































gig.::;:;:::::-:::: 















Rbcommendations as to Assessmebt of Railroads , 

Some^nlnor changes seem desirable In the law relating to the assess- 
ment of railroads. 

As heretofore stated, the Interstate Commerce Commission prescribes 
the system of accounts tor railroads and other public service com- 
panies engaged in interstate commerce. All such companies file a re- 
port with that commission on forms prescribed by it. Such reports 
require considerably more detail as to property, assets, earnings and 
operating statistics than is essential In a report tor tas purposes. 
Nevertheless, there are occasions when a special investigation of .i 
particular account must be wade and such details become Important. 
It is in every way desirable, therefore, in order that the statistics 
returned to the ta.x commission may be verified by comparison with 
statistics returned to the Interstate Commerce Commission, that the 
period covered by the reports shall be identical. 

Prior to 1917 all reports to the Interstate Commerce Commission 
and to state tax and regulating commissions generally were made for 
the fiscal years ending on June 30. In that year the Interstate Com- .- 



ASSESSMENT OP PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION. 113 

merce Commission issued an order that future reports be made to 
cover the calendar year ending December 31 and the state commis- 
;3ions, including the tax commission of this state» were obliged to malio 
a similar change. 

In 1919 the Wisconsin statute relating to reports to the tax commis- 
sion was amended, the commission being given the power to designat'j 
the period to be covered by the report. Reports have since been re- 
quired for the calendar year. In other respects, however, the statute 
was not changed. The original railroad tax law (Chapter 315, Laws of 
1903) drafted on the assumption that reports would be made for the 
fiscal years endiAg June 30 still remains in force. Section 1211 — 8 
provides that the assessment shall be commenced between September I 
and November 1 and is to be completed February 1 of the following 
year. The first installment (one-half) of the tax is required to be 
paid to the state treasurer May 1. (Section 1211 — 15). 

Experience has demonstrated that at least two ai\d one-half months 
elapse after the end of the period for which reports are required before 
such reports are filed by the companies. Other commissions frequently 
grant more time. iFew reports are available until March 15, and most 
of them not until April 1. 

Now, if the commission commences the assessment in September 
as the statute now prescribes, it has before it reports eight months old. 
Meanwhile, there have been additions to property and other changes. 
In view of this condition it is believed advisable that the assessment 
be commenced each year immediately upon receipt of the reports, 
i. e., March 15 to April 1. 

As it requires at least a month to properly edit, tabulate and make 
the necessary computations relating to valuation, the preliminary as- 
sessment cannot be made much earlier than May 1. It is, therefore, 
believed that the statute should be further amended fixing this as the 
date instead of the period now prescribed. 

This will necessitate a further change as to the dates for payment 
of the tax. The statute now prescribes, as stated above, that the tax 
shal^ be paid in two installments, one-half on May 1 and the remain- 
ing one-half on November 1. It is recommended that these dates be 
extended, viz.: to June 1 and December 1 of each year. 

8— T. C. ' 



n 



114 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



CHAPTER VII 



VALUATION OF IRON MINES IN WISCONSIN 

By W. O. HoTCHKiss 

The legislature of 1913 directed the Geological and Natural His- 
tory Survey to secure the facts needed for a valuation of the mines 
of the state for the purpose of assisting the Tax Commission in as- 
sessing these properties. This law was later amended so that this 
work is now restricted to the iron mines of the state. Since 1913, 
accordingly, the Geological Survey has made a valuation of these 
properties each spring and turned this valuation over to the Tax 
Commission. The iron mines of Wisconsin are in three districts, 
the Gogebic Range in Iron County, the Mayville district In Dodge 
County, and the Baraboo district in Sauk County. 

Owing to the fact that mines are relatively few in number and 
are rarely sold, it is not possible to arrive at a close valuation of 
these properties on the basis of sale. A recognition of this fact and 
the further fact that the valuation of mines requires a considerable 
amount of technical knowledge of mining was the reason why the 
legislature called upon the Geological Survey to assist the Tax Com- 
mission. 

Before describing methods followed in arriving at the valuation 
of a mine, a better understanding of the problem will be obtained if 
we discuss briefly the elements which make up the value of a mining 
property. 

The first of these is the ore. 

The second is the shaft and other openings by which access to 
the ore is gained. 

The third is the machinery and equipment necessary to mine the 
ore and take it to the surface, such as drills, mine cars, haulage 
locomotives, hoists, etc. 

The fourth element comprises the repair shops, warehouses, and 
other buildings which are necessary for the conduct of the opera- 
tion and housing of employees. 

The fifth element is the stock or ore piles at the surface ready 
for shipment. As practically all the iron ore shipped from Wis- 
consin goes by boat down the Great Lakes, this fact necessitates 



VALUATION OP IRON MINES IN WISCONSIN. II5 

the accumulation of the ore in great piles at the surface during the 
winter months when navigation is closed. 

In addition to the foregoing major items of property there are 
miscellaneous things such as teams and wagons, mine timber, etc. 

If the custom followed with farm property or manufacturing 
property were followed, each of these items would have to be 
valued by itself. 

This would make a very difficult job, particularly with relation 
to the large item of value, the ore in the ground. As the valuation 
of ore in the ground by itself is an exceedingly difficult and practi- 
,cally impossible matter, valuing engineers both for taxation pur- 
poses and for the occasional necessity of valuation for sale, con- 
solidation, or joint operation have used a simpler and more accu- 
rate method. 

^ This method is exactly the same in principle as insurance com- 
panies use in computing the price of an annuity. If a man desires 
to purchase an income of $1,000.00 a year for ten years, he has to 
pay down a sum which together with the interest upon it will 
enable the insurance company to pay him the income desired. For 
the first $1,000.00 to be paid at the end of the first year he pays a 
sum which at the given rate of interest will amount to $1,000.00 at 
the end of one year. For the $1,000.00 to be paid him at the end 
of the second year, he pays the sum which together with the Inter- 
est on that sum for two years will equal $1,000.00. For the 
$1,000.00 to be paid at the end of the third year, he pays a sum 
which together with interest upon it for three years will amount to 
$1,000.00. The sum of all these ''present values" is the amouni 
which he must pay the insurance company for the $1,000.00 annuity. 

If we were to reverse this process and value a business wliich 
will return to this man a net income of $1,000.00 a year, we could 
do it in exactly the same way. This is the method which is ap- 
plied by valuing engineers the world over to the valuation of mines. 
It does not result in a value of the mine proper, but it results in a 
valuation of the total future business of the company. While the 
method differs from that used in valuing a farm or business prop- 
erty, it results in practically the same valuation. If a certain farm 
after paying for the labor of producing the crops will return a per- 
petual net income of $6.00 per acre, at ordinary rates of interest 
this farm would be worth $100.00 per acre. 

The chief difficulty in connection with the valuation of a mine 
comes in estimating the total amount of ore that is to be produced 
in that property. In none of the iron mines in Wisconsin can this 
be known with any great degree of accuracy. A mine sinks its 
shaft deeper and puts in a new level and develops the ore, so that 
they know the size of the ore bodies on that level. The ore that 
they have already developed on the levels above gives a very good 



116 REPORT OF THE! WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

idea of the total amount of ore above this bottom level and can be 
estimated very closely. This ore, the extent of which is fairly com- 
pletely proven, is called developed or proven ore. The dlflBlculty 
comes in arriving at a fair idea of how far below the bottom level 
the ore body may extend. It may go five feet or it may go several 
hundred feet. When the State of Michigan started to value its 
mines in this fashion, a large number of hearings were held and it 
was finally agreed upon by the valuing engineers and the mining 
companies that to assume a downward extension of 100 feet below 
bottom levels was an assumption that was fair and reasonable both 
to the taxing bodies and to the mining companies. When this work 
was started in Wisconsin, this matter was discussed at considerable 
length by the members of the Tax Commission and the Geological 
Survey and the mining companies and it was decided to adopt this 
same extension of 100 feet below bottom levels excepting in cases 
where drill holes or other information may prove definitely that the 
ore body extends either deeper or less deep than this 100 feet. 

In determining the valuation of a mine for the Wisconsin Tax 
Commission, the Geological Survey employs practically the same 
method as does Michigan. This method involves first the estimat- 
ing the total tonnage to be mined, second estimating the future 
yearly production, and third from the records of the company find- 
ing the average profit per ton made in the seven years preceding 
the time of valuation. This profit per ton multiplied by the tons 
per year gives the total yearly profits to be expected from the mine. 
This yearly profit is treated as an annuity, each annual profit is 
discounted at the rate of six per cent to its present value at the 
time of valuation. The sum of these present values of future an- 
nual profits is taken as the total value of the business of the company. 

In reaching the figures for tonnage of ore, allowance is made for 
the bunches of rock that are always found within the limits of the 
ore bodies. This allowance is that established by the past history 
in each mine, but is usually ten per cent. In estimating the future 
annual production due consideration is given to the facts — whether 
this will increase or decrease or remain stationary. 

In estimating the profit per ton the figure desired is not only the 
profit to the operating company, but the total profit yielded by the 
property. The profit from the mine is usually divided among 
three groups. First is the operating company which makes a profit 
(or loss as the case may be). Next is the owner of the land who 
leases it to the operating company and receives as rent a certain 
royalty on each ton of ore shipped. Third is the banker who loans 
money to operate the property, and so can be considered to have a 
temporary interest in the property. His share of the profits is re- 
ceived as interest on his loan. 



VALUATION OP IRON MINES IN WISCONSIN. 117 

To illustrate the way in which the total profit is derived, the fol- 
lowing three cases are shown: 

I II III 

Operator's profit per ton $.75 $.20 loss $.70 loss 

Royalty per ton .30 .30 .30 

Interest per ton .05 .05 .05 

Total profit per ton $1.10 $.15 $.35 loss 

The profit figure used in valuing the mine for taxation is that which 
a man would get if he bought out both the operator and the owner of the 
land and used his own. money instead of borrowing at the bank. 

In the elements before described as making up the valu-e of a mine 
all but the fifth have a value only so long as there remains ore in the. 
ground to be mined. Obviously the shaft will have no value when the 
ore is all mined. In a district where there is no other industry the mine 
buildings, and the employees' homes will be valueless when the ore is 
mined out as there will be no occupation for the miners and they will 
be forced to seek work in other regions. The mine machinery will have 
only a scrap value when the ore is gone as most of it is designed to fit 
the needs of this particular mine. 

So, if we consider our hypothetical buyer, all these items would have 
to be included by him in his purchase price, for if he paid more than 
the profit warranted — all these items have been contributing during the 
past seven years to the profit used as a base figure — ^he would not get 
his money back. 

Consequently the present value of the future profits includes the 
value of the buildings and all other personal property used to operate 
the mine as well as the value of the ore in the ground. 

In addition to this value the operator has an ore stock pile all mined 
and ready to ship on the assessment date — May 1. !He has expended 
money and labor in mining this ore, and hoisting it, and piling it at 
the surface. The value of this stockpile is, of course, not the value 
that will be ultimately realized. It is valued as a merchant's stock 
would be valued— at what he could sell it for as a unit, not at what he 
will receive when he retails it. The merchant's stock must be carried 
on his shelves at risk of fire or other damage for months before it can 
be sold, and there is a very considerable selling expense. iSo no pur- 
chaser of the stock would pay the retail price. Similarly, an ore stock- 
pile may have to be carried for several years before the owner is for- 
tunate enough to sell it. This is particularly true of a pile of ore that 
is of poor grade. (Furthermore the expense of loading and shipping, 
the iselling expense and the profit a new purchaser would properly ex- 
pect to make must be deducted from the ultimate selling price. 

On the other hand an operator may have his ore all sold by May 1st 
so that he knows definitely what he will receive. 



113 REPORT OF THEf WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

All these facte are taken into consi<deration when valuing the stock- 
pile. 

Therefore the figures furnished by the Geological Survey to the Tax 
Commission axe 

1. A value of the "ore in the ground" which includes the value of 
all the real and personal property necessary to operate the mine. This 
includes in addition to ore in the ground the value of the shaft and 
openings, the machinery and equipment^ the shops, warehouses and 
other buildingB necessary for operating the mine and housing the em- 
ployees, and the horses, wagons, mine timber, machinery supplies, and 
other items of pensonal property excepting the stock pile. • 

2. A value of the "ore in stockpile" which is the value that could be 
realized by a unit sale to a purchaser on the assessment date. 

The law requires personal property and buildings to be valued sep- 
arately from the land. Since the Geological Survey is not equipped to 
value buildings and personal property, aside from stockpiles, this hajs 
been left to the Tax Commission and the local assessors. In order to 
comply with the law the local assessor should value the personal prop- 
erty other than stockpile. This value should be subtracted from that 
giv^n for "ore in the ground" and added to the "value of ore in stock- 
pile" to get the total personalty value. 

The remainder, after this subtraction, is the combined value of 
buildings and land. The local assessor should value the buildings and 
subtract them from this combined value entering the remainder as 
*^land value" and his assessed value of buildings as ^Hmprovements." 

This may be shown as follows : 

1. "Value of ore in ground" as given by the Geological 

Survey , |1, 000, 000. 00 

2. Local assessors' value of personal property other than 

stockpile 85,000.00 

3. Total value of 'land and buildings" $916,000.00 



4. Add— 

Assessor's value of personal property $85 ,000.00 

"Value of stockpile" (given by Geological Survey) 280,000.00 

5. Total value of personal property $3'6'5,000 .00 

6. Subtract from above — 

Value of land and buildings $915,000.00 

The value of buildings as determined by the local 
assessor 115,000.00 



7. Value of "land" or true value of ore in the ground $800,000.00 

These items are 100% of true value. If the other property in the 
taxing unit is assessed at only 90% or some other fraction of true 



VALUATION OF IRON MINES IN WIlSCO^ Hg 

 

value, the same percentage of these values should be used. The as- 
sessor will then have the figures to enter in his book to comply with 
the law. 

1. Value of perstjnal property $566,000.00 

2. Value of buildings^ 115,000.00 

3. Value of land 80O,0O0'.O0 

4. Total value of mine $1,280,000.00 



120 REPORT OP THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



THE INHERITANCE TAX 

« 

The proceeds from the inheritance tax are always uncertain in 
some degree, due, not only to the greater or l&s number of estates 
disposed of during the year by the several county courts, but also to 
the amount of property transferred in these estates. The very large 
estates are relatively few in number, iind there may be several such 
estates settled in one year, and few or none in the next. In the largest 
estate settled during the last fiscal year the tax was computed and as- 
sessed at $286,228.27. However, more than half of this amoimt was 
paid into the county treasury as an advance payment during the pre- 
ceding year. Hence the tax in this estate affected the total Inher- 
itance taxes for the last two years. This illustrates the possibilities 
of variance in the total inheritance tax collected year by year. 

As a matter of public interest the total inheritance tax paid into the 
state treasury year by year since the enactment of the law is given as 
follows: T -^iw 

June 30, 1904 (three months) $14,319.77 

June 30, 19'05 125,964.80 

June 30, 1906 103,954.74 

June 30, 1907 396,458.39 

June 30, IP'^R 245,653.32 

June 30, 1909 449,000.93 

June 30, 1910 * 2«3,566.97 

June 30, 1911 848,033.78 

June 30, 1912 783,528.90 

June 30, 191?. 924,700.66 

June 30, 1914 458,903.21 

June 30, 1915 570,170.78 

June 30, 1916 502.937.98 

June 30, 1917 860,779.30 

June 30, 1938 517,389.97 

June 30, 1919 778,022.00 

• June 30, 1920 1,115,643.85 

Total $8,979,029.30 

In 1917 the rates werei raised so as to increase the income from the 
tax to the probable extent of 25 to 33 per cent (Ch. 320, Laws of 1917, 
in effect June 2, 1917). The increased rates apply only to estates 
where death occurred after the passage and publication of the statute. 
Consequently, the effect of the increase could not be fully apparent 
in the returns to the state treasurer until about eighteen months after 
the enactment of the law. The effect of the increase for a full year 
is not apparent until the report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1920. 

It has been suggested that in view of the great increase in the public 
expenses during the last few years, the inheritance tax rates might be 
again increased. It may not be amiss in this place to offer a few 
suggestions proper for consideration in that connection. 



^ THE INHERITANCE TAX. 121 

Only three states now have no inheritance tax; Alabama, Florida and 
South Carolina. To these may be added Alaska and the District of 
Columbia. Hence the probability of removal from state to state to 
evade the tax on the part of wealthy residents has its limitations. 
But there are still five other states that ha-ve no direct inheritance tax, 
but only a tax upon transfers to collateral heirs and strangers. 

The rates vary in the different states, no two states being entirely 
alike in this respect. The present rates in this state rank among the 
highest. The only state having a distinctly high rate is California. 
About one-third of the states may be fairly classed with Wisconsin; 
and about two-thirds of the states may be classified together as having 
rates that are materially lower. 

The federal estate tax, enacted in its present form chiefly as a war 
measure, exceeds the state inheritance taxes by about three times in 
the larger estates. The smaller estates, those of $50,000 and less of 
clear value, are exempt from the federal tax. The National Tax Asso- 
ciation strongly advocates the repeal of the federal estate tax, leaving 
this source of revenue entirely to the stales; but its repeal in the 
near future is not probable. While the state and national govern- 
ments are taking about 12 ^to 15 per cent of the larger estates, it may 
be doubtful whether further increase of our state rates is advisable, 
especially in view of the fact that this state is one of those having 
the highest state rates. If the federal estate tax should be repealed 
in the near future, it is probable that some advance in our rates 
might well be made; and it is likely that some increase will be made 
in other states. In the meantime it is a question well worth consid- 
ering whether it is wise to advance our rates much beyond those 
prevailing in other states. 



i 

i 



122 



REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



i 



CHAPTER VIII 



STATISTICS ON GENERAL PBOPIOtTY TAXES AND 



ASSESSMENTS 



122 REPORT OP THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



CHAPTER VIII 



STATISTICS ON GENERAL PROPiOtTy TAXES AND 

ASSESSMENTS 



GENERAL PROPERTY TAXES AND ASSESSMENTS. 123 



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]24 



REPORT OF THE' WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TABLiE 32 

TOTAL TAX LEVIES. STATE AND LOCAL ASSESSMENTS AND POPULATION OF 

WISCONSIN. 1872-1920 



Year 



1872.... 
1878.... 
1874.... 

1875.... 
1876. . . . 
1877.... 
1878.... 
1879.... 

1880. . . . 
1881.... 
1882.... 
1883.... 
1884... 



1885.... 
1886.... 
1887.... 
1888.... 

Xo9V. . • . 



1890.... 
1891.... 
1892.... 

I 090 • • • . 

1894.... 



looO. ... 

1896.... 
1897.... 

l.BV5 • > a . 

1899 ... 

1900... 
1901.... 
1902.... 
]903.... 
1904.... 

1905.... 
1906.... 
1907.... 
1908.... 
1909. . . . 

1910.... 
1911.... 
1912.... 
191S.... 
1914.... 

1915.... 
1916.... 
1917.... 
1918.... 
1019.... 
1920.... 



Total 



$7,895,181 

7.789,075 
7.696.248 

8,004,692 
8. 097. 435 
8,031,628 
7.969,859 
7,577,768 

9,098,418 
9.063,171 



9,985.353 



11,199,506 
ii,'644.*897 
'i2,*496.530 



14,654.229 



15.744,659 



16,561.888 
16,388,856 
16,996.177 
16.891,266 
17,212,876 

19.376.442 
20,360,831 
20,754,277 
20.776,180 
21,441,385 

22.896.641 
23,267,646 
26,382,190 
28,332.045 
29.287,107 

30,675,518 
32,610,975 
33,623.412 
41,755,035 
42,061,707 

43,365,640 
47,444,622 
50,134,005 
56,271,297 
70.198.976 



Tax Levies 



State 



1781,774 
727,202 
593,513 

695,923 
788,942 
708,671 
681,589 
457.453 



County 



$2,034,926 
1,946,694 
1,767,112 

1,870,655 
1,734,286 
1.829,732 
2.072.696 
1.996,046 



2,061,489 
2.289,259 



662.059 

450,072 

710.221 

332,031 ! 2,425,283 

224,138 



773.745 
783,159 
878,581 
1,069.542 
873,888 

891,660' 

988,886 

1,018,720 

1,018.720 

240,000 

1,372,713 

1,195,070 
1,995.070 
1,492,570 
1.340,570 

1,345,570 
2,257,854 
2,325.916 
1.027,220 
1,089,988 

1,167,035 
643.680 
2,6.56,637 
2.875,723 
3,607,930 

3,74fi..561 
3,739,588 
2,566,711 
7.655.318 
5.272,363 

4,430,736 

4,579,758 

4,797,946 

5,087,447 

7.125,8652 

7,775,371 



2,590,376 
'3.'6i6,'326 
'3,'358.*724 



3,605.220 



3,873,228 



4,411,954 

4,373,889 
4,185,276 
4.049.168 
4.113,779 

4,386,823 
4,550,872 
5,416,860 
5,854,290 
5,319,458 

5,948,975 
5,709.100 
5,978,651 
6.461,609 
6.813,232 

5,387.860 
5,963,554 
6,846,867 
8,166.701 
7,958,207 

8,733.807 

9,877.998 

10.304,195 

12,138,571 

14,955,580 



Local 



14,578,431 
5,115,179 
5,335,623 

5,438,114 
5.574,207 
5,493,225 
5,215,574 
5,124,269 

6,374,870 
6,323,840 



7,228,039 
7.835,385 



7,749,990 
'8,'257,'9i8 



10.060,114 



10,852,711 



10.776,721 
10.769.897 
10,815.831 
11,349,528 
11,758.527 

13,644,049 
13,552.105 
13.011,501 
13,894,670 
15,031,939 

15,780.631 
16,914.866 
17,746.902 
18,994,713 
18.865,936 

21,541,097 
22,907,833 
24,209,834 
25,933,016 
28,831,137 

30,201,097 
32.986.866 
35.031,864 
39,045,279 
48,117,531 



Assessments 



State 



$390,454,875 



421,285,359 



423,596.290 



413.102.976 
488.971.801 

445.582,720 

447.804,968, 

456,825,171 



476,896,354 

488.139,614 
496.507,152 
573,229.855 
581,264,749 
577,092,815 

592,890,719 
623.859,417 
654,000,000 
654,000,000 
600.000,000 

603,473.526 
600,000,000 
600,000,000 
600,000,000 
625.000,000 

630.000.000 
1,436.284,000 
1,504,346,000 
1,753,172,000 
1.842,841,000 

1,952,700,000 
2,124,800,000 
2,256,800,000 
2,478,561.786 
2,602,549,798 

2,743,180,404 
2.941,412,842 
2,841.630,416 
2,998,187,705 
3,172,989,154 

3,299,831.408' 

3,426,797,220 

3,607.470,442 

3.846,263,744 

4,068,268,534 

4,570,698,530 



Local 



$337,997,854 
337,887,185 
837.758,068 

351,468.301 
852.815,635 
346.062,373 
455.340,582 
406,303.185 

425,680,143 
429.711,462 
446,760,585 



487,950.036 



508,085,254 

'sso.'m.'m' 



Population 



('70)1,054,570 



1,236,729 



579,839.542 
591.004,854 
603.609.173 
624,707.113 
639,602.277 

632.680.710 
633,347,607 
629,735.508 
628,504,011 
630,721,497 

746,022.932 

1,082,641,094 

1,369.811,147 

fl, 358, 098, 346 

1.384,580,755 

1,411,576.454 
1.468,922,432 
1,531.909,825 
1,565.864,550 
1,613,427,747 

1,680.811,386 
1,907,872.199 
2,080,055,793 
2,451,962,913 
2.624,816 469 

2,741.568.724 
2,896,930.967 
3,073,186,438 
3,326.009,413 
3.545,232.808 
4,053,459,334* 



1.315,497 



1,563,413 



1,686,880 



1,937,915 



2,069,042 



2,228,819 



2,333,860 



2,6: ,8S9 



Charitable and penal chargres included in county taxes. Special and school loans in( uded 
in local taxes. 

* Includinff terminal properties. 

* ExcluiWe of soldiers bonus of 6,929.858.71. 

* Subject to corrections. 



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126 



REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



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148 



REPORT OF THEf WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 





TABLE 45 

AviRAOE Tax Rates— Total 


FOR State 






Local 


State 


um 




.0170928.5088 

.01616466832 

.01702922779 

.01602462781 

.01581781978 

.01637754662' 

.01631336269 

.01691856216 

.0217556474? 


.01108684064 


1912 


.01183243701 


1813 


.01887403466 


1914 


.01382733293 


1915 


.01317260878 


1916 


.01284487410 


1917 


.01389761981 


1918 


.01463091618 


T919 


.01895312080* 







TABLE 46 

Peboentage or Each Olabs of General Property Tax to Total 



*lDcludinfir soldiers' bonui. 





Total 


state 


County 


Local 


Scho 1 


1911 


100.00 
100.00 
100.00 
100.00 
100.00 
100.00 
100.00 
100.00 
100.00 


11.47 

7.63 

18.34 

12.54 

10.22 

9.65 

9.57 

9.04 

18.22* 


18.29 
20.36 
19.56 
18.92 
20.14 
20.82 
20.55 
21.57 
19.30 


42.54 
44.02 
36.41 
41.18 
41.49 
42,77 
40.89 
40.17 
35.27 


27.70 


1012 


27.99 


1913 


25.69 


1914 


27.36 


1915 


28.15 


1916 


26.76 


1917 


2:8 99 


1918 


29.22 


1019 


27.12 







GENERAL PROPERTY TAXES AND ASSESS-SMENTS. 149 



fiLL PKOPERTV MfKT L 

PfATIO orLocfiL toState f\SS[SSn£Nr 

19 iO 



Key ^0 ^/tf 'V*. 

05% AND OVER'- 




AVERAGE Fon dTPiTE, U^l 



i50 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



flRP 11 

Rll Property, 
Ratio or Locflu to Otbtc flsstsSMEMT Z91S 



R^£fa6c ro« 5Ti>rg 83.52 



GENERAL PHOPERTY TAXES JfND ASSESSMENTS. 



All Vhopcktv Map m. 
Rano orlocRL to SmTE Assessment, mo 



flVffl/lG£ FOK SlATE.eQ.kl 



152 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



CHAPTER IX 



UNIFORM MUNICIPAL ACCOUNTINa 

As early as 1901 the necessity became apparent for constmctive 
legislation looking toward the development of a sound system of uni- 
form accounting in Wisconsin municipalities. Methods of accounting 
then in use not only lacked uniformity but were entirely inadequate 
to give intelligent information as to the disposition of revenue rais^id 
through the general property tax, the principal source of income for 
municipalities. The tax commission recognized the fundamental re- 
lationship between the interests of revenue raising and revenue ex- 
penditure and in Its 1903 report directed the attention of the leglr^- 
lature to this phase of municipal taxation. As a result, in the act 
creating a permanent tax commision, a general provision was inserted 
conferring upon the tax commission the authority to devise a uniform 
system of accounts for municipalities. No specific provision was 
made for making actual installations and the result was that little, if 
anything, was done upon the basis of the authority conferred by 
Chapter 380, Laws of 1905. 

The necessity for definite action in regard to uniformity in municipal 
accounts was felt when in 1909» the legislature by joint resolution re- 
quested the tax commission to conduct a statistical investigation into 
state and municipal finances. An investigation of state finances wa^ 
completed and a report was submitted to the 1911 legislature. No 
report was made covering the investigation of municipal finances for 
the reason that municipal accounts were not kept in such a manner 
as to permit of dependable or comparable results. On this account It 
was considered expedient to defer statistical work along this line untU 
a proper foundation based upon uniformity in municipal accounting 
methods could be established. It was with this in view that the tax 
commission recommended and the legislature enacted Chapter 523 
Laws of 1911. Tlie statute supplemented Chapter 380, Laws of 1905, 
and enumerated specifically the duties of the commission in regard to 
the collecting of statistics and the formulation of a uniform system of 
municipal accounts. It is under this statute that the municipal ac- 
counting department of the tax commission was established and is now 
operating. Under the provisions of this section, it makes it the duty 
of the tax commission: 



UNIFORM MUNICIPAL ACCOUNTING. 153 

(1) To inquire into the system of accounting of public funds in use 

in towns, villages, cities and counties. 

(2) To devise, prescribe and at the request of any town, village, 

city or county, to install a system of accounts which shall 
be as nearly uniform as practicable; provided, that when so 
installed the system shall be retained by the town, village, 
city or county. 

(3) To audit the books of the town, village, city or county officers 

upon the request of the town or village board, city council, 
or county board, or upon its own motion. 

Upon the basis of the authority conferred under the statute quoted 
above, a uniform system of accounts was designed and accountants 

were employed to maJte installations and audits. 
In an effort to secure complete uniformity in municipal accounting 

some states have made the adoption of their systems by municipalities 
compulsory. This was not done in Wisconsin. In the first place, local 
officials in some instances resent the intrusion of the state into mu- 
nicipal affairs and it was felt that if the municipalities were allowed 
tq adopt the prescribed system voluntarily they would cooperate fully 
to make its operation a success. In the second place, with over seven- 
teen hundred municipalities in the state, a very large organization 
would have to be developed in a short space of time in order to 
handle the work. Under the plan of voluntary adoption the depart- 
ment could be built up gradually and additional accountants could hi 
trained as the demand for the service Increased. Subsequent ex 
perience has established the soundness of this policy. 

Since the inception of the organization in 1911, there has been a 
constant and steadily increasing demand foj the services of this de- 
partment with the result that up to 1920, 125 audits had been mado 
and 170 municipalities had contracted for the installation of the uni- 
form system. Of the 71 counties in Wisconsin, 41 are now operating 
under the uniform system of accounts and of the 135 cities, 53 use the 
state system. The chart at the end of this chapter shows the installa- 
tions in graphic form. 

In the majority of cases a combination of factors has resulted in a 
request on the part of a municipality for audit or installation service 
from this department. Some of the more evident motives are here 
mentioned. 



(1) The rapid growth of municipalities together with the broadeu- 
ing out of their governmental activities has intensified the necessity 
for modern methods of accounting. 

(2) Inability on the part of accounting officers to properly make our 
the financial report of receipts and disbursements required by the tay 
commission has directed attention to the defects of the old fund system 
This one factor alone has been responsible for a desire on the part of 
many municipalities for improved accounting. 

(3) Suspicion or actual knowledge of misappropriation on the part 
of accounting officers frequently results in application to this com- 
mission for auditing and accounting service. 



154 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

(4). It is not infrequent for one administration to request an exam- 
ination of the preceding administration for purely political reasons. 

(5) The recognized inadequacy of ''committee audits'* and the 
statutory requirements (in case of commission governed cities) are 
also contributing factors. 

So far as municipal auditing is concerned, three classes of exam- 
inations have developed. The purpose of each class in the order of 
its relative importance follows: 

(1) To ascertain the true financial status of the municipality. 

(2) To detect fraud and establish shortages if any exist. 

(3) To analyze expenditures and set up items of illegality. 

Audits to ascertain the true financial condition of municipalities 
are usually made annually and in most instances where the munic- 
ipality has adopted and is operating the uniform eyetem of accounts, 
liiis lype of auait is of most value to the manicipaiiiy ana a .o 

gratiiylng to note by the increasing number of applications tor thia 
Class or service that municipalities recognize this tact. Annual audits 
are now being made by this commission in twenty cities and counties. 

JNext in importance comes the specific examination the chief object 
of whxch is to detect fraud and to establish shortages if any exist. 
It has been our experience in most cases where discrepancies on the 
part of accouncing oflicers have been found that governing bodies re- 
sponsible for administration have not been encirely free trom blame. 
In the first place, in many cities. and counties oificials in positions of 
trust are not held to a proper accounting with the result that serious 
discrepancies in their accounts may remain unnoticed. This recog- 
nized negligence on the part of city councils or county boards serves 
to encourage dishonest ofiicials to acts of misconduct whereas complete 
accountability would preclude the possibility of defalcation remaining 
undetected. Then too, in many cases the salaries allowed officials by 
governing bodies do not represent an amount sufficient to meet living 
costs. While this fact cannot excuse the conversion of public funds tj 
personal uses it does furnish in many instances the initial incentive. 

Of the forty audits completed by this department during 1919 and 
1920, eight resulted in the disclosure of shortages involving in the 
neighborhood of $15,000. The beneficial effect of shortage disclosures 
of this kind extends beyond the conviction of the official and the re- 
covery of the amount misappropriated. It directs the attention of the 
municipality involved to the lack of system in the handling of its 
finances as well as to its own negligence in not demanding proper ac- 
counting on the part of officials. An experience of this kind usuallv 
results in an application for the installation of the uniform system and 
a request for annual auditing service. This is not confined to the 
municipality involved but has a wholesome effect upon surrounding 
districts wherever the situation is known. 

The third type of audit is that made for the purpose of setting up 
illegal and questionable expenditures of public funds. The irregulari- 



UNIFORM MUNICIPAL ACCOUNTING. 155 

ties brought to light during examinations of this kind result from 
ignorance of the law rather than from willful misconduct. In this 
connection it may be stated that certain classes of expenditures, clearly 
illegal under existing statutes, are worthy of legislative sanction. The 
allowance of traveling expenses to municipal officials on public busi- 
ness would come within this class. 

The constant and increasing demand for service since the inception 
of the work more than justifies the entrance of the tax commission into 
this field. It is now well established that the many problems peculiar 
to municipal accounting preclude the possibility of success except under 
authorized central direction. In the first place without supervision 
there would be no degree of uniformity. Then too, municipal officials 
are constantly changing and some agency must be available from which 
the new officials can receive assistance relative to accounting questions.. 

The sole purpose of the tax commission in this work is to provide 
competpQt auditing and accounting service for municipalities at actual 
cost to the state. It is believed that many advantages may accrue to 
the municipalities of the state through making use of the department. 
Tb'd accountants employed by this commission have become specialists 
iii this work and are thoroughly conversant with the laws governing 
municipal procedure. )Few private or commercial accountants in the 
state have handled sufficient municipal work to have become as thoi'- 
oughly qualified in this work as have the representatives of the munici- 
pal accounting department. The fund of financial information readily 
available to our accountants together with the unbiased character of 
their work gives added value to the accounting service rendered by the 
tax commission. An effective follow-up policy, so necessary in municipal 
installations, is a feature of the work possible only through the central 
direction of a state agency. 

The work of this department has progressed to the point where it is 
safe to predict that uniform municipal accounting through voluntary 
adoption will become universal in Wisconsin. 



156 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



ffw 3jsvniAS3UiQ'sNf\ox SNifwiig mwij 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. 157 



CHAPTER X 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN 

CITIES 



The discussion is based upon the following outline: 

PURPOSES OF THE WORK. 

PLAN OP THE REPORT. 

THINGS TO BE REMEMBERED IN MAKING COM- 
PARISONS OF COSTS IN DIFFERENT CITIES. 

EXPLANATION OF TERMINOLOGY. 
DISCUSSION OF THE TABLES. 
CONCLUSION. 



,/ 



^ 



158 REPORT OP THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



PURPOSES OF THE WORK 



In General 



To the average reader statistics of any sort are dull and un- 
interesting, and therefore hard to understand. Largely for this 
reason, the statement is heard that *' there are three kinds of 
lies — ^lies, damn lies, and statistics." Nevertheless, the use of 
statistics in some form or other is necessary to show exact con- 
ditions of any given static situation. By their use, also, changes 
that have occurred in the past are clearly emphasized so that 
causes for the changes may be found. The nature of any varia 
tion taking place at present is brought to light so that it is of- 
ten possible to predict future happenings with some degree of 
certainty. Statistics, as Rowley has defined it, is ''the science 
of counting." 

It is common knowledge that every year sees an increase in 
the total revenues and expenditures of all governmental bodies. 
This constant increase is due, not so much to higher prices 
which make governmental activities cost more, but to the fact 
that more governmental activities are constantly being intro- 
duced. The needs of the people are being satisfied more and 
more through governmental agencies. Thus, in addition to 
long-established city activities such as building streets, maintain- 
ing schools and furnishing police and fire protection, we find 
the modern city providing amusement halls and recreation 
grounds free of charge, dental clinics, public school nurses and 
medical attention for school children, furnishing ice, fuel, wa- 
ter and light at cost, and often maintaining public markets 
where groceries, and in some cases, staple articles can be pur- 
chased. Recognition is being given to the fact that the highest 
community welfare may be achieved through governmental op- 
erations. 

In view of this constantly increasing governmental activity, 
data showing what operations have cost in the past and what 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. 159 

they may be expected to cost in the future are invaluable. Be- 
cause each citizen in a community has only a small financial in- 
terest it does not follow that all principles of business economy 
may be ignored. Facts as to costs and results are necessary for 
efficient administration. If standards of costs or of results are 
known it is possible for officials to gauge the effectiveness of 
current operations by such standards, and for the public to 
judge the accomplishments of the administration. Efficient 
popular rule cannot come until citizens are intelligent regard- 
ing their common business. 

Specific Purposes 

1. We are all familiar with the plaint of the average tax- 
payer that '* taxes are high.'' This is because he thinks of gov- 
ernment only as an agency which collects taxes. He often won- 
ders why taxes are so high, where the money goes, how the tax 
rates per capita and per $1,000 of property valuation compare 
with those of other adjacent cities. This report endeavors to 
answer these and similar questions in the tables and charts fol- 
lowing. 

In some cities it happens that the administration follows the 
rule of frugality to such a degree that the welfare of the com- 
munity suffers. Again, the popular desire to ''keep the tax 
rate down," leads to under levies and thie city must borrow to 
finish the year. If this occurs for many years, the city soon 
finds itself in a state of continuous financial embarrassment as 
tax collections are used to repay loans. Sooner or later the ac- 
tual situation must be faced and sufficient taxes levied to make 
up the deficits of earlier years. Whatever the conditions, they 
should be generally known. 

2. The great value of statistics, as stated above, is in making 
comparisons. When the cost of an object or governmental serv- 
ice can be compared with the cost in prior years, or in other 
cities, knowledge replaces guesswork and administrative officials 
can proceed accordingly. High costs lead to a study of the 
reasons for their existence, unexpected savings may be made, 
certain operations may be changed or discontinued and others 
enlarged upon. In short, every contemplated act can be viewed 
in the light of what has taken place in the past. 



160 



REPORT OF THE? WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



3. A very real benefit which has resulted from the require- 
ment, that all cities submit reports of receipts and disbursements 
is the disclosure that accounting systems in use in some cities 
are antiquated and inadequate. It is frequently said that there 
is a causal connection between good accounting and success in 
the business world — that the successful business man must know 
costs, that he must know from what sources his profits come or 
to what factors he may attribute losses. Likewise, there should 
be good accounting in all municipalities, — accounting which 
will tell the facts about the business in hand and also serve as 
a guide in making plans for the future. 

A good accounting system for a city should show : 

a. The revenue that has accrued to the city from each source. 

b. The expenses incurred for each purpose both for operation 
and maintenance and for outlay. 

c. The financial condition of the city at any given date — what 
it owns and what it owes. 

d. Data by which city officials may be guided in planning 
future operations. 

e. Appropriations made by the legislative body and the un- 
expended balances thereof. 

A good accounting system is decidedly not ''a necessary evil.'' 



The accounting department of the tax commission has devised 
a system of accounts which meets the above requirements. This 
system is now in use in fifty-three Wisconsin cities and is a dem- 
onstrated successs. These cities are: 



Algoma 

Altoona 

A^Mand 

Baraboo 

Beaver Dam 

Berlin 

Black River Falls 

Boscobel 

Chilton 

Clintonville 

Columbus 

Crandon 

De Pere 

Eau Claire 

Elroy 

(Port Atkinson 

Grand Raipids 

Green Bay 



Hartford 

Hori-con 

Hurley 

Jefferson 

Ladysmith 

Madison 

Manitowoc 

Marshfield 

Medford 

Merrill 

Mineral Point 

Neenah 

Nefw Richmond 

Oconto 

Oshkosh 

ParklFalls 

Peshtigo 

Phillips 



Plymouth 

Port Wasihington 

Prairie du Chien 

Racine 

Reedsburg 

Rice (Lake 

Ripon 

Seymour 

Shawano 

Stoughton 

Sturgeon Bay 

Two Rivers 

Watertown 

Waukesha 

Waupun 

Wausau 

Whitewater 



4. The fact that city officials are required to submit reports 
of financial transactions to the tax commission does much to 



FINANCIAL. STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIBS. 



161 



disclose irregularities in their accounts, as has been shown in 
many cases. It is believed, also, that when statistics of results 
of operations (such as miles of street paving, street sprinkling, 
etc.) are submitted with the figures of cost, so that unit rates 
and percentage ratios can be obtained, that the requirement of 
such reports will do much to prevent questionable and wasteful 
practices. If the cost per square yard of concrete paving is a 
great deal higher in one city than in another, investigation will 
be made — either by city officials voluntarily or because de- 
manded by the people, — ^and any existing corrupt practice, or 
wasteful business methods will be uncovered. 



PLAN OF THE REPORT 



Classification Used 

As stated above, all cities of the state are required to submit 
reports of their financial transactions on blanks furnished by 
the Tax Commission. The classification of receipts and dis- 
bursements is that used, with few differences, by the United 
States Bureau of the Census, by Massachusetts, New York, 
California, and Iowa and is generally accepted by the best au- 
thorities on municipal, accounting. 

The general outline of the classification follows: 



Receipts 

General (Revenue 

Taxes 

Special Assessments 

Idoenees and OPennits 

Fines 

Gifts, Grants and Other 
Commercial IReveniie 
Amounts Borrowed 
Investment Receipts 
Agency and Trust Receipts 



Disbursements 

Operation and Maintenance 

General Government 

Protection of Person and Property 

Health Conservation and Sanita- 
tion \ 

Highways 

Charities and Corrections 

Education other than Schools 

Recreation 

Unclassified 
Outlays 

Municipal Public Service Enter- 
prises 
Investment 

Amounts Paid on Debt 
Agency and Trust 



11— T. C. 



^ 



162 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

Keceipts and Disbursements Plan 

The report form sent out by the department is devised to 
show cash actually received and disbursed during the year. 
It would be better, of course, to show revenues accrued and ex- 
penses incurred, regardless of cash receipts and payments. It 
would be impossible, however, for many Wisconsin cities to 
show their financial transactions on a revenue and expenditure 
basis because of the inadequate accounting systems in use. The 
receipts and disbursements plan is therefore the only one that 
can be used, at present, by all cities. 

Arrangement op Tables 

Thei publications of municipal statistics of prior years have 
shown names of cities arranged according to population. The 
advantage of this arrangement exists in that cities of practically 
the same population were placed next each other. Population 
is the one best basis of comparison, — ^i. e. — cities of like popu- 
lation normally have similar receipts from the same sources and 
similar disbursements for like purposes. Thus expenditures, 
exceptional and extraordinary circumstances excluded, which 
ought to be similar in amount, were placed next each other and 
so more easily compared. The disadvantage of the population 
arrangement is that a person interested in one particular city has 
to search for the name or for the key to the arrangement in pre- 
ceding pages. 

Believing that the disadvantages of the population system 
outweigh the advantages, the alphabetical arrangement has been 
followed in this pamphlet. It is thus easy to find any one city. 
To the left of the name of each city is given the population as 
determined by the United States Census of 1920, and so com- 
parison between cities of like population is possible. This 
method makes the tables and the information they contain more 
readily available to the man who does not wish to study them 
at length. 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. 163 



THINGS TO BE REMEMBERED IN MAKING 
COMPARISONS OF COST IN DIFFERENT 

CITIES 



1. Basis of Comparison 

Data for only one basis of comparison — that of population — 
is given in the tables. Among other factors which may influ- 
ence comparison are: 

a. area (affecting cost of street lighting, street paving, wa- 

ter-mains, etc.) 

b. natural resources (building stone, water supply, etc.) 

c. location (water-front cities have occasion for kinds of 

disbursements not found in the south central part of 
the state.) 

2. Differences in accounting classifications 

Many cities are using record-systems not based on scientific 
accounting principles. The classifications in use differ radi- 
cally from that of the schedule sent to clerks to be filled out. 
Accordingly, in order to fit the city's business to the classifica- 
tion of the tax commission, it is necessary to reclassify all or 
most of the receipt and disbursement items. At best, the re- 
sult is not as accurate as if the final classification had been 
made at the time the transaction occurred. 

Many clerks consider the work of reclassifying receipts and 
disbursements as an unwarranted added burden. However, if 
statistics of value are to be obtained, it is necessary that there 
be uniformity in the form of reports submitted, and all cities 
should make the same kind of report. Previous to the entry 
of the tax commission into this field there was practically no 
similarity between accounting systems and classifications used 
in any two cities. The commission adopted a form which em- 
ploys a classification approved by the best municipal account- 
ing authorities. Fifty-three cities are now operating account- 
ing systems based on this classification. Others have signified 
their intention of adopting it in the near future. 



i 



164 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMIIISSION. 

3. dianges in the personnel of city clerks 

Fifteen new clerks took office in 1919, and 32 in 1920. 
clerks require some time to leam the duties of their offio 
dinarily do not do their work as well at first, nor mate 
reports as accurately or the distrihution of receipts ant 
ments as intelligently, 

4. Differences in civic organisation and methods 
Most Wisconsin cities are governed by a city counei 

some have adopted (he commission form as shown in Tal 
Some cities pay contractors witli special assessment certif 
others collect the certificates and pay contractors in cash, 
cities pay for the, cost of paving one-third of the stret 
charge abutting property owners one-third each. Othe 
vide the total cost (except for street intersections) betwei 
property owners, making each side pay half. 

6. Differences in fiscal years 

As stated in the preface, twenty-foui- cities do not end 
fiscal year on December 31. Those whose years end on or 
March 31 are Amery, Augusta, Appleton, Barron, Broi 
Buffalo, Cumberland, Fennimore, Menasha, Menomonie, ( 
mowoc, Oconto Palls, Biver Falls, Sheboygan, Shullaburg 
darburg closes its year March 15. Beloit, Janesville, ant 
Lake close on April 15. On April 30, Greenwood, Ke 
NeiUsville end their years. September 30 is the closing 
of Ashland and Superior, and November 30 of Reedsburg. 

Several cities in the above list have signified their inti 
of making out their reports in the future so as to inelu( 
twelve months ending December 31. For the present, hoi 
it is plain that receipts and disbursements for a city whosi 
ends September 30, as in the ease of Asliland and Supcrio 
not strictly eompai-able with those of a city for the perioc 
ing December 31. 

6. Differences in results accomplished 

Consideration sliould be given to differences in resul 
complished by expenditures for the same purpose in dif 
cities or for different years in same city. A -larger e 
diture may mean more or better work done and of eouri 



r 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. 165 

reverse may be true. To serve the purpose best, statistics of re- 
sults should accompany those of cost. It is one of the aims of 
this department to supply data as to results of operations with 
which the statistics of costs may be compared. 



EXPLANATION OF TERMINOLOGY 



Receipts 



General revenue receipts coma from compulsory contribu- 
tions levied by a city in the exercise of its powers of taxation 
and police, there being no direct relation between the amount 
of the contribution and the benefit derived. Taxes, licenses, 
and permits, fines, grants and gifts are the prificipal kinds of 
general revenue receipts. 

Commercial revenue receipts are those which come from reg- 
ular business transactions to which the city is a party. The 
rental of articles owned by the city and interest received on city 
money are examples of commercial revenujB receipts. 

The column *' Amounts borrowed'' includes both temporary 
loans and bond issues. 

'* Investments'' mean the receipt in cash of money previously 
invested by the city. 

Agency and trust receipts are those in which the city acts 
merely as an agent, as for example, in the collection and pay- 
ment of state, county and school taxes. 

Disbursements 

Operation and maintenance disbursements are for the regu- 
lar running expenses of the city proper without the schools. 
Table 56 divides the operation and maintenance total according 
to purposes for each city. 

Payments for protection of person and property are for po- 
lice and fire departments, sealer of weights and measures, anr) 
other like purposes. 

Health conservation and sanitation payments are for board 



166 



REPORT OF THEf WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



of health, sanitation and fumigation expenses, city nurse, gar- 
bage collection and disposal, etc. 

Amounts shown in the highway column include payments for 
maintenance of streets, sidewalks, curbs and gutters, for the 
cleaning, sprinkling, and lighting of streets, for weed cutting, 
snow removal, etc. • 

Charities and Corrections is self-explanatory. 

Payments for Libraries is self-explanatory. 

Recreation payments are for parks, playgrounds, Memorial 
Day, homecoming, and other like expenses. 

Outlays are disbursements for objects which have a perma- 
nent or semi-permanent va^ue, i. e., whose benefits last longer 
than through the year in which they were incurred. Examples 
are payments for new street paving or for a new city hall or 
fire truck. 

The remaining terms used need no explanation. 



DISCUSSION OF THE TABLES 



It is not proposed to discuss the contents of each table sep- 
arately. Those interested in a particular city are probably in 
a better position to know the reasons for abnormal conditions 
existing there which are reflected in the tables than any person 
not intimately acquainted with the life in the city. Comment 
will be given largely to explain the material given and where 
necessary, the form of the tables, and to point out conditions 
which might not be evident to the casual reader. 

Population 

In 1880 about one-fourth of the people of Wisconsin lived in 
cities. In 1920, more than half was city residents. This tran- 
sition is shown at ten year intervals in the following summary. 

Population Population Per cent of 

Census of State of all cities City Residents 

1880 1,31^.457 329,0)11 26.01 

1890 I,6i86.&80 647,713 38.39 

1900 2,06«,042 875,8^8 42.33 

19110 2,333,860 1,080,761 46.30 

1&2I0 2,631,839 a,322i,&0.9 60.2)7 



/ 



FINANCIAL' STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. 167 

The figures in the last column to the right are shown in chart A. 

CHART A 
PERCENTAGE OF WISCO/VS/N 

PEOPLE LIV/NG- IN C/T/ES 
I08o-/«?2O 



•rfuiffmw. 



sec ml^^M 



/890 



1 900 









3 



19/0 








\9X0 




W^. 



Perceirit \\y^'mc^ tit c///'«s (not i-neludnKi i-ncorporaTed vil/oijes)" 
F^rcent Imv^ fv rural Jiftricts (few»is «ti<J yi//o<ycs/ 



Percentage increases in state and in city population over 
those of each previous census are as follows: 



% Increase 
State 

ISSO 24.7-3. 

1890 28.23 

imO 2i2.G5 

1910 12.79 

19!2!0 12.76 



% Increase 
All Cities 



96. «e 

.36 . 22 
23.39 
22.il 



Difference in 

% Increase of 

City over State 



68.66 

112.57 

10.60 

9.615 



The last column shows that city growth was faster than state 
growth in all periods but that the amount of the excess of per- 
centage of city growth over percentage of state growth is grow- 
ing less, i. e., that the city population is not increasing as rap- 
idly in recent years as at the beginning of the period. 



168 report of the wisconsin tax commission. 

Bonded Indebtedness 

Table I shows the limit of bonded indebtedness of each city, 
the actual bond debt on December 31, 1919, and the per capita 
bond debt. The debt limit, as prescribed in the state constitu- 
tion is five per cent of the assessed valuation of the city in the 
last (1919) assessment. It will be seen that Madison has the 
highest per capita bonded debt. 

Taxes and Tax Rates 

General Property Taxes, the per capita tax, and the tax rate 
per dollar of assessed valuation, are given in Table 48. In or- 
der that comparisons may be on a correct basis, the assessed 
valuation of each city is given and the ratio of this figure to 
the true value as found by the tax commission. 

Table 49 shows the kinds of general property taxes i. e., an- 
alyzes the total figure given in Table 48, into taxes for state, for 
-county, for schools, and for strictly city purposes. Chart B, 
shows the same thing, using an average of the figures for all 
cities. Taxes raised in conformity with the soldiers' bonus law 
(Chap. 667, Laws of 1919) inflate the state taxes for 1919, and 
make column 2 of Table 49, non-comparable with other years. 
The figures in column 2 are, however, strictly comparable as 
shown, for comparisons between cities for 1919. 

The kinds and amounts of school taxes are again shown in 
Table 50. The tax rate for school and school district taxes is 
given in the last column to the right. This figure is not the 
same as the local clerk's school rate because we have included 
the county school tax (see heading *' School and School District 
Taxes'') whereas the county school tax is levied on the cityj 
not on the school district. 

Table 51 shows the tax rate per school child enrolled which 
obtains in all cities having city superintendents. The figures 
for enrollment are taken from reports filed with the State De- 
partment of Public Instruction. In those cities where there are 
joint school districts the enrollment of the city portion of the 
school district was obtained by applying to the total enrollment 
of the school district, the ratio of the city school census to the 
total district school census. (The ''school census" includes all 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. 



169 



children of the district between the ages of 4 and 20, whether 
in school or not, while the ** enrollment'' means children en- 
rolled in schools of the district, whether or not they are resi- 
dents.) 





CCNCRAL PROPERTY TAXES. 
IN CITIES Nn 




The amount of normal income tax levied in each city, the 
cash collections, personal property and coupon offset, and the 
delinquent amounts, are shown in Table 52. The soldiers' cash 
bonus and educational surtaxes paid in cash in each city are 
given in one sum in the last column to the right. 



I 



REPORT OP THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



Salaries of City Officers 

Table 53 shows the annual salary for each ofBcer o£ every eity 
at the rate existing June 30, 1920. Salaries of a^lstants are 
not given. Peculiar conditions existing in any city as where 
one man holds two positions are explained as far as possible by 
foot-notes. 

Receipts and Disbursements 

Table 54 shows for each eity total receipts divided into Gen- 
eral Revenue, Commercial Revenue, Amounts Borrowed, and , 



CA/A/?7 C 



SHOWING DlSBURSLMEhlTS FOHOPERKTION IXNO 
MaiNTENONCE CLRSSITIED BY PURPOSES 




FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. 171 

Agency and Trust. (For the meanings of terms used, see para- 
graph ''Discussion of Terminology.'') General Revenue is 
shown divided into Taxes, Licenses and Permits, and Other. 

A summary of disbursements is given for each city in Table 
55. In each case the amount spent for operation and mainte- 
nance, for outlay, for the repayment of debt, and for schools, is 
shown. Agency and Trust disbursements are omitted as they 
are not strictly a part of the city's internal government and 
tend to increase the total unduly. 

The operation and maintenance disbursements are analyzed 
in Table 56, which gives the total spent according to purposes. 
The same information is shown for all cities in Chart C. Table 
57 shows total and per capita disbursements for city running 
expense (operation and maintenance) and for schools. 



CONCLUSION 



It is' not presumed that the figures given in the tables follow- 
ing are accurate in all details. It was impossible to get good 
reports for some cities because of the poor accounting systems 
in use, and some errors will occur in all statistical studies of 
length. However, no effort has been spared to make the com- 
pilation as reliable as time would allow. 

It is hoped that in future years, dependable figures of costs 
and of results may be given. It is desired to show expenses 
incurred by purpose or activity, subdivided by department, by 
character (operation, maintenance or outlay), and by object. 
Data can then be obtained which will show cost by jobs, by units 
(as per yard of paving), and by averages. The administrator 
will then realize the significance of facts which might not other- 
wise appear and accurate records of all costs needed to guide 
officials will be available. 

Interested citizens and the general public will be able to form 
a true. conception of what a good government should be and to 
judge their own government's defects and virtues without bias 
or prejudice. Interest will be stimulated in opportunities for 
improvement and there will follow a popular desire for good 
government which no administration can afford to ignore. 



172 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSIOl 

In the past, poor government has been due, not so mue 
honesty and corrupt practices, as to ignorance of whi 
and how to do it. If this pamphlet brings to city off 
active desire for improved mclhods of procedure in city 
ment or awakens citizens to the fact that they should I 
ested in government and that the responsibility for gooi 
government rests upon them, it will havs served its pui 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. I73 



TABLE 47 



CITY BONDED INDEBrEDNESS DECEMBER 31, 1919 



1920 
Popula- 
tion 



1,911 
970 

960 
1,203 
8,451 

19,561 

11,334 

1,407 

5,538 

1,623 

1,441 
7,992 
21,284 
4,400 
1,796 

1,670 
1,600 
286 
3,626 
1.788 

1,154 
1,833 
9,130 
8,275 

782 

2,460 
1,632 
6,725 
1,528 
1,798 

3,016 
5,165 
1,896 
1,517 
20,880 

2,688 
1,991 
1,713 
2,209 
1,383 

23,427 

4,915 

880 

779 

7,248 

31,017 

761 

4,515 

1,302 

2,134 

3,014 
3,188 
18,293 
2.572 
1,159 



City 



Algoma 

Alma 

Altoona 

Amery 

Antigo 

Appleton 

Ashland 

Augusta 

Baraboo 

Barron 

Bayfield 

Beaver Dam 

Belolt 

Berlin 

Black River Falls 

Boscobel 

Brodhead 

Buflf alo 

Burlington 

Cedarburg 

Ohetek 

Chilton 

Chippewa Palls . 

dintonville 

Colby 

Columbus 

Crandon 

Cudahy 

Cumberland 

Darlington 

Delavan 

De Pere E. & W. 

Dodgeville 

Durand 

Ead Claire 

Edgerton 

Elkhom 

Elroy 

EvansvlUe 

Pennimore 

Pond du Lac ... 

Ft. Atkinson 

Fountain City .. 

Glenwood 

Grand Rapids . . 

Green Bay 

Greenwood 

Hartford 

Hayward 

Horicon 

Hudson 

Hurley 

Janesville 

Jefferson 

Jun«au 



Debt Limit 



$95,583 
27,985 
16,753 
33,626 

281,643 

1,064,812 

406,296 

43,710 

261,669 

57,336 

44,114 
392,597 
803,717 
233,019 

63,948 

64,347 

90,828 

6,422 

206,304 

99,815 

38,496 
123,842 
337.747 
249,639 

16,481 

147,018 
43,290 

414,285 
53.386 

100,698 

188,209 



Bonded Debt 



$20,000 
14,000 
11.850 
■7,750 

260,000 

464,000 
287,000 



72,000 
44,000 

26,450 
115,000 
228,000 
121,000 

44,000 

38,967 
71,000 



20,600 
6,600 

6,180 
69,600 
74,000 
19.000 

9.900 

84.760 

15,600 
74,000 
11,111 



200,865 

117,076 

49,580 

742,878 


1 69,860 

18,000 

12,500 

436,800 


192,106 
125,280 

49,635 
119,991 

68,924 


32,000 
54,642 
16,000 
87,600 
15.000 


1,061,547 

267,620 

28,360 

31,318 

339,873 


374,560 

141,500 

1,800 

6,400 

120,000 


1,775,085 
26,002 

215,671 
38,686 

121,520 


861,725 

18,000 

21,000 

2,000 

38,000 


91,066 

90,583 

951,928 

176,914 

74,264 


74,500 

500 

325.600 

74,900 

19,000 



Per Capita 
Bonded Debt 



$10.46 

14.48 

12.34 

6.44 

30.76 

28.72 
26.38 



13.00 
27.11 

18.35 
14.38 
10.71 
27.49 
24.50 

23.30 
44.87 



5.66 
3.80 

5.36 

37.92 

8.10 

6.80 

11.36 

84.45 
9.40 

11.01 
7.27 



11.69 
9.49 

8.24 
21.87 

11.90 
27.45 
9.84 
18.66 
10.86 

15.99 

28.79 

2.06 

8.21 

16.60 

27.78 

28.65 

4.66 

1.53 

17.81 

24.72 
.16 
17.77 
29.12 
16.40 



174 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TABIiE 47 — Continued 

OITY BONI>£D INDEBTEDNESS DEOEMBEB 81, 1919 



1920 
Popula- 
tion 



5.951 
40,472 

1.865 
30,863 

3,681 

2,682 

1.754 

2,485 

38,378 

17.568 

18,610 

7,394 

• 1,966 

8,011 

1,881 

1,981 
7,214 
5,104 
8,068 
457,147 

2.569 
1,554 
4,788 
7,171 
2,160 

994 
4,667 
2,248 
8,047 
3,301 

4,920 
1,914 
1,066 
38,162 
2,676 

1.440 
1,978 
504 
4,353 
8,415 

5,582 

3,840 

8,537 

892 

58,693 

2,997 
6,654 
4,457 
3,409 
3,929 

2,278 
1,280 
3,544 
30,956 
2,002 



City 



KaukauDu 

Kenosha 

Kewaunee 

La Oroflse 

Ladygmlth 

Lake Geneva ... 

Lake Mills 

Lancaster 

Madison 

Manitowoc 

Marinette 

Marsbfleld 

Mauston 

May ville 

Medford 

Mellen 

Menasha 

Menomine 

Merrill 

Milwaukee 

Mineral Point .. 

Mondovi 

Monroe ••• 

Neenab 

NeillBYille 

New Lisbon 

New London — 
New Bicbmond . 
North Milwaukee 
Oconomowoc . . . 

Oconto 

Oconto Falls ••• 

Onalaska 

Oshkosh 

Park Falls 

Pesbtigo 

Pbillips 

Pittsville 

Platteville 

Plymouth 

Portage 

Port Washington 
Prairie du Ohien 

Prescott 

Racine 

Reedsburg 

Rhinelander 

Rice Lake 

Richland Center 
Ripon 

River Falls 

Seymour 

Shawano 

Sheboygan 

Sheboygan Falls 



Debt Limit 



247.9U 

2,228.791 

88.189 

1,564,674 

121,689 

213.250 

106,842 

147,096 

8,684,166 

1,188,665 

489,709 
448,510 

73,835 
179,206 

76,638 

102,906 
821,660 
228.894 
337.020 
29,427,818 

176.912 

61,166 

882.018 

446,919 

88.886 

28.147 
107,266 

81,817 
197,0TO 
215.589 

162.597 

68,140 

27.890 

2.089.784 

140,458 

80,663 

60.864 

11,947 

228.758 

175.466 

233,721 

146,518 

114,089 

26.228 

8,848.726 

192,128 
334,021 
156,994 
205,588 
234,829 

100,022 

61,408 

138,428 

1,388.229 

115,799 



Bonded Dd>t 



84.790 

1,149,601 

87.000 

966,000 

96,009 

70,000 
28.500 



2.404,800 
286.900 

186.800 

149.000 

61,000 

86,000 

15,500 

28.528 
244.000 
122.500 

79,760 
18,264,800 

26,750 

2,000 

147.600 

99,000 

81,901 

20,000 
64,560 
62,000 
88,500 
55,500 

60.600 
40.800 



pier Ottiiita 
Bonded Debt 



1.456.800 
29.000 

9,200 

18,600 

2,000 

149,000 

40,167 

187,500 
91,000 

101,000 

10,500 

1,821,000 

92,600 
74,000 
88.750 
56.000 
26,500 

41,000 

3,200 

45,250 

461.000 

61,000 



14.26 
28.40 
19.80 
80.88 
26.63 

26.60 
16.25 



62.65 
16.84 

18.78 
20.16 
26.94 
11.62 
8.24 

14.40 
88.82 
24.01 
9.88 
89.92 

10.80 
1.29 
80.§2 
18.80 
87.92 

20.10 
18.88 
27.68 
29.04 
16.81 

10.26 
21.86 



48.92 
10.84 

6.39 

6.84 

8.97 

34.28 

14.40 

88.68 
27.24 
28.65 
11.77 
22.64 

80.86 
11.12 
19.92 
16.48 
6.49 

18.04 
2.50 
12.76 
14.89 
80*47 



r 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. 175 



TABIiB 47 — Continued 



CITY BONDED INDEBTEDNESS DEOEMBEB 31, 1919 



1920 
Popula- 
tion 



1,158 
7.596 
4,466 
2.293 
2,577 

11,371 
5,101 
4,653 

39.624 
3,257 

2,801 
7.305 
2,574 
3,J?07 
9,299 

12,558 
2.839 
4,440 

18,661 
5,818 

13,766 
3,878 
3,215 



City 



Shullsburg 

South Milwaulcee 

Sparta 

Spooner 

Stanley 

Stevens Point . 

Stoughton 

Sturgeon Bay . 

Superior 

Tomah 

Tomahawk .... 
Two Rivers .... 

Viroqua 

Washburn 

Watertown 

Waukesha 

Waupaca 

Waupiun 

Wausau 

Wauwatosa 

West AlliB 

West Bend 

Whitewater . . . . 

All cities 



Debt Limit 



55,535 

334,586 

188.297 

47,802 

76,246 

334,262 
265,396 
148,483 
1,876,064 
132.290 

99.795 
316.068 
150.216 
128,357 
513,575 

696,297 
121,821 
154,969 
614,315 
362,062 

1,246,085 
168,171 
181,957 



$73,765,478 



Bonded Debt 



7,000 

249,700 

13,000 

5,500 

7,000 

116,500 

72,700 

51,500 

1,485,125 

59,580 

13,000 
18,000 



70,000 
154,400 

493,000 
75,000 
165.240 
499,200 
270,500 

797,650 
14,000 
83,000 



$39,062,552 



Per Capita 
Bonded Debt 



6.06 

32.80 

2.91 

2.40 

2.72 

10.25 
14.25 
11.31 
37.47 
18.29 

4.64 
2.46 



18.88 
16.60 

39.26 
26.41 
87.21 
26.75 
46.48 

57.95 

4.14 

25.82 



29.58 



176 



REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TABLE 48 



ASSESSED VALUATIONS, GENERAI/ PROPERTY TAXES AND TAX. RATES, 1919 



1920 
Popu- 
lation 



1,911 

970 

960 

1,208 

8,451 

19,561 

11,334 

1,407 

5,538 

1,623 

1,441 
7,992 
21,284 
4,400 
1,796 

1,670 
1,600 
286 
3,626 
1,738 

3,154 
1,838 
9,130 
8,275 
782 

2,460 
1.632 
6,725 
1,528 
1,796 

3,016 
5,165 
1,896 
1,517 
20,880 

2,688 
1,991 
1,713 
2,209 
1,388 

23,427 

4,915 

8B0 

779 

7,243 

31,017 

761 

4,515 

1,302 

2,134 

3,014 
3,188 
18,293 
2,572 
1,159 



Algoma 

Alma 

Altoona 

Amery 

Antigo 

Appleton 

Ashland 

Ausrusta 

Baraboo 

Barron 

Baya«ld 

Beaver Dam 

B^olt 

Berlin 

Black Biyer Falls.. 

Boscobel 

Brodhead 

Buffalo 

Burlington 

Oedarburg 

Obetek 

Chilton 

Chippewa Falls — 

Clintonvllle 

Colby 

Columbus 

Orandon 

Cudahy 

Cumberland 

Darlington 

Delavan 

De Pere E. & W... 

Dodgeville 

Durand 

Eau Claire 

Edgerton 

Elkhom 

Elroy 

Evansville 

Fennimore 

Fond du Lac 

Ft. Atkinson 

Fountain City . . . . 

Glenwood 

Grand Rapids 

Green Bay 

Greenwood 

Hartford 

Hayward 

Horicon 

Hudson 

Hurley 

Janeeville 

Jefferson 

Juneau 



Assessed Value 
All Property 



11,911,667 

559,700 

315,065 

672,517 

5.632,855 

21,286,243 

8,125,915 

874,190 

5,233,380 

1,146,717 

882,286 

7,851,955 

17,874,348 

4,660,375 

1,278,501 

1,290,358 
1,816,558 
128,433 
4,126,087 
1,996,297 

769,910 
2,466,840 
6,754,941 
4,992,785 

416,789 

2,940,267 
895,806 
8,285,706 
1,067,698 
2,018,955 

3,764,174 

4,017,299 

2,341,911 

991,600 

14,854,550 

3,842,106 
2,505,600 
992,697 
Z,o99,oB2U 
1,380,883 

21,030,945 

5,352,400 

567,190 

626,367 

6,797,465 

35,501,705 

520,041 

4,313,410 

773,720 

2,430,410 

1,807,723 
1,811,653 
19,038,553 
3,358,270 
1,485,290 



Ratio of 

Assessed to 

True Val.» 



Total Gen- Per Capita 
eral Ptop- Gen'l Prop, 
erty Taxes Taxes 



96.80 
72.24 
71.82 
83.74 
71.91 

76.94 

84.22 
74.70 
77.96 
70.22 

83.33 
81.56 
67.21 
91.06 
71.14 

76.29 
87.10 
56.62 
75.47 
79.80 

64.15 
85.96 
70.73 
78.80 
69.28 

71.80 
97.41 
69.21 
70.12 
81.44 

85.25 
81.28 
85.04 
61.10 
62.62 

74.47 
84.96 
70.07 
74.2)4 
64.68 

85.08 
82.28 
63.18 
81.94 
73.84 

87.34 
62.49 
70.94 
90.40 
94.06 

69.87 
71.94 
73.37 
81.91 
77.56 



$56,390 

25,829 

15,710 

27,863 

266,439 

770,812 
284,417 

41,067 
180,885 

43,807 

30,975 
147,562 
621,066 
104,863 

46,084 

28,373 
38,107 
3,285 
73,186 
88.610 



$28.99 
26.62 
16.35 
23.15 
81.62 

89.41 
 25.10 
29.20 
23.62 
26.96 

21.49 
18.45 
24.49 
23.84 
25.61 

22.96 
23.81 
11.45 
20.17 
22.24 



23,020 

76,965 

202,648 

99,857 

19,487 


19.95 
41.99 
22.19 
30.48 
24.91 


96,932 
30,804 
202,184 
46,882 
47,141 


39.40 
18.56 
30.05 
30.68 
26.22 


98,220 
93,406 
62,160 
40,706 
606,792 


80.91 
18.09 
27.51 
22.87 
29.16 


84,628 
75,168 
84,403 
61,221 
37,285 


31.48 
37.75 
20.06 
27.r2 
26.95 


634,630 
18,125 

116,207 
15,660 

271,908 


27.48 
23.64 

20.59 
20.10 
37.54 


783,139 
20,810 

107,138 
27,190 
29,724 


25.21 
27.34 
23.78 
20.88 
18.92 


101,655 
63,411 

516,203 
73,856 
22,280 


33.72 
19.89 
28.22 
28.71 
19.22 



Tax 
Rates 



.0280 
.0461 
.0498 
.0414 
.0473 

.0662 

.0850 
.0470 
.0250 
.0382 

.0851 
.0188 
.0291 
.6226 
.0860 

.0220 
.0210 
.0256 
.0177 
.0194 

.0299 
.0812 
.0800 
.0200 
.0467 

.0380 
.0350 
.0244 
.0439 
.0234 

.0248 
.0282 
.0223 
.0411 
.0410 

.0220 

.0300 
.0846 

.0256 
.0270 

.0902 
.0338 
.0205 
.0260 
.0400 

.0221 
.0400 
.0248 
.0861 
.0122 

.0562 
.0650 
.0271 
.0220 
.0150 



• Based on true value of 191^— onq year. 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OP WISCONSIN CITIES. I77 



TABIiB 48 — Continued 

ASSESSED VALUATIONS, GENERAL PROPERTY TAXES AND TAX RATES, 1919 



1920 
Popu- 
lation 



5,951 
40,472 

1,866 
30.363 

3,581 

2,632 
. 1,754 

2,485 
38,378, 
17,568 

13,610 
7,394 
1,966 
3,011 
1,881 

1,961 
7,214 
5,104 
8,068 
457,147 

2,569 
1,564 
4,788 
7,171 
2,160 

994 
4,667 
2,248 
3,047 
3,301 

4,920 
1,914 
1,066 
S3,1G2 
2,676 

1,440 
1,973 
604 
4,353 
3,415 

5,582 

3,340 

3,537 

802 

68,598 

2,997 
6,654 
4,457 
3,409 
3,929 

2,273 
1,280 
8,544 
30,965 
2,002 



Eaukauna 

Kenosha 

Kewaunee 

La Orofise 

Ladysmith 

Lake Geneva 

Lake Mills 

Lancaster 

Mcidison 

Manitowoc 

Marinette 

Marshfleld 

Mauston 

May ville 

Medford 

Mellen 

Menasha 

Menomonie 

Merrill 

Milwaukee 

Mineral Point 

Mondovi 

Monroe 

Neenah 

NeillsviUe 

New Lisbon 

New London 

New Richmond 

North Milwaukee. . 
Oconomowoc 

Oconto 

Oconto Palls 

Onalaska 

OshkOBh 

Park Falls 

Pesbtigo 

PhiUips 

Pittsville 

Platteville 

Plymouth 

Portage 

Port Washington.. 
Prairie du Chien... 

Prescott 

Racine 

Reedsburg 

Rhinelander 

Rice Lake 

Richland Center... 
Ripon 

River Palls 

Seymour 

Shawano 

Shdl>oygan 

Sheboygan FaLs... 



Assessed Value 
All Property 



4,958,270 
44,475,810 

1,762,771 
31,093,471 

2,430,776 

4,264,992 

2,116,840 

2,954,345 

73,683,309 

22,671,298 

9,794,186 
8,970,200 
1,476,700 
3,584,097 
1,532,755 

2,059,864 
6,433,326 

4,577,878 

6,740,395 

588,656,266 

3,538,245 
1,223,116 
6,640,367 
8,938,388 
1,666,706 

562,956 
2,816,882 
1,626,332 
3,94a,&77 
4,310,775 

3,251,939 

1,162.809 

557,790 

40,794,670 

2,809,159 

611,250 
1,207,288 

238,988 
4,575,500 
3,509,315 

4,674,427 
2,930,360 

2,280,778 

524,456 

66,974,506 

3,842,450 
6,680,429 
3,139,885 
4,110,768 
4,696,576 

2,000,440 
1,228,057 
2,768,450 
26,764,586 
2,315,999 



Ratio of 
Assessed tc 
True Val> 



71-36 
77.12 

80.24 
84.34 
68.78 

99.20 
82.21 
75.16 
86.85 
86.90 

86.00 
102.25 
79.63 
71.21 
85.14 

97.08 

76.00 
75.72 
95.64 
81.82 

82.77 
70.45 
93.25 
88.10 
63.21 

74.28 
69.98 
63.51 
80.66 
92.04 

92.73 
70.73 
70.26 
98,99 

80.97 

82.76 
88.23 
83.78 
78.60 
69.96 

76.14 
89.72 
71.66 
71.86 
69.33 

87.43 
75.15 
86.92 
72.45 
85.76 

68.34 
78.86 
72.17 
71.14 
74.11 



Total Gen- 
eral Prop- 
erty Taxes 



148,176 
1,884,256 

44,070 
777,336 

83,199 

90,933 

60,977 

87,068 

1,473,666 

600,906 

323,213 

212,394 

40,779 

60,980 

53,670 

61.796 

145,633 

141,744 

186,992 

15,878,016 

70,937 

31,923 

166,011 

219,730 

63,335 

28,925 

98.221 

66,443 

116,731 

104,191 

130,079 

44,187 

23,314 

1,019.875 

108,154 

21,894 

48,292 

9,868 

147,860 

101,067 

140,234 

72,665 

77,530 

18,824 

1,719,172 

90,683 
233,819 
149,727 
107,694 
135,427 

44,812 
27,510 
96,891 
921,290 
68,266 



Per Capita 

Gen'l Prop. 

Taxes 



24.90 
82.96 
28.63 
25.60 
23.23 

34.64 
34.76 
35.02 
25.66 
84.22 

23.75 

28.72 
20.75 
20.24 
28.58 

81.20 
19.61 
27.77 
23.18 
84.07 

27.62 
20.65 
34.66 
30.64 
29.32 

24.06 
21.05 
26.00 
37.96 
31.56 

26.43 
28.08 
21.87 
80.75 
40.42 

14.86 
24.48 
19.62 
33.96 
29.61 

26.12 
21.75 
21.92 
21.10 
29.38 

80.26 
86.18 
88.69 
81.60 
84.46 

19.78 
21.49 
27.26 
29.77 
26.61 



Ta;x 
Rates 



.0299 
.0800 
.0260 
.0250 
.0942 

.0218 
.0288 
.0295 
.0200 
.0266 

.0330 
.0287 
.0276 
.0170 
.0350 

.0900 

.0226 
.0810 
.0227 
.0266 

.0201 
.0281 
.0260 
.0246 
.0880 

.0425 
.0849 
.0869 
.0294 
.0242 

.0400 
.0880 
.0418 
.0250 
.0386 

.0850 
.0400 
.0414 
.0323 
.0288 

.0800 
.0248 
.0840 
.0859 
.0257 

.0236 
.0850 
.0260 
.0262 
.0288 

.0224 
.0224 
.0860 
.0844 
.0280 



• Based on true value of 1919— one year. 
12— T. C. 



1 



178 



REPORT OF THie WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TABLE 48 — Continued 

ASSESSED VALUATIONS, GENERAL PROPERTY TAXES AND TAX RATES, 1919 



1920 
Popu- 
lation 




Assessed Value 
All Property 

m 


Ratio of 

Assessed to 

True Val.» 


Total Gen 
eral Prop- 
erty Taxet 


Per Capita 

3«n'l Prop. 

Taxes 


Tax 
Rates 


1,158 
7,598 
4,466 
2.293 


Shullsburir 

South Milwaukee... 
Sfyarta 


1,110,709 
6,^,726 
3,766.940 
967,237 
1,624,925 

6,685,235 
5,307,922 
2,969,669 
87,521.688 
2,646,792 

1,995,909 
6,321,665 
8,004.314 
2,567,149 
10,271,502 

11,966,987 
2,436,415 
3,098,770 

12,286,298 
7,041,235 

24,920,711 
8,368,424 
3,630,140 


82.90 
75.65 
86.14 
60.86 
66.79 

74.25 
82.17 
79.36 
69.10 
98,78 

84.70 
86.84 
83.70 
80.70 
81.92 

78.42 
83^3 
82.83 
68.49 
69.65 

66.46 
79.94 
88.14 


88,822 

167,271 

117,689 

83,806 

60,224 

244,058 
141,086 

98,837 
1,182,096 

79,874 

70,199 

184,720 

91,909 

96,881 

202,512 

306,867 

67,988 

89,274 

473,042 

180,963 

499,751 

100,902 

90,107 


28.77 
22.(a 
28.38 
14.61 
10.46 

21.47 
27.66 
21.71 
29.86 
2i.87 

25.06 
20.86 
85.71 
26.19 
21.78 

24.43 
23.94 
20.27 
26.86 
31.09 

36.80 

29.87 
28.02 


.0900 
.0260 
.0812 


SDooner 


.0860 


2,577 


Stanley 


.0829 


11,371 
5,101 
4), 563 

89,624 
8,257 

2,801 
7,305 
2,574 
3.707 


Stevens Pofnt 

Stoughton 

Sturgeon Bay 

SuDcrlor 


.0360 

.0266 

.0833 

, .0816 


Tomah 


.0900 


Tomahawk 

Two Rivers 

Viroauft . . . .' 


.0862 
.0885 
.0806 


Washburn 


.0877 


9,299 
12.558 


Watertown 

Wauk€sha 


.0197 
.0267 


2,839 
4,440 


WauDaca . . : 


.0279 


WauDun 


.0288 


18.661 


Wausau 


.0885 


5,818 
13.765 


Wauwatosa 

West Allis 


.0287 
.0201 


3,378 
3,215 


West Bend 

Whitewater 

AU Cities 


.0800 
.0247 




$l,475,«fi9',643 


78.86 


$40,127,468 


30.31 


.0272 



* Based on true value of 1919— one year. 



r 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. 179 



TABLE 49 



GENEBAX PROPERTY TAXES CJOLLECTED IN 1920-WISOONSIN CITIES 



1920 
Popu- 
lation 



1,911 

970 

960 

1.203 

8,451 

19,561 

11,334 

1,407 

5,538 

1,623 

1,441 
7,992- 
21,284 
4,400 
1,796 

i,(no 

1,600 

286 

3,626 

1,738 

1,154 
1«888 
9,130 
8,275 
782 

2,400 

1,632 
6.725 
1,628 
1,706 

3,016 
5,165 
1,896 
1,617 
20,880 

2,688 
1,991 
1,718 
2,209 
1,383 

23,427 

880 

4,915 

779 

7,243 

81,017 

761 

4,515 

1,302 

2,184 

8,014 
3,188 
18,298 
2,572 
1,150 



Algoma 

Alma 

Altoona 

Amery 

Antigo 

AppletOD 

Ashland 

Augusta 

Baraboo 

Barron 

Bayfield 

Beaver Dam 

Beloit 

Berlin 

Black River Falls 

Boseobel 

Brodhead 

Buffalo -Oity .... 

Burlington 

Cedarburg 

Chetek 

Ohilton 

Chippewa Palls . 

Clintonville 

OOlby 

Oohnnlnis 

Crandon 

Cudahy 

Oumberland 

Darlington 

Delavan 

Be Pere E. & W. 

Dodgoville 

Durand 

Eau daire 

Edgerton 

Blkhom 

Elroy 

Evansville 

Pennimore 

Pond du !Lac... 
Pountain Oity .. 
Pt. Atkinson .... 

Glenwood 

Grand Rapids ... 

Ghreen Bay 

Greenwood 

Hartford 

Hayward 

Horicon 

Hudson 

Hurley 

JaneeviUe 

Jefferson 

. Juneau 



State 



$7,906 
1,246 
1,359 
1,515 

26,018 

40,685 
40,469 

4,096 
23,168 

5,015 

1,858 
32,969 
45,687 
19,461 

5,992 

6.008 

7,087 

3<M 

8,497 

5,877 

3,469 
11,061 

30,852 

20,762 

2,903 

18,281 

4,270 

37,371 

4,736 

8,688 

16,203 
7,488 
8,902 
8,335 

75,251 

9,884 
9,472 
2,440 
5,906 
6,764 

80,689 
1,274 

22,055 
1,143 

32,324 

62,069 

2,980 

20,848 

3,207 

9,337 

3,996 

3,923 

88,657 

15,380 

6,954 



Oounty 



94,131 
9,242 
2,350 
3,529 

45,880 

122,287 
86,296 

6,972 
23,537 

6,662 

6,061 

9,597 

41,456 

11,423 

5,618 

z,vw> 
3,436 

884 

18,782 

9,920 

3,910 
6,886 

23,821 

12,020 

2,172 

18,227 

7,450 

27,357 

5,837 

6,191 

13,105 

13,684 

8,637 

8,151 

121.849 

9,775 
7,527 
3,926 
5,369 
8,379 

32,653 
3,177 
7,725 
2,031 

65,771 

111,880 

2.386 

10,956 

4,080 

2,718 

7.157 

16,474 

43,277 

5,664 

1.786 



aty 



$14,827 

6.901 

4.682 

8,344 

96.865 

412,699 
49,341 
14,244 
27,569 
14.205 

9,475 

51.139 

193,144 

51,346 

15.561 

14.888 

12.141 
1,072 

28,775 
9,638 

7,589 
47,779 
70,376 
28,100 

7.923 

48,001 

5,831 
50,063 
18,841 
28,848 

39,782 
45,357 
19.875 
12,360 
254,472 

84.440 
28.883 
16,856 
30,881 
11,206 

861,356 
7,874 

43,140 
2,823 

91,291 

871.744 

6,316 

48.666 

11,113 

8,445 

88,270 

11.647 

818.247 

82,876 

8,188 



School 



$29,027 

9.440 

7,819 

U,4«B 

100,676 

195,141 

109,309 

15,778 

56,571 

18.936 

13,661 

53,857 

240,768 

22,633 

18,863 

14,686 

15,443 

1.025 

22.062 

13.216 

8,102 
11,800 

77,509 

38,975 

6,489 

27,878 

18.253 
87.408 
18,468 
10,014 

24,130 
26.977 
19,746 
11,860 
157,220 

81,029 
29,286 
11,182 
19,075 
15,934 

170,082 
6,300 

43,287 
9.663 

82.522 

236,026 

9,128 

27,189 

8,790 

14,224 

62,232 

81.887 

116,022 

19,966 

6,406 



Total 



$56,390 
25,829 
15,710 
27,853 

266,439 

770,812 
284,417 

41,087 
130,835 

43,807 

30,975 
147,562 
521,066 
104,863 

46,034 

38.878 
38,107 
3,286 
73,136 
38,649 

23,020 
76,965 
202,648 
99.857 
19.487 

96,962 

30,304 

202,184 

46.882 

47,141 

93,220 
93.406 
62.160 
40,706 
608.792 

84.626 
75,168 
34.403 
61.221 
37,285 

634,680 
18,125 

116,207 
15.660 

271.908 

788.189 
20,810 

107,138 
27,190 
29,724 

101,665 
63,411 

616,206 
73,856 
22,280 



180 REPORT OF THK WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TAHLE 49 — Continued 

GENERAL PROPEBTY TAXES COLLECTED IN 192a-WISCONSIN CITIES 



1920 
Popu- 
lation 



5,951 
40,472 

1,865 
30,368 

3,581 

2,632 

1,754 

2,485 

38,378 

17,563 

13.610 
7,394 
1,966 
3,011 
1.881 

1,981 
7,214 
5,104 
8, -068 
457,147 

2,569 
1,554 
4.788 
7,171 
2,160 

air* 

4,667 
2,248 
3,047 
3,301 

4,920 
1,914 
1,066 
33,162 
2,676 

1,440 
1.973 
504 
4,353 
3,415 

5,582 
3,340 
3,537 

see 

58,593 

2,997 
4,417 
6,654 
3.409 
3,929 

2,273 
1,280 
3.544 
30,955 
2,002 




Kaukauna 

Kenoftha 

Kewaunee 

La Orosse 

Ladysmlth 

Lake Geneva ... 

Lake MiUs 

Lancaster 

Madfson 

Manitowoc 

Marinette 

Marshfleld 

Mauston 

Mayville 

Medford .... 

Mellen 

Menasba 

Menomonie 

Merrill 

Milwaukee 

Mineral Point .. 

Mondovi 

Monroe 

Neenah 

Neillsville 

New Lisbon 

New London — 
New Richmond .. 
North Milwaukee 
Oconomowoe — 

Oconto 

Oconto Falls — 

Onalaska 

Oshkoph 

Park Falls 

Peshtigo 

Phillips 

Pittsville 

Platteville 

Plymouth 

Portage 

Port Washington 
Prairie du Chien. 

Prescott 

Racine 

Reedsburg 

Bice Lake 

Bhinelander 

Richland Oer.ter. 
Ripon 

River Falls 

Seymour 

Shawano 

Sheboygan 

Sheboygan Falls 



10,539 

179,976 

8.429 

126,307 

4,747 

17,412 

9,359 

12,405 

• 93,330 

82,684 

42,041 

24,935 

3,234 

15,929 

5,882 

8,155 

25,583 

23,462 

10,493 

2,475,803 

15,708 

2,529 

25,260 

33,468 

8,200 

1,425 
11,366 

3,839 
17,029 
16,269 

6,190 
2,290 
2,424 
lol ,870 
9.813 

2.749 

5,002 

1,060 

20,411 

15,328 

21,411 

7,318 

5,081 

2,6f70 

130,601 

15,624 
15,960 
30,138 
8,851 
20,278 

9,502 

2,505 

12,422 

128,610 

8,449 



31,677 

200,771 

4,378 

71,824 

20,174 

13,837 

3,105 

6,196 

92,610 

42,672 

48,492 

48,614 

5,202 

4,775 

8,984 

18,365 
22,680 
13,550 
33,566 
1,812,420 

6,238 

6,971 

12,246 

28,979 
6,208 

6,292 

9,821 

6,820 

12,697 

11,424 

24,750 

9,252 

1,.594 

131,651 

16,354 

2,844 

8,337 

2,192 

10,075 

16,829 

22,498 

12,345 

13,331 

2,053 

288,686 

15,873 
17,361 
72,611 
12,474 
8,047 

7,351 

7,631 

16,194 

139,273 

9,277 



aty 


School 


Total 


49.045 


56,915 


148,176 


474,400 


479,109 


1.334,256 


9,445 


21,818 


44,070 


330.973 


242,232 


777,3^6 


24,968 


83,310 


83.199 


29,503 


30.091 


90.933 


28,434 


20,079 


. 60,977 


48,384 


20,078 


87.063 


490,951 


307,810 


984,701 


301,243 


174,309 


600,908 


149,650 


88,030 


323,213 


78,459 


65.886 


212,894 


15,156 


17,187 


40,779 


18,253 


21,973 


60.930 


18,906 


19,948 


58,670 


14,618 


20,667 


61,795 


20,604 


72,^4 


141,533 


52,321 


52,411 


141,744 


92,614 


50,319 


186,992 


7,608,697 


3,681 ,tti6 


15.578,016 



23,705 


25,286 


6,737 


15,686 


71,885 


56,620 


72,425 


84,858 


24,884 


24,548 



4.950 
87,915 
22,062 
40,170 
39,899 

65,436 

14,605 

6,327 

396,728 

35,065 

2,236 
14,403 

3,439 
63,272 
43,909 

69,047 

37,312 

33,740 

7,222 

618,266 

27,721 
71 ,875 
82,499 
40,718 
55,730 

10,447 

7,666 

27,379 

359,458 

20,747 



11,258 
39,118 
25,722 
45,835 
36,599 

83,703 
18,040 
12,969 
339.626 
46,922 

13,565 
20,. 550 
3,197 
54,102 
25,021 

37,278 
15,695 
25,378 

6 wr9 

681,619 

31,465 
44,531 
48,571 
45,651 
51,377 

17.513 

9,708 

40,896 

293,949 

14,795 



70,937 

31,923 

166,011 

219.730 

63,336 

23,925 

98,2-20 

58.448 

315,731 

104.191 

130,079 

44,187 

23,314 

1,019,875 

108,154 

21,394 

48,292 

9,888 

147,860 

101,087 

140,234 

72,665 

77,530 

18.824 

1,719,172 

90,683 
149,727 
233,819 
107,694 
135,427 

44.813 
27,510 
96.891 
921,290 
53,268 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. 



181 



TABIiE 49 — ^Continued 

GENERAL PBOFERTY TAXES OOLLEOTED IN 1920— WISCONSIN CITIEg 



1920 
Popu- 
lation 




State 


County 


aty 


School 


Total 


1,158 


Shullsbur&r 


4,783 

. 30,513 

16,698 

2,334 

7,936 

27,150 
22,054 
7,045 
99,415 
11,727 

3,799 
22,999 
13,285 

4,888 
44,701 

48,303 
10,462 
12,669 
83,975 
31,200 

106,450 
15,377 
15,137 


3,803 

22,336 

14,711 

7,814 

6,128 

21,969 

8,146 

16,301 

307,557 

10,864 

13,080 
11,869 
24,506 
16,167 
14,918 

34,112 
5,816 
4,209 

59,307 

22,839 

79,390 

8,779 

12,029 


16,101 

67,684 

51,134 

4,351 

16,560 

106,972 
48,878 
61,125 

276,874 
32,298 

25,179 
52,530 
29,192 
31,100 
94,188 

135,656 
27,691 
40,524 

191,718 
71,216 

161,530 

59,465 
41,589 


8,635 

46,738 

35,006 

• 19,007 

19,600 

88,967 
62,007 
24,366 
499,850 
25,000 

28,141 
61,322 
24,926 
44,726 
48,705 

88,897 
24,019 

9i,&n 

138,042 
55,706 

150,881 
17,281 
21,852 


33,322 


7,598 
4,466 


South Milwaukee .... 
Sparta 


167,271 
117,639 


2,293 


Spooner 


33,506 


2,577 


Stanley 


50,224 


11,371 
5,101 


Stevens Point 

Stouehton 


244,058 
141,085 


4,553 
39,624 


Sturg'X)!! Bay 

Superior 


98,837 
1,182,696 


3,257 


Tomah 


79,874 


2,801 


Tomahawk 


70,199 


7,305 


Two Rivers 


148,720 


2,ffr4 


ViroQua 


91,900 


3,707 


Washburn 


96,881 


9,299 


Watertown 


202,512 


12,558 
2,839 


Waukesha 


806,867 


WauDaca 


67,988 


4,440 


Waupun 


89,278 


18,061 


Wausau 


473,042 


5,818 


W'auwatosa 


180,968 


13,765 


West Allis 


499,751 


3,378 


West Bend 


100,902 


3,215 


Whitewater 


90,107 




All Cities 






$5,473,103 


$5,234,^0 


$17,108,437 


$11,792,067 


$S9,606,497 



L 



182 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TABIM 50 

SCHOOL AND SCHOOL DrSTRlCT TAXES— 1»10 



1920 
Popu- 
lation 



1,911 

970 

960 

1,208 

8,451 

19,561 

11,334 

1,407 

5.588 

1,623 

1,441 
7,992 
21,284 
4.400 
1,798 

1,670 
1,0)0 
286 
3,626 
1,738 

1,1S4 
1,883 
9,130 
8,275 
782 

2.460 
1.632 
6.725 
1,5^ 
1,798 

3 016 
5,165 
1,896 
1.517 
20,890 

2,688 
1,991 
1,713 
2,209 
1,383 

23,427 

4,915 

880 

779 

7,243 

31,017 

761 

4,515 

1,302 

2.134 

3,014 
8,188 
18,298 
2,^72 
1,159 



Algoma 

Alma 

AJtoona 

Amery 

AnUgo 

Appleton 

Ashland 

Augusta 

Baraboo 

Barron 

Bayfield 

Beaver Dam 

Belolt 

Berlin 

Black River Palls 

Boseobel 

Brodhead 

Buffalo 

Barlinierton 

Cedarburg 

Chetek 

Obflton 

Chippewa Falls . 

dintonvIUe 

Colby 

Columbus 

Crandon 

Cudahy 

Cumberland 

Darlington 

Delavan 

De Pere E. & W. 

DodgevIUe 

Durand 

Eau Claire 

Edgerton 

Elkhom 

Elroy 

Fvansville 

Pennimore 

Pond du Lac 

Pt. A.tk1nson 

Pountain C8ty .. 

Glenwood 

Grand Rapids — 

Green Bay 

Greenwood 

Hartford 

Hayward 

Horicon 

Hudson 

Hurley 

Janesville 

Jefferson 

Juneau 



Assessed Value 
All Property 



$1,911,667 

560,700 

315,065 

672,617 

5,632,855 

21,286,243 

8,126,915 

874,100 

5,233,380 

1,146.717 

882,286 

7,851,965 

17,874,843 

4.660,875 

1,278,501 

1,290,358 
1,816,568 
128,433 
4,126,087 
1,996,297 

769,910 
2,466.840 
6,754,941 
4,992,785 

416,789 

2,940,267 
865,806 
8,285,708 
1,067,698 
2,013,956 

3,764,174 

4,017,290 

2,341,611 

991 600 

14,864,550 

3,842,108 
2,50fi,600 
992,697 
2,399,820 
1,380,883 

21,080,946 

5,352,400 

567,190 

626,387 

6r797,465 

85,501,706 
520,041 

4,313,410 
773,720 

2,430,410 

1,807,728 
1,811,653 
19,088,558 
8,358,270 
1,485,290 



State Trust 
Fund loans 



^mro 



747 
2,12S 



1,841 



266 



499 



1,^ 



1,504 

229 
516 



2,600 
1,177 



580 
2,758 



County 
Scdiool Ta 



1,160 
1,085 



1,812 



759 



7.775 



1,494 



1,247 

2,57© 
1,709 



427 



$1,035 

2,000 

T28 

690 

7,T» 

18,385 

14,309 

1,156 

4,698 

1,452 

1,716 
7,400 
15,807 
4,638 
1,600 

1,136 
1,456 
329 
3,200 
1,674 

958 

1,465 

8,780 

2,616 

712 

1,819 
2,173 

e,i^ 

1.488 
1,623 

1,613 
5.477 
1,256 
I.ITR 
18,400 

2,872 
1,188 
1.310 
1,652 
1,021 

19,488 
8,664 

2,500 

706 

8,047 

29,962 

753 

8.336 

1,888 

1,845 

2,5121 

3,528 

11.022 

1,797 

947 



^iOcal Tax 
for School 
purposes 



$26,097 

6,940 

5,844 

11,650 

92,887 

174.965 
96.000 
14,862 
51,873 
17,483 

11,846 
46,467 
224,961 
18,000 
17,268 

11.674 
13,968 
700 
18.882 
10,038 

6,920 

9.819 

68,819 

83.760 

4,600 

26,064 
10,900 
78,450 
16.960 
8,391 

22,517 
21,500 
18,490 
10,685 
188,820 

26,997 
27,068 
9,872 
17,428 
13,101 

100,544 

88,864 

8,800 

8,958 

68,700 

208,064 

6,881 

28,808 

7,402 

11,132 

47,132 

26.185 

105,000 

18,139 

5,029 



Total 



$29,027 

9,440 

7,819 

14,468 

100,676 

196,141 

109,309 

15,778 

66,9n 

18,936 

13,561 
98,867 
240,768 
22,683 
18,863 

14,585 
15,448 
1,025 
22,082 
13,216 

8,102 
11,800 
77,999 
88,975 

6,489 

27,873 
18,253 
87,403 
18,468 
10,014 

24,130 
26,977 
19,746 
11.890 
157,220 

81,069 
29,286 
11,182 
19,075 
16,934 

170,082 

43,287 

6.300 

9.663 

82,522 

288,026 
9,128 

27,139 
8,790 

14,224 

52,232 

31,387 

116,022 

19,936 

6,403 



Tax Rate 

lor 
Schools 



.0152 
.0169 
.0232 
.0215 
.0178 

.0002 
.0185 
.0180 
.0108 
.0165 

.0154 
.0060 
.0135 
.0048 
.0148 

.0118 
.0085 
.0080 
.0094 
.0066 

.0106 
.0048 
.0115 
.0078 
.0156 

.0006 
.0168 

.0105 
.0173 
.0050 

.0061 
.0067 
.0084 
.0120 
.0106 

.0081 
.0117 
.0118 
.0060 
.0115 

.0081 
.0081 
.0111 
.0164 
.0121 

.0087 
.0147 
.0063 
.0114 
.0068 

.0289 
.0178 
.0061 
.0060 
.0043 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. 



183 



TABIiE 50 — Continued 

SCHOOL. AND SCHOOL DISTRICT TAXES~1919 



1920 
Popu- 
lation 



5,951 
40,472 

1,805 
30,963 

3,581 

1,754 

2.485 

38,378 

17,563 

13,610 
7,394 
1,966 
3,011 
1,881 

1,981 
7,214 
5.104 
8.068 
157,147 

2,569 
1,554 
4,788 
7,171- 
2,10) 

4.667 
2,248 
8,0fir 

3,301 

4,920 

1,914 

1,066 

33,162 

2, me 

1,440 
1,973 
604 
4 353 
3,415 

5,582 

3340 

8,537 

802 

58,593 

2.9fl7 
6.654 
4.4W 
8,409 
8,929 

2,278 
1.280 
3,544 
90,955 
2,002 



Kaukauna 

Kenosha 

Kevraimee 

La Crosse 

Ladysmlth 

Lake fJ<*neva 

Lake Mills 

Lanrnster 

Madison 

Manitowoc 

Marinette 

Marshfleld 

Mauston 

Mayville 

Medford 

Mellen 

Menasha 

Menomonie 

Merrtll 

Sfilwaukee 

Mineral Point « 

Mondovl 

Monroe 

Neenah 

NeiUsville 

New Lisbon 

New London 

New Richmond 

North Milwatrkee . 
Oconomowoc 

Oconto 

Oconto Palls 

Onalaska 

Osbkosh 

Park Palls 

Peshtigo 

Phillips 

Pittsvllle 

Platteville 

Plymouth 

Portage 

Port Wflshin«rton . 
Prairie du Ohicn... 

Prescott 

Racine 

Rftpdsbur*' 

Rhlnelander 

Rjce Lake 

Richland Center ... 
Rlpon 

River Falls 

Seymour 

Shawano 

Sheboygan 

Sheboygan Falls .. 



Assessed Value 
All Property 



4.9r,8,5>70 
44,47^,810 

l,7fi2.771 
31.093,471 

2,430,776 

4 f>fi4 992 

2.11«,R40 

2 9^4.3J5 

73,683.309 

22,671,296 

9,794,186 
8,970.200 
1,476,700 
3,584,007 
1,532,7.55 

2,059,864 
6,433„325 
4,577,878 
6.740,395 
5^,566,266 

3,538,243 
1,283,116 
6,640,367 
8,938,388 
1,666,706 

5^,946 

2,816,882 
l,636.33-2 
3,941,ffr7 

4,310,775 

3,251,938 

1,162,809 

5Sr,790 

40,794,670 

2,809.159 

611,250 
1,207,288 

238,938 
4.l>75,50f> 
3,509,315 

4,674,427 

2,280, r78 

524,456 

66,974,506 

3,R1?,4.50 
6,680,4(29 
3,139,fi85 
4,110.768 
4,696,576 

2,000,440 

l,228,05?r 

2,768,450 

26,784,585 

2,315,999 



State Trus 
Fund loan? 



2,268 



1,078 
1,838 



90O 



1,952 
1^444' 



1.819 



County 
School Tax 



588 



1,316 
1,9?4 



1,675 
2,923 



3,743 



3,196 



359 



692 
2,038 

1,306 



570 



5,764 
29,225 

1,636 
28,732 

3,310 

2.354 

1,414 

1.7W 

26,810 

17,871 

16.784 
7.158 
1,.S78 
2,676 
1,942 

2,157 

7.609 

4,411 

10,000 

419,386 

2,286 

2,500 
5.568 
5,458 
1,565 

840 
4,118 
2,202 
2,792 
2,3S8 

5,708 

2,013 

969 

30,^551 

2,579 

1,565 

2,202 

^6 

4.957 

2,901 

5,278 

3.0«5 

3,342 

850 

43,300 

9. S]^ 
7,071 
4,531 
2,700 
3,152 

1,913 
1,20ft 
3,326 
28,310 
1,533 



Local Tax 
for Sk*hool 
purposes 



51,151 
449,884 

17,914 
213,600 

30,000 

26,659 

16,827 

18,328 

281,000 

156,438 

71,846 
58,228 
18,857 
19,297 
16,562 

18,500 
64.875 
48,000 
38,500 
8,261,050 

28,000 
12,508 
51,057 
79,400 
21.667 

8.894 
35,000 
21.845 
40,120 
34,261 

28,000 
16,f27 
12,000 
308,975 
40,000 

12,000 
18.348 
2,621 
46^649 
22.120 

82,000 

V'..5>71 

22,036 

6,029 

038,319 

29153 
41,500 
40,000 
42.259 
46,192 

14,294 

8,500 

37,000 

265.689 

13,262 



Total 



56,915 
479.109 

21,818 
242,252 

33,310 

30,091 

20,079 

20,07B 

807,810 

174,309 

88,090 
6F).386 
17,187 
21,973 
19,948 

20,657 
72,574 
52,411 
50,319 
3,661.036 

25,286 
15.680 
56,620 
84,858 
24,548 

11,258 
39.118 
25,722 
45.835 
36,599 

a?, 708 
18,040 
12.969 
339,626 
46,922 

13,566 
20.550 
3,197 
5t,102 
26,021 

87,278 

15.f?95 

25,378 

6.879 

681,619 

31,465 
48.571 
44,530 
45,651 
51.377 

17,513 

9,708 

40.896 

293,949 

14,795 



Tax Rate 

for 
Schools 



.0115 
.0108 
.0124 
.0078 
.0137 

.0071 
.0095 
.0068 
.0042 
.0077 

.0090 
.0073 
.0116 
.0061 
.0130 

.0160 
.0113 
.0115 
.0075 
.0063 

.0071 
.012« 
.0065 
.0094 
.0147 

.0200 
.0139 
.01.58 
.0110 
.0085 

.0104 
.0155 
.0232 
.00S3 
.0167 

.0222 
.0170 
.0134 
.0118 
.0071 

.0080 
.0054 
.0111 
.0131 
.0102 

.rop*? 
.0073 
.0142 
.0111 
.0109 

.0088 
.0079 
.0148 
.Olin 
.0064 



184 



REJPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



1920 

Poim- 
latlon 



1,168 
7,508 
4,485 
2,208 
2,977 

11,871 
6,101 
4.563 

89,0M 
8,267 

2,8»1 
7,306 
2,674 
8.707 
9,299 

12,568 
2,889 
4,440 

18,681 
6,818 

18,765 

?.i78 
3,215 



TABLE 50 — Continued 

SCHOOL AND SCHOOL DTSTRIOT TAXES— 1919 



Shullsburg , 

Sootb Milwankee 

Sparta 

Spooner 

Stanley 

Steyens Point ... 

Stouffhton 

Stiffgeon Bay ... 

Superior 

Tomah 

Tomahawk 

Two Btvers 

Vlro<iua 

Wafthburn 

Watertown 

Waukesha 

Waupaca 

Waupun 

Wau£iau 

WauvatOBa 

West AUis 

West Bend 

Whitewater 

Ail Cities .. 



Asj^esped Valuf 
All Pt-oj^erty 



1,110,709 
6,090,726 
3,766,940 
957,287 
1,624,925 

6,685,2SS 
5,307,922 
2>9e9.669 
37,521,668 
2,845,792 

6,321,066 

3.004,314 

2,567,149 

10,271,502 

11,965,987 
2,436,415 
8,098,770 

12.286,296 
7,041,235 

24.920,711 
3,363,424 

3,639.140 



|l,475,8g»,631 



State Trust 
Fund loans 



1,302 



570 



1,886 



3,190 
2,599 



78,272 



County 
School Tax 



V18 
7,738 
8,186 
2,100 
8,100 

10,072 
4,815 
4,866 

34,664 
2,002 

8,141 
7,822 
2,188 
6,027 
7,928 

9,598 
2,867 

2,409 

19,872 

4,260 

11,083 
4,621 
2,392 



$1,187,239 



Local Tax 
for Sbhool 
purposes 



7,717 
89.000 
81,911 
15,805 
18,600 

78,^^5 
67,392 
20,000 
464,696 
21,828 

25,000 
64,000 
20,962 
89.700 

40,777 

79,821 

18,462 

26,863 

118,670 

51,448 

189,29S 
14.680 

18,900 



Total 



8,686 
48,738 
85,008 
19,007 
19,600 

88,987 
82,O0T 
24,866 
499,350 
26,000 

28,141 
81,822 
24,926 
44,727 
48.706 

88,897 
24.019 
31,871 
138,042 
56,708 

150,381 
17,281 
21,352 



$10,526,956 •|$U.792,0e7 



Tax Bate 

for 
Schools 



.0078 
.0070 
.0093 
.0190 
.0129 

.0133 
.0117 
.0082 
.0133 
.0091 

.0141 
.0097 
.0088 
.0174 
.0047 

.0074 
.0099 
.0103 
.0112 
.0079 

.0060 
.0051 
.0069 

.0080 



r 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. 185 



TABIiE 51 



SCHOOL TAXE8 PER SCHOOL. CHILD ENROLLED, 191» 



1920 
Popu- 
lation 



8.451 

19,561 

11,834 

5,588 

7,902 

21,284 
4,400 

1,600 
8.626 

9,180 

2,460 
6,725 
5,165 
20,880 
2,688 

1,901 
2,200 
23,427 
4,915 
7,243 

81,017 
1,802 
2,134 
8,014 

18,298 

2,572 

5,951 

40,472 

80,863 

3,581 

2,632 

1,754 

38,878 

17,568 

13,610 

7.894 
1,981 
7,214 
5,104 
8,068 

457,147 
2,569 
4,788 
7,171 
4,667 

3,801 
4,920 
1,066 
83,162 
2,676 

1,440 
1,973 
4,858 
5,582 
3,537 



Cities Having 
City Superintendents 



Antigo 

Appleton ... 
Ashland ... 

Baraboo 

Beaver Dam 



Beloit 

Berlin 

Brodhead 

Burlington 

Chippewa Palls 



Columbus 
Cudahy . . . 
De Pere ... 
Eau Claire 
Edgerton .. 



Elkhorn 

C^ansvlUe 

Fond du Lac. 
Fort Atkinson 
Grand Rapids 



Green Bay 
Hayivard 
Horicon .. 
Hudson . . 
Janes ville 



Jeflferson . 
Eaukauna 
Kenosha . 
La Crosse 
Ladysmith 



Lake Geneva 
Lake Mills .. 

Madison 

Manitowoc .. 
Marinette . . . 



Marshfield 

Mellen 

Men ash a . . 
Menomonie 
Merrill 



Milwaukee — 
Mineral Point 

Monroe 

Nee^iah 

New London . 



Oconomowoc 

Oconto 

Onalaska . . . 

Oshkosh 

Park Falls . 



Peshtigo 

Phillips 

Platteville 

Portage 

Prairie du Chi en. 



School and 

School District 

Taxes 



$100,676 

195,141 

109,309 

56,571 

53,867 

240.768 
22,633 
15,443 
22,062 
77,599 

27,878 
87,408 
26,977 
157,229 
31,029 

29,286 
19,075 

170,032 
43.287 
82,522 

238,026 

8,790 

14,244 

62,232 

116,022 

19.936 

56,915 

479,109 

242,232 

33,310 

30,001 

20.079 

307,810 

174,309 

88,030 

65,386 
20,657 
72,574 
52,411 
50,819 

3,681,066 
25,286 
56,620 
84,858 
39,119 

36,599 
33,708 
12,969 
339,626 
46,922 

13,565 
20,550 
54,102 

37,278 
25,378 



Enrollm^t 



1,746 
8,156 
2,188 
1,183 
1,284 

4,749 
693 
338 
647 

1,328 

610 
928 
414 
3,045 
736 

452 
538 

4,704 
916 

1,522 

4,677 
878 

523 

596 
2,507 

316 

712 

6,491 

4,826 

958 

789 

468 

5,550 

2,649 

2,455 

1,237 

524 

850 

1,065 

1,414 

60,750 

485 

1,133 

1,223 

712 

730 
906 
230 
4,939 
754 

448 
500 
842 
918 
602 



Tax per School 
Child Enrolled 



$57.70 
61.82 
51.11 
49.98 
44.06 

50.68 
32.65 
46.69 
40.80 
58.48 

45.69 
94.17 
06.16 
51.64 
42.14 

64.78 
86.45 
36.15 
47.25 
54.22 

50.88 
28.25 
27 J9 
87.81 
46.26 

63.07 
79.91 
73.80 
50.17 
34.77 

38.14 
42.90 
55.46 
65.79 
35.86 

52.86 
89.41 
85.37 
48.30 
85.58 

60.58 
52.13 
49.97 
69.38 
64.93 

50.13 
87.11 
66.37 
68.76 
62.23 

30.28 
34.31 
64.24 
40.60 
50.55 



186 



REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TABIiE 61 — Continued 



SCHOOL TAXES PER SCHOOL CHILD ENROLLED 



1920 
Popu- 
lation 



68,50S 
2,997 
4,457 
6,e54 
3,929 

2,273 

80,955 
7,508 
2,577 

11,871 

5,101 
4,553 
89,624 
2,801 
7,805 

2,574 
3,707 
9,299 
12,558 
2.839 

4,440 
18,661 

5,818 
13,76* 

3,215 



Cities Having 
dty Superintendents 



Bacinc 

Reedflburg- 

Bice Lake 

Rhinelander 

RIpon 

River Falls 

Sheboygan 

South Milwaukee 

Stanley 

Stevens Point ... 

Stoughton 

Sturgeon Bay .. 

Superior 

Tomahawk 

Two Rivers 

Viroqua 

Washburn 

Watertown 

Waukesha 

Waupaca 

Waupun 

Wausau 

Wauwatofia 

West Allis 

Whitewater 

All Cities..,. 



School and 

School IMBtrict 

Taxes 



681,619 
81,465 
44,531 
48,571 
51,377 

17,512 
293,949 
46,738 
19,600 
88,067 

62,007 
24,866 
499,860 
28,141 
61,322 

24,926 
44,726 

48,705 
88,897 
24,019 

31,872 
138,042 

55,706 
150,381 

21,352 



Enrollment 



$10,847,028 



8,888 
668 
996 

1,882 

791 



4.732 

1,162 

647 

1,558 

1,225 
983 

7,614 
635 
955 

730 
1,081 
1,086 
2,151 

793 

676 
8,754 
1,262 
2,580 

423 



191,704 



Tax per School 
Child Enrolled 



77.78 
47.45 
44.70 
85.14 
64.93 



62.11 
40.22 
32.29 
57.29 

50.61 
24.78 
66.41 
44.80 
64.21 

84.14 
^1.38 
47.01 
41.88 

30.28 

47.14 
86.77 
44.49 
58.25 
50.46 



56.49 



* Dat« not available. 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. 187 



TABLE 52 



INCOME TAXES CX)LXECTED BY CITIES IN 1920 



1920 
Poim- 
lation 



i,8ai 

970 
900 

i,ao8 

8,461 
19,591 

i,4<wr 

5,588 
1.028 

1,441 
7,902 
21,284 
4,400 
1,796 

1,070 
1.0OO 
289 
3,026 
1,788 

1,154 
1,898 
9,180 
3,275 
782 

2,400 
1,682 
0.726 
1,528 
1,796 

3,016 
5,165 
1,896 
1,S17 
20,880 

2,088 
1,991 
1,718 
2,209 
1,283 

28,427 

4.916 

880 

779 

7,243 

31,017 

761 

4,515 

1,300 

2,184 

3,014 

3,188 

18.298 

1,159 



aty 



Algoma 
Alma .. 
Altoona 
Amcry 
Antlffo 



Appleton 
Ashland 
Augusta 
Baraboo 
Barron . 



Bayflelcl 

Beaver Dam 

Belolt 

Berlin 

Black BJver Falls. 



Boscobel . 
Brodhead 
Buffalo ... 
BurlinfftoD 
Cedarburg 



Ohetek 

OWlton 

Chlppeiwa Falls. 

Olintonville 

Colby 



Oolmnbus . 
Crandon ... 
Oudaby .... 
Cumberland 
Darlington 



Normal Income Tax 



Delavan 

De Pere (El. & W.) . . . 

Dodgeville 

iDurand 

Bau Claire 



Edgerton 
Elkhom . 
Elroy . . . . 
ETansville 
Fennimore 



Fond du L<ac .. 
Fort Atkinson. 
Fountain City. 

Glenwood 

Grand Baplds., 



Qnm Bay. 
Greenwood 
Hartford . 
Hayward . 
Horicon ... 



Hudson . 
Hurley .. 
Janesvflle 
Jefferson 
Juneau . . 



Total 
RoU 



$4,207,30 

548.25 

832.32 

2,937.30 

12,187.10 

141, 805.73 

49,251.40 

T90.05 

20,696.06 

2,029.48 

4,069.25 

.37,524.64 

117,449.69 

9,519.29 

2,175.73 

1,852.49 
4,191.18 



13,378.25 
9,340.78 

2,556.90 

4,345.96 

28,443.43 

176,002.60 

856.22 

11,463.78 

1,183.60 

116,827.66 

3,847.44 

3,235.41 

21,074.88 

9,144.37 

2,042.50 

2,417.32 

122,568.40 

9,332.72 
7,025.29 
1,253.72 
14,589.40 
1,897.90 

96,545.20 

20,361.16 

887,99 

3,784.88 

83,641.96 

161,642.61 

1,017.35 

18,758.80 

4,696.00 

11,981.30 

7,680.57 

9,914.47 

170,382.93 

5,540.87 

3,497.88 



Cash 
Collection 



$1,749.16 

87.20 

530.^ 

1,410.76 

2,238.78 

50 906.39 
13,805.72 

198.61 
21,188.57 

694.33 

893.80 

21,369.72 

45,103.04 

5,028.09 

748.35 

412.08 
628.32 



8,161.67 
5,823.35 

935.90 

2,425.58 

11,338.32 

130,416.30 

180.77 

6,606.08 

48.00 

41,001.12 

604.80 

1,596.32 

4,806.76 

4.564.10 

548.65 

617.09 

54,028.00 

1,906.12 
4,199.40 

488.35 
5,341.22 

616.88 

55,418.42 

9,956.71 

77.91 

284.02 

9,785.04 

58,786.49 

18.08 

3,485.78 

139.89 

9,435.02 

8,838.50 

6,006.21 

64,115.14 

1,413.61 

1,965.89 



Offsets 



$2,468.14 

461.05 

210.56 

1,520.26 

9,914.73 

84,696.50 

35,039.52 

566.44 

5,839.54 

1,735.90 

3,683.00 

16,012.36 

70,911.56 

4,489.78 

1,427.38 

1,401.41 
2,798.85 



5,030.07 
3,515.61 

1,008.45 

1,920.37 

15,874.03 

45,194.27 
675.45 

4,857.70 
1,135.53 
75,686.03 
3,009.47 
1,513.35 

16,267.12 
4,581.06 
1,473.85 
1,799.63 

55,912.33 

7,387.75 
2,778.42 
765.37 
9,244.02 
1,841.76 

41.923.95 

10,376.54 

310.00 

052.74 

28,690.68 

89,860.76 
967.88 

10,085.98 
4,554.92 
2,498.20 

3,758.21 

3,864.70 

38,317.92 

4 .047.94 

1,495.87 



Delinquent 
Boll 



$91.20 
6.28 

33.50 

212.84 
406.16 



167.95 
199.25 

12.45 

142.56 

1,431.09 

1.42 



39.00 
771.61 



186.51 
10.82 

12.55 



1,231.08 
482.08 



.07 
140.51 
233.17 
126.74 

l.OO 
20.21 
20.00 



12,628.07 

89.85 

47.47 



4.22 
89.26 

1,202.92 
28.91 



2,847.62 
210.21 

2,996.36 

11.80 

187.04 

1.19 

8.08 

83.86 

641.56 

67,959.87 

79.32 

36.12 



Surtaxes 
Paid in Cash 



$2,076.97 

25.47 

49.60 

667.10 

4,481.34 

102,581.98 

18,945.71 

101.08 

21.724.44 

1,818.27 

1,786.55 
27,841.48 
66,759.39 

0,427.53 
969.22 

849.34 
1,867.08 



8.039.35 
7.067.70 

1,334.82 

1,789.87 

17,711.68 

192,263.00 

446.50 

13,285.80 

852.78 

107,578.85 

1,825.05 

1,628.61 

1,628.61 

3,275.02 

578.95 

1,361.83 

71,007.18 

8,812.50 
4,148.01 

100.56 
6,858.84 

750.84 

66,490.97 

13,296.33 

70.74 

367.77 

86.168.92 

99.589.41 
160.13 

6,134.32 
816.56 

6,618.88 

4,769.23 

2,506,47 

68,560.14 

2,191.45 

312.22 



188 



REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TABIjE 52 — Continued 



INCOME TAXES OOIXECTED BY CITIES IN 1920 



1920 
Popu- 
lation 



6,961 
40,472 

1,866 
•0.863 

3,581 

2,662 

1,754 
2,486 

38,378 
17,563 

13.610 
7,394 
1,966 
3,011 
1,881 

1.961 
7,214 
5,104 
8,068 
4W.147 

2,569 
1,554 
4,788 
7,171 
2,160 

994 
4,687 
2,248 
3.047 
3,301 

4,920 
1,914 
1,066 
83,162 
2,676 

1,440 

1,973 

504 

4,363 

3,415 

5,582 

8,340 

3,537 

892 

58,593 

2,997 
6,654 
4.457 
3,409 
3,929 

2,273 
1,280 

30,956 
2,008 



aty 



Eaukauna 

Kenosha 

Kewaunee 

La Orosse 

Ladysmith 

Lake Geneva 

Lake Mills , 

Lancaster 

Madison 

Manitowoc 

Marinette 

Marshfleld 

Mauston 

MayvlUe 

Medf Old 

MeUen 

Menasha 

Menomonie 

Merrill 

Milwaukee 

Mineral Point 

Mondovi 

Monroe 

■Nieenah 

NelUsville 

New Lisbon 

New London 

New Richmond — 
North Milwaukee. 
Oconomowoc 

Oconto 

Oconto Falls 

Onalaska 

Oshkosh 

Park Palls 

Peshtlgo 

Phillips 

Httsville 

PlatteviUe 

Plymouth 

Portage .*.. 

Port Washington 
Ptalrie du Chlen.. 
Prescott 

Racine 

Reedsburg 

Rhinelander 

Rice Lake 

Richland Center.. 
Ripon 

River Palls 

Seymour 

Shawano 

Sheboygan 

Sheboygan Palls.. 



Normal Income Tax 


Surtaxes 
Paid In Cash 


Total 
BoU 


Cash 
Collection 


Offsets 


Delinquent 
BoU 


42,417.79 

906,726.68 

2,448.18 

178,201.67 

11,575.76 


18,761.16 

619,884.80 

309.22 

100,825.56 

1,065.81 


28,681.56 

280,620.69 

2,138.96 

76.874.92 

10.322.69 


25.06 
6,208.19 


40,866.80 
868,784.06 

1,271.97 
116,683.41 

1,275.34 


1,001.07 
197.26 


17,676.87 

3,169.40 

4,285.75 

244,844.20 

230,524.68 


13,504.92 

1,410.78 

1,642.87 

186,227.23 

90,638.39 


4,068.72 

1,668.20 

2.660.19 

106,440.30 

136,746.84 


4.28 

70.42 

132.69 

4,176.76 

3.140.40 


15.660.67 

666.46 

4, £^4.44 

200,610.10 

264.330.88 


53,256.18 
30,842.00 

4,744.47 
44,969.46 

6,884.17 


19,340.27 
10,672.96 

2,240.83 
40,560.16 

1,007.65 


82,606.96 

19,571.64 

2,353.64 

4,069.66 

4,876.62 


1,820.93 

97.40 
l.'O.OO 
360.66 


27,228.89 

28,619.98 

454.58 

50.390.64 

2,664.68 


4,028.19 

59,984.31 

18,033.78 

37,745.28 

3,988,502.19 


433.46 

88,378.00 

11,707.88 

13,532.13 

1,950,577.96 


3,310.15 

21,847.94 

6,049.72 

24,146.40 

1,948,676.58 


284.56 

208.31 

276.18 

67.75 

39,847.68 


144.18 

88.166.88 

14,278.88 

82,0^.38 

2,980,206.17 


21,967.50 

1,851.55 

14,488.68 

75,287.43 

2,696.35 


7,532.05 
544.51 

5,841.05 

49,440.49 

368.73 


14,891.70 
l,8i)7.04 
8,621.76 

25,799.19 
2.270.96 


43.78 


13,420.22 
1.096.72 


47.75 
56.66 


6,295.06 

97,085,45 

1,309.19 


536,29 
11,080.67 

5,014.88 
28,729.92 

3,601.94 


96.90 
2,2Sr.24 
1.855.91 
9,129.96 
1,476.67 


432.02 

8,732.43 

8,ldJ.45 

19,518.24 

2,018.35 


4.87 

41.00 

32.60 

81.T2 

197.02 


19.10 

2,542.10 

8,778.75 

22,217.40 

1,640.20 


18,234.90 

1,548.99 

2,729.60 

201,064.34 

8,843.13 


2,251.26 
2S7.30 

1,125.67 

93,964.86 

687.58 


15,917,33 

1,290.26 

1,603.93 

106,293.22 

7,618.51 


66.82 
1.34 


0,663.96 

614.05 

2.064.75 


786.26 
87.04 


118,486.10 
2,762.65 


308.69 

3,(Ki<».(i.i 

228.12 

6,489.85 

10,545.1X5 


54.96 

^23.44 

4.65 

3,012.76 

5,132.27 


280.85 

2,(>7b.74 

a23.47 

3,188.71 

5.379.34 


80.86 

27.86 


83.97 
688.94 


286.38 
34.35 


8.246.63 
6,630.64 


16,065.48 

11,912.19 

5,482.25 

995.11 

448,5(r2.47 


4,996.46 

1,828.16 

2,256.52 

295.00 

2i3,2G0.50 


10,007.47 

9,921.53 

8,207.36 

694.63 

219,586.80 


59.56 

162.50 

18.38 

5.48 

5.6:9.17 


12,606.86 

7,892.69 

8,600.06 

617.63 

3^5,719.39 


14,052.84 
49,790.38 
4,719.38 
11,582.61 
12,531.83 


8,949.11 

15,004.70 

368.46 

5,056.01 

7,161.45 


5,108.73 

34,725.60 

4,*il7.36 

6,466.60 

5,^4.70 




5.269.00 


60.06 

213.56 

10.10 

29.68 


80,720.02 
1,231.43 

10,386.28 
8,818.76 


4,302.56 
2,061.09 
3,741.40 
196,525.67 
7,418.21 


1,595.73 

459.64 

568.46 

66,095.56 

2,300.63 


2,706.85 
1,601.36 
3,i:».91 
130,278.37 
6,102.28 




2,172.80 


.19* 
13.08 
161.74 
15.32 


900.77 

i,068.ei5 

167,968.01 
4.720.06 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. 



189 



TABLE 52 — ^Continued 



INCOME TAXES COLI.ECTED BY CITIES IN 1920 



1920 
Popu- 
lation 



1,158 
7.598 
4,466 
2 2fi8 
2,677 

ii.sn 

5,101 

4.553 

39,624 

3,257 

2,801 
7,305 
2,574 
3.707 
9,299 

12,558 
2,839 
4,440 

18,661 
5,818 

13,766 
3,378 
3.215 



City 



ShuUsburg 

South Milwaukee. . . 

Sparta 

Spooner 

Stanley 



Stevens Point. 
Stoughlon . . . 
Sturgeon Bay 

Superior 

Tomah , 



Tomahawk 
Two Rivers. 
"Viiroqua . . . 
Washburn . 
Watertown 



Waukesha . 
Waupaca . . 
Waupun . . . 
Wausau . . 
Wauwatosa 



West AlUs. 
West Bend. 
Whitewater 



Normal Income Tax 



All Cities 



Total 
Roll 



1,454.45 

46,457.82 

14,068.72 

1,833.79 

5,274.77 

16,776.89 
83,233.11 

5,262.33 
230,975.34 

3,665.69 

4,965.71 
75,500.90 

9,148.39 
13,618.34 
33,121.^2 

72,211.39 
6,548.10 
13,867.62 
87.416.24 
80.780.00 

396,392.62 

12,462.70 

9,067.76 



Cash 
Collection 



623.97 

13.877.16 

2,814.85 

914.98 

2,673.15 

5,256.1.'? 

9,750.11 

2, 172. Of) 

67,197.22 

760.32 

2,412.54 

47,737.19 

2,795.93 

8,281.19 

1^,311.8[) 

54.397.52 

2,8212.34 

8.407.49 

42.760.76 

22,306.28 

244,grr2.62 
3,601.52 
3,721.68 



Offsets 



;^,(5€8,378.91 



$4,838,111.96 



828.18 
31,619.96 
11,230.40 

S32.f4- 
2,515.94 

10,964.52 
28.371.29 

2,771.04 
150,006.16 

2,787.94 

2,542.67 

27,566.91 

6,352.46 

7,168.73 

20,798.27 

16,928.40 
3,725.76 
5,182.71 

44,096.04 

8,188.90 

150,816.58 
8,780.35 
5,312.75 



Delinquent 
Boll 



$4,606,771.79 



2.80 

1,460.70 

23.47 

M.17 

85.68 

556.24 
111.71 

13,709.96 
117.43 

30.90 
206.80 



3,168.42 
11.55 

885.47 



277.42 
569.44 

284.82 

003.42 
80.8E 
23.& 



Surtaxes 
Paid in Cash 



$182, 893.lv 



1,112.69 

20,118.18 

6,25ii.45 

19fJ.3> 

3,920.26 

7.410.49 
17,782.00 

118,564.97 
1,280.16 

521.06 

31,280.47 

7,362.73 

1.561.22 

20,-:8a.f9 

46.546.77 
4,901.19 
13.819.22 
63,781.32 
23.641.37 

351.491.38 

393.12 

6.827.42 

.386.479.46 



190 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 






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REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TABI4E 55 



SUMMARY or DISBURSEMENTS OP CmES— 1919 



1920 
Papu- 
lation 



1,911 

970 

960 

1,208 

8,461 

19,561 

11,884 

1,407 

5,538 

1,028 

1,441 
7,P92 
21,284 
4.400 
1,796 

1,670 
lj60O 

286 
3,626 
1,738 

1.154 
1,833 
9,130 
3,275 

782 

2,460 
1,632 
6,725 
1,528 
1,798 

3,016 
5,165 
1,S96 
1,517 
20.880 

2,688 
1,991 
1,713 
2,209 
1.383 

23,427 

4,915 

S'^ 

779 

7,243 

31.017 

761 

4,515 

l,3f>2 

2,134 

3,0:4 
3,18S 
18,293 
2,572 
1,159 



Cities 



Algoma 

Alma 

AJtoona 

Amery 

Antlgo 

Anpleton 

Ashland 

Augusta 

Baraboo 

Barron 

Bayfleld 

Beaver Dam 

Belolt 

Berlin 

Black River Falls 

Boscob«l 

Brodhead 

Buffalo 

Burlington 

Oedarburg 

Cbe^ek 

Chilton 

Chippewa Falls 

OllntonviUe 

Colby 

Columbus 

Crandon 

Ondahy 

Cumberland 

Darlington 

Delavan 

De Pere 

DodgevIIle 

Durand 

Eau Claire 

EdgTton 

Elkhorn 

Elroy 

Evansville 

Pennimore 

Fond (\u Lac 

Ft. Atkinson 

Fountain City .. 

Glenwood 

Grand Ranids • . . 

Green Bay 

Greenwood 

Hartford 

Hayward 

Horicon 

Hud.«on 

HurJpy 

Janes ville 

JefYcrson 

Juneau 



Operation 
and Main- 
tenance 



$15,691 

5,170 

2.261 

5,815 

87,769 

282.677 

127,910 

10,564 

46,191 

9,552 

8,885 

71,253 

182,226 

38,925 

18,728 

10,090 
11.819 
341 
31,807 
11,953 

5,682 
24,H84 
86,801 
42.600 

5,797 

28,224 
10,382 
71,870 
18,379 
15,308 

39,(X)4 
42,555 
15,900 
13,960 
272,630 

17,483 
25,023 
11,649 
17,961 
12,908 

200,960 

46,808 

7,456 

3,507 

97,775 

298,918 
7,101 

31,396 
7,146 

18,014 

35,299 

61,389 

233 ,9('() 

25,334 

6,7S2 



Payment 
of Debt 



$6,750 

1,741 

1.715 

730 

56,664 

181 ,870 

88,418 

8,140 

16,420 

8,795 

6,865 

29,828 

120,008 

24,655 

6,625 

1,289 
6.802 



5,680 
7,561 

1,183 

25,234 

9,010 

104,118 

3,306 

19,196 
16,190 
16,138 
14,140 

8,138 

2,435 

2,941 

16,525 

3,648 

269,438 

2,670 
11,747 
13,231 

8,015 
11,564 

55,798 

23,370 

696 

3,505 

120,880 

113,379 

12,620 

3,000 

6,087 

3,583 

14,384 

9,397 

38,467 

15,486 

3,052 



Outlays 



22,582 

1,666 

31,167 

183,584 

80.416 

100 

15,906 

18,880 

77 

5,400 

94,376 

41,513 



7,290 



Schools 



13,561 



19,257 
26,406 
31.840 

1,220 

6,649 

3.^ 

3,517 

12,751 



11,897 
19,435 
889 
28,000 
96,112 

12.448 

10,100 

78 



21,585 

80,856 
3.758 



107,445 
39,483 



14,316 

450 

1,648 

3,600 

1,905 

136,180 

16,554 

3,184 



$18,640 

7,052 

5.417 

13,487 

163,766 

5»8,797 

107,041 

16,744 

56,639 

20,432 

11,247 

.58.287 

264,057 

81,991 

20,443 

11,2»7 
16,621 
1,849 
23,012 
18,561 

7,808 
11,159 
86,531 
27,802 

5,540 

29,527 
16,530 
54,873 
18.681 
11,428 

16,508 
30,607 
17,650 
12,613 
258.957 

80.890 
&5,869 
11,912 
18,413 
15,295 

166,866 

40.292 

5,487 

9,960 

81.480 

404.424 
8,441 

27.409 
6.737 

14.217 

88,785 

30.491 

190.985 

82,128 

6,992 



Totals 



$41,081 
13,963 
31,925 
21,648 

339,365 

904.928 
8SS,786 

35,548 
135,158 

57,659 

27,074 
1^.768 
660,667 
L%.684 

40,796 

29,936 
34,742 
1,690 
74,060 
33,065 

14,668 

80,534 

208,748 

206,450 

15.868 

83,596 
43,456 
146,396 
63,061 
34,874 

69,842 
95.538 
50,964 
58,221 
896,137 

63,491 
82,239 
36,870 
44,389 
61,337 

512,474 

114,228 

13,589 

16,972 

407,560 

866,204 
28,162 

7<? 191 

2« 



lOi 

m 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. 



199 



TABIiE 55 — Continued 



SUMMARY OF DISBURSEMENTS OP CITIES— 1919 



1920 
Popu- 
lation 



5,951 
40.472 

1,865 
30,363 

3,581 

2.632 
1,754 
2,485 

38,378 
17,563 

7,394 
13,610 
1,966 
3,011 
1,881 

1,981 

•7,214 

5,104 

8,068 

467,147 

2,569 
1,664 
4,788 
7,171 
2,160 

994 
4,667 
2,248 
3,047 
3,301 

1,914 
4,920 
1,066 
33,162 
2,676 

1,440 
1,973 
504 
4,353 
3,415 

5,582 

3,340 

3,537 

892 

58,598 

2,997 

6,654 

.57 

100 

'29 

73 

90 
44 



Cities 



Kaukauna 
Kenosha . 
Kewaunee 
La Crosse 
Ladysmith 



Operation 
and Main- 
tenance 



I/ake Geneva 
Lake Mills .. 
Lancaster . . . 

Madison 

Manitowoc .. 



Marshileld 
Marinette 
Mauston 
Mayville . 
Medford . 



Mellen . . . . 

Menasha 

Menomonie 

Merrill 

Milwaukee 



Mineral Point 

Mondovi 

Monroe .. 

Neenah 

Neillsville .... 



New Lisbon 

New London 

New Richmond . 
North Milwaukee 
Oconomowoc 



Oconto Palls 

Oconto 

Onalaska • •  
Oshkosh — 
Park Falls . 



Peshtigo . 
Phillips .. 
Plttsville 
Platteville 
Plymouth 



Portage 

Port Washington 
Prairie du Chien. 

Prescott 

Racine 



Reedsburg 

Rhinelander . . . . 

Rice Lake 

Richland Center 
Ripon 



River Palls 

Seymour 

Shawano 

Sheboygan , 

Sheboygan Falls 



55,053 
428,763 

22,736 
293,889 

27,500 

29,321 

13,941 

23,553 

779,331 

. 201,746 

75,065 
137,254 
11,304 
18,677 
19,789 

14,979 
67,490 
66,919 
86,412 
6,906,246 

30,773 
7,304 
42,588 
70,072 
20,963 

6,039 
47,742 
18,0S2 
34,239 
42,015 

6,083 
57,089 

4,887 

346,736 

22,260 

6,074 
13,799 

2,450 
83,201 
31,446 

48,349 

29,883 

27,804 

6,881 

637,271 

27,994 
88,503 
45,586 
32,913 
31,422 

11,287 
11,471 
12,200 
310,206 
16,431 



Payment 
of I>ebt 



15,440 

416,036 

6,497 

119,832 

33,906 

8,834 
14,957 

3,144 
558,638 
137,624 

29,478 
110,035 

6,310 
23,235 

4,371 

10,432 
11,432 
17,478 
67,i>38 
2,999,733 

22,944 
10,343 
60,352 
59,175 
9,158 

5,225 

92,711 

11,587 

7,955 

6,420 

1,180 
101,458 



Outlays 



220,189 
32,827 



41,833 
651,698 



50,878 
458 

18,664 
31,828 

7.844 
111,564 
174,588 



Schools 



624 

1,009 

10,684 

614 



66,670 

2,439 

9,077 

4,421,360 

16,213 

24 

110.007, 

42,788 

49,544 

2,175 
46,615 

3,492 
64,706 

7,170 

7,761 
2,654 



117,379 
7,809 



6,166 




11,924 
2,113 
8,283 

26,000 


501 

1,874 

21,674 

35,986 


94,400 

35,940 

45,731 

2,537 


51,658 
22,241 
15,753 


425,007 


108,204 


72,504 
37,703 
16,574 
13,873 
28,406 


21,917 
12,968 
4,612 
22,949 
39,711 


4,978 
1,916 


38,108 


44,695 
85,773 
13,654 ^ 


15,241 

234,545 

21,577 



48,961 
515,771 

21,925 
249,986 

35,154 

28,118 

16,574 

17,211 

430,975 

178,405 

52,453 

101,160 

• 12,778 

19,723 

18,315 

19,395 
72,574 
57,235 
54,315 
3,815,908 

36,208 
13,674 
51,170 
72,720 
24,406 

11,030 
36,459 
24,928 
36,62? 
39,322 



Totals 



161,287 

2,012,268 

51,158 

714,585 

97,018 

84,937 

77,300 

51,752 

1,880,511 

692,363 

156,996 

349,073 

31,392 

72,319 

43,089 

44,806 

218,166 

144,071 

217,342 

18,143,247 

106,133 
31,345 
254,067 
244,755 
104,071 

24,460 
223,527 

58,089 
143,524 

94,927 



22,371 
45,978 
10,885 
240,485 
35,659 


.37,395 
207,179 

15,772 
924,789 

98,555 


14,776 
21,746 
3,535 
48,232 
24,416 


27,016 

47,970 

9,972 

111,390 

117,848 


59,180 

15,176 

26,051 

5,801 

516,733 


253,587 

103,240 

115,339 

15,219 

1,687,215 


34,228 
66,671 
48,418 
38,650 
51,045 


156,643 
205,845 
115,190 
108,385 
153,584 


18,006 
10,488 
52,078 
250,330 
13,669 


72,376 

23,875 

124,214 

880,856 

65,331 



200 



REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TABIiE 55 — Continued 



SUMMARY or DISBUBSEMENTS OF CITTES— ldl9 



1920 
Popu- 
lation 



1,158 
7,598 
4,406 
2,293 
2,677 

11,871 
6.101 
4,553 

39,(524 
8,257 

2,801 
7,306 
2,574 
3,707 

Vfodlf 

12,558 
2,839 
4.440 

18,661 
5,818 

13,765 
3,378 
8,215 



Cities 



SbuUsbUFR 

South Milwaukee 

Sparta 

Spooner 

Stanley 

Sterens Point .. 

Stoughton 

Sturgeon Bay .. 

Superior 

Tomah 

Tomahawk 

Two Rivers. 

Viroqua 

Washburn 

Watertown 

Waukesha 

Waupaca 

Waupun 

Wausau 

Wauwatosa 

West Allis 

West Bend 

Whitewater ...*., 

Totals 



Operation 
and Main- 
tenance 



14,705 
67,571 
37,542 
11,879 
19,067 

82,788 
38, (Wl 
45,808 
521,606 
16,430 

20,219 
70,455 
28.613 

34,850 
84,184 

81,979 
25,477 
27,858 
163, n6 
54,621 

130,686 
25,177 
37,853 



$15,899,773 



Payment 
of Debt 



15,428 

104,942 

9,554 

10,708 

38,119 

42,188 
45,773 
66,028 
251,220 
24,E778 

6,326 
313 

31,851 
26,199 

81,002 
14,184 
21,976 
135,206 
70,557 

159,426 
30,708 
14,320 



$8,967,844 



Outlays 



56,069 

907 

2,063 

4,974 

4,000 
47,260 

1,253 
34,026 



9,313 
20,181 
7,819 
1,387 
9,923 

44,100 
8,029 
10,856 
55,683 
41,814 

296,345 
27,111 
14,676 



$8,625,797 



Schools 



9,448 
46,997 
24,257 
20,669 
38,063 

86,064 
53,134 
34,441 
520,541 
19,624 

24,124 
60,067 
20,500 
61,541 
65,026 

241,489 
31,210 
26,006 

260,749 
80,463 

150,102 
21,468 
25,268 



>12,651,307 



Totals 



89,581 

275,569 

72,260 

45,314 

100,203 

215,025 

184,248 

147,580 

1,327,893 

60,632 

69,982 
151,088 

56,932 
129,129 
175,832 

«, 448,630 

78,900' 

88,696 

615,354 

247,445 

738,569 

104,464 

92,117 



146,144,721 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. 201 



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r 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. 205 



TABIiE 57 

TOTAL AND FEB CAPITA DISBURSEMENTS FOB OPERATION AND MAINTE- 
NANCE AND SCHOOLS, 1919. 



1920 
Popu- 
lation 



1,911 

970 

900 

1,208 

8.451 

19»GS1 

11,384 

1,407 

5,538 

1,023 

1,441 
7,992 
21,284 
4,400 
1.796 

1,870 
1,600 
286 
3,626 
1,738 

1,154 
1,833 
9,130 
3,275 
782 

2,460 
1,682 
6,725 
1,528 
1,798 

8,016 
5,166 
1,896 
1,517 
20,880 

2,688 
1,991 
1,713 
2,209 
1,383 

23,427 

4,915 

880 

779 

7,243 

31,017 

761 

4,515 

1,302 

2,134 

8,014 
3,188 
18,293 
2,572 
1,159 



AJgoma 

Alma 

Altoona 

AiD«ry 

Antlgro .' . . 

Appleton 

Affhland 

Auirusta 

Baraboo 

Barron 

Bayfield 

Beaver Dam 

Belolt 

Berlin 

Black SJver Falls 

Bosoobel 

Brodbead 

Buffalo 

Burlington 

Oedarburjr 

Ch«t6k 

Chflton 

Chippewa Falls . 

Ollntonville 

Ooll>y 

Columbus 

Orandon 

Cudahy 

Cumberland 

Darlingrton 

Delavan 

De Pere 

Dodgevllle , 

Durand 

Eau Claire 

Edgerton 

Elkhom 

Elroy 

Evansville 

Fennlmore 

Fond du Lac 

Ft. Atkinson 

Fountain City .. 

Glenwood 

Grand Bapids ... 

Green Bay 

Greenwood 

Hartford 

Hayward 

Horicon 

Hudson 

Hurley 

Janesvllle 

Jefferson 

Juneau 



Operation 
and Main- 
tenance (See 
Table 10) 



$15,691 

5,170 

2,261 

5,815 

«7,r69 

282,677 

127,910 

10,564 

46,191 

9,562 

8,885 

71,253 

182,226 

38,525 

13,728 

10,000 
11,319 
341 
31,807 
11,953 

5,682 
24,884 
86,801 
42,690 

5,797 

28,224 
10,382 
71,870 
18,379 
15,308 

39,004 
42,555 
15,900 
13,960 
272,680 

17,483 
25,023 
11,649 
17,961 
12,903 

209,960 

46,808 
7,456 
3,507 

97,775 

298,918 

7,101 

81,396 

7,146 

18,014 

35^299 

61,389 

233,960 

25,334 

6.782 



Schools 



$18,640 

7,052 

5,417 

18,487 

163,765 

806,797 

107,041 

16,744 

6(i,639 

20,482 

11,247 
58,287 
264,067 
31,991 
20,443 

11,287 
16,621 
1,349 
28,012 
18,551 

7,808 
11,150 
86,531 
27,802 

5,540 

29,527 
16,580 
54,873 
18,681 
11,428 

16,506 
30,607 
17,650 
12,613 
258,957 

80,890 
35,869 
11,912 
18,413 
15,295 

166,365 

40,292 

5,437 

9,960 

81,480 

401,424 
8,441 

27,409 
6,737 

14,217 

38,735 

30,491 

190,985 

82,128 

6,992 



. Total 



$84,831 

12,222 

7,678 

19,252 

251,534 

539,474 
284,951 

27,308 
102,880 

29,964 

20,182 

129,540 

446,288 

70,516 

84,171 

21,877 
27,940 
1,690 
54,819 
25,504 

18,485 
86,048 
173,332 
70,492 
11.887 

57,751 
26,912 
126,743 
37,060 
26,736 



Per Capita 



$17.97 

15.47 

8.00 

16.00 

29.76 

27.57 
18.87 
19.41 
22.S6 
18.48 

18.96 
18.18 
20.97 
16.02 
19.08 

12.80 
17.46 
5.91 
15.12 
14.67 

11.69 
19.66 
18.90 
21.62 
14.50 

23.48 
16.49 
18.84 
24.26 
14.87 



56,510 


18.40 


73,162 


14.17 


33,550 


17.70 


26,573 


17.52 


531,587 


25.45 


48,373 


18.00 


60,392 


80.80 


23,561 


13.76 


86,374 


16.47 


28,198 


20.30 


876,325 


16.06 


87,100 


17.02 


12,893 


14.65 


13,467 


17.29 


179,255 


24.76 


708,342 


22.68 


15,542 


20.42 


58,805 


13.08 


13,883 


10.66 


32,231 


16.10 


74,084 


24.56 


91,880 


28.82 


424,945 


23.23 


57,462 


22.35 


13.7r4 


11.88 



206 



REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 



TABIiE 57 — Continued 

TOTAL AND PER OAPITA DISBURSEMENTS FOR OPERATION AND MAINTE- 
NANCE AND SCHOOLS, 1919 



1920 
Popu- 
lation 



5,961 
40,472 

1,865 
80,963 

3,581 

2,632 

1,754 

2,485 

38,378 

17,563 

13,610 
7,394 
1,966 
3,011 
1,881 

1,961 
7,214 
5,104 

8,038 
457,147 

2,569 
1,554 
4,788 
7,171 
2,100 

994 
4,667 
2,248 
3,047 
3.301 

1,914 
4,920 
1,066 
33,162 
2,676 

1,440 
1,973 

4,353 
3,415 

5,582 
3,340 

3, as? 

892 
58,593 

2,997 
6,654 
4,457 
3,409 
3,929 

2,273 

1,280 

3,544 

80,955 

2,002 



Eaukauna 
Kenosha . 
Kewaunee . 
La OroBBe 
Ladysmltli 



Lake Geneva 
Lake Mills . 
Lancaster . . . 
Madison . . . . 
Manitowoc . . 



Marinette 
Marshfleld 
Mauston 
Mayvllle 
Medford . 



Mdlen 

Menasha . 
Menomonle 
Merrill ..... 
Milwaukee 



Mineral Point 

Mondovl 

Monroe 

Neenah 

Nelllsville 



New Lisbon 

New London 

New Richmond ., 
North Milwaukee 
Oconomowoc 



Oconto Palls 

Oconto 

Onalaska ... 

Oshkosh 

Park Palls . 



Peshtip'.o . 
Phillips .. 
P'tt«ville . 
Platteville 
Plymouth 



Operation 
and Main- 
tenance (See 
Table 10) 



Portage 

Port Washington 
Prairie du Chien. 

Prescott 

Racine 



R<^dsbi]rg 

Rhinelander 

Rice Lake 

Richland Center 
Ripon 



River Palls 

Seymour 

Shawano 

Sheboygan 

Sheboygan Falls 



65,063 

428,763 

22,736 

27,500 

29,321 

13,941 

23,553 

779,834 

201,746 

137,254 
75, OK 
11,304 
18,677 
19,789 

14,979 
67,490 
66,919 
86,412 
0,908,246 

30,773 
7,304 
42,538 
70,072 
20,963 

6,089 

47,742 
18,082 
34,239 
42,015 

6,083 
57,089 

4,887 

346,736 

22,260 

6,074 
13,799 

2,450 
33,201 
31,446 

48,349 

29,883 

27,804 

6,881 

637,271 

27,994 
88,503 
45,586 
32,913 
34,422 

11,287 
11,471 
12,200 
310,208 
16,431 



Schools 



48,961 
615,771 

21,926 
249,966 

35,154 

28,118 

16,574 

17,211 

439,075 

178,406 

101,160 
52.453 
12,778 
19,723 
18,315 

19,395 
72,574 
67,235 
54,315 
3,815,906 

36,208 
13,674 
51,170 
72,720 
24,406 

11,030 
36,459 
24,928 
36,622 
39,322 

22,371 
45,978 
10,885 
240,485 
35,659 

14,776 
21,746 
3,535 
48,232 
24,416 



Total 



104,014 

944,534 

44,661 

643,875 

62,664 

67,439 

30,515 

40,764 

1,210,309 

380,151 

238,414 

127,518 

24,062 

38,400 

38,104 

34,374 

140,064 

124,154 

140,727 

10,722,154 

66,976 
20,978 
98,708 
142,792 
45,369 

17,069 
84.201 
43,010 
70,861 
81,337 

28,454 
108,067 

15,772 
587,221 

57,919 

20,850 
35,545 
5,985 
81,433 
55,862 



59,180 


107,529 


15,176 


45,059 


26.051 


53,855 


5,801 


12,682 


516,733 


1,154,004 



34,228 
66,071 
48,418 
SS.G.'O 
51,045 

18,008 

10,488 

52,078 

250,330 

13,669 



62,222 
155,174 
94,004 
71,563 
85,467 

29,295 
21,959 
64,278 
560,538 
30,100 



Per Capita 



17.47 
23.34 
23.94 
17.92 
17.46 

21.82 
17.89 
16.41 
31.63 
21.66 

17.52 
17.24 
12.24 
12.75 
20.26 

17.35 
19.41 
40.00 
17.44 
23.45 

26.07 
13.50 
19.58 
19.91 
21.00 

17.17 
18.04 
19.13 
23.26 
24.64 

14.87 
20.95 
14.80 
17.71 
21.64 

14.48 
18.02 
11.87 
18.70 
16.36 

19.27 
13.49 
15.23 
14.22 
29.90 

20.76 
23.32 
21.09 
21.00 

21.75 

12.89 
17.15 
18.14 
18.11 
15.04 



r 



FINANCIAL STATISTICS OF WISCONSIN CITIES. 



207 



'J^ABLE 11— Continued 

TOTAL AND PER CAPITA DISBURSEMENTS FOR OPERATION AND MAINTE- 
NANCE AND SCHOOLS, Whf 



1920 
Popu- 
lation 



1,158 
7,596 
4,466 
2,293 
2,577 

11,371 
5,101 
4,Bfi8 

39,024 
«,257 

^^301 
7,305 
2,574 
3,707 
9,290 

12,558 
2,839 
4,440 

18,661 

5,818 

13,765 
3,378 
3,215 



Shullsburg , 

South Milwaukee 

Sparta 

Spooner 

Stanley 

Stevens Point .. 

Stoughton 

Sturgeon Bay .. 

Superior 

Tomah 

Tomahawk 

Two Rdvers 

Viroqua 

Washburn 

Watertown 

Waukesha 

Waupaca 

Waupun 

Wausan 

Wauwatosa — 

West Allis 

West Bend 

Whitewater — 



Operation 
and Main- 
tenance (See 
Table 10) 



14,705 
67,571 
37,542 
11,879 
19,057 

82,783 
38,081 
45,808 
521,606 
16,430 

20,21P 
70,456 
28,613 
34,850 
84.184 

81,979 
25,477 
27,868 
163,716 
54,621 

130,686 
25,177 
37,853 



$15,809,773 



SchooJB 



9,448 
46,997 
24,257 
20,669 
38,063 

86,054 
53,134 
34,441 
520. 'HI 
19,624 

24,124 
60,087 
20,500 
61,541 
55,026 

241,489 
31,210 
28,006 

200,749 
80,453 

160,102 
21,468 
25,268 



$12,651,307 



Total 



24,153 
114,568 
61,799 
32.548 
57,110 

168,887 

91,215 

80,249 

1,042,147 

36,054 

44,343 

130,542 

40,113 

96,391 

189,210 

323,468 

56,687 

55,863 

424,466 

135,074 

280,788 
46,645 
63,121 



$28,551,080 



Per Capita 



20.85 
15.08 
13.84 
14,20 
23.15 

14.85 
17.88 
17.62 
26.30 

ii.or 

15.83 
17.87 
19.06 
26.00 
14.97 

25.70 
19.97 
12.70 
22.76 
28.22 

20.40 
18.8? 
19.68 



$21.58 



I 



INDEX 



Accounting and auditing Page 

differences In classification 163 

expenditures for. 1916-17; 1919-20 9.11,17 

state system adopted by 53 cities 160-162 

Appropriations 

not adequate in 1919, 1920 9, 10 

recommended for 1921-22; 1922-23 20 

Assessment districts 

number of i . . . 21 

Assessments, see also bank stock, banks; general property; 
income tax; inheritance tax; local assessments; mines; 
personal property; public service cori>o rations; public 
utilities; railroads; real estate; state assessment 

in Wisconsin and adjoining states, 1917-1919 (table)... 53 

remedies proposed 26 

Assessors 

county plan recommended 26 

elected, except in few chartered cities 22 

method of selecting recommended by Nat'l Tax Ass'n.. 23, 26 

Milwaukee, under civil service 23 

Assessors of incomes 

average salaries paid 14 

detailed cost of salaries and expenses, 191^-16 (table) . . 66, 67 

employes in 1917, 1920 14 

expenses, 1915-16; 1917-18; 1919-20,. (table) 9,65 

field real estate sales 12 

list of reasons for increased expenses 9-16 66, 67 

Audits 

I expenses, 1916-17; 1919-20 11 

[ made annually 154 

; made at actual cost to state 155 

I Automobiles and other motor vehicles 

j assessed and true value, 1920 (table) 138—9 

f average value, 1920 (table) 138-9 

number, 1920 (table) 138-9 

state and local assessment, 1905, 1910, 1915, 1920 (table) 125 

Bank stock 70-82 

assessed and true value, 1920 (table) 136-7 

assessment, methods outlined 71-75, 79-81 

state and local assessment, 1905, 1910, 1915, 1920 (table) 125 

Banks 70-82 

book value of, 1919 (table) 76, 77 

taxation of, general discussion 70-82 

Bicycles, see watches, pianos, organs 

Bonded indebtedness 

discussed : 7, g 

in cities, 1919 (chart) 173-175 

limit in cities 167-169 



k 



210 REPORT OF THE WISCONSIN TAX COMMISSION. 

Calendar year Page 

in use by cities 164 

used tby state in reports of public service corporations 

since 1919 113 

Cattle, see Neat cattle 

Cities 157-207 

assessed" valuation, 1919 (table) 176-77 

expenditures and diabursements (table) 164, 200. 202 

financial statistics of, 1918 (tables) "56, 57, 157, 207 

having: uniform system of accounts 153 

Conservation companies 

assessment and tax, 1920 (tables) 83, 110 

taxes collected, 1911-1920 (table) 123 

Counties 

having- system of uniform municipal accountingr 153 

taxes, 1919 (taible) 178-80 

Ck>unty assessors 21—28 

advantages of 27, 28 

may be substituted for local 79 

no constitutional objection to 27 

recommended by commission in 1916, 1918 22 

system in operation in 23 states 22 

Educational bonus 

taxes collected, 1920 123 

Electric power plants, see Public utilities 

Engineers 

expenses of 1916-17; 1919-1920 9, 11 

Express companies 

assessment of, discussed 110, 111 

assessment and tax, 1920; 1903-1920 (tables) 83,111 

taxes collected, 1911-1920 (table) 123 



Financial statistics 

of cities 157-207 

Fire insurance 

taxes, 1911-1920 (table) 123 J 

Fiscal year «! 

changed to calendar year in 1917 for public service cor- » 

popations 112, 113 i 

varies in cities • 164 •! 

Freight line and equipment companies j. 

assessment and tax, 1920 83, 110, 111, 112 

taxes collected, 1911-1920 (table) 123 

 

General property 

assessed value, 1919 175-177, 181, 182 

local assessment 1916-20 with percentage of true value 

(table) 126-7 . 

percentage of tax, to total, 1911-19 (table) 148 

ratio of local to state, 1915, (maps) 1920 150,151 

state and local assessments classified, 1905, 1910, 1915, 

1920, (table) 125 

taxes collected, 1911, 1920 (table) 123 

taxes in cities, 1919 (table) 178-80 

tax levies and average tax rates rural and urban, based 

on local and state assessments 1918, 1919, (table) 
124, 144-5, 146-7, 168 

Jiorses and mules 

state and local assessment, 1905, 1910, 1915, 1920 (table) 125 



INDEX. 211 

Income tax, see also income tax — corporations; income tax — "P&ge 
individuals 

as a source of municipal revenue 48—60 

bulk of, from urban centers 59 

cash collections, offsets, etc. (tables) 1911-1920 ...... 

32, «2, 63, 123, 186-9 

delinxiuent, 1920 (table) . : 33-35, 186-9 

dividend deduction to Individtials 44, 45 

exempt corporations list 47 

exemption to nonresidents 43 

expenses for 1915-16; 1919-20 (taible) 9, 11, 65-67 

farmers assessed in 1919 37 

in foreig-n countries 48, 49, 52, 53 

in other states 50 

increase in rates 45 

legislation recommended 31—47 

not a substitute for personal property tax 39 

objections to .52 

paid to state 1917-1920 19 

personal property offset, discussion 31—43 

personal property offsets, 1911-1920 (table) 61 

productiveness of 58 

secrecy of returns 44 

soldiers' educational bonus , 11 

states having- •.. . 31 

surtaxes, 1919, 1920 (taible) 61,64,186-189 

total levy in 1911-1920 (table) 59, 61 

Income tax— <^orporations 

assessment, by counties, 1917-1920 (table) 68,69 

classified according to business, 1919 (table) 35 

income and tax classified, 1919 (table) 36 

increase in taxable income, 1919, 1920 ". 18, 19 

number assessed in 1920 37 

Income tax-Federal 

first adopted in U. S. in 1862 49 

held' unconstitutional in 1894 49 

yield of 1917 act .51, 52, 59 

Income tax — Individuals 

classified according to amounts, 1919 (table) 38 

classified according to occupation, 1919 (table) 34 

income, by counties, 1917-1920 (table) 68,69 

number assessed, 1919, (table) 33, 34 

taxable income, and taxes 1919; (table) 33, 34, 37 

Income tax law 

amendments 45, 46 

Inheritance tax . 120-121 

cash collected, 1911-1920 (table) 120 

expenses increased, 1916-17; 1919-20 11, 16 

only three states without tax 121 

paid into state treasury, 1904-1920 120 

rates increased in 1917 • . 120 

rates vary in different states 121 

Insurance 

taxes. 1911-1920 (table) 123 

Lands, see Real estate 

Leaf tobacco 

assessed and true value, 1920 (taJble) 134-5 

state and local assessment 1905, 1910, 1915, 1920 (table) 125 

Local and state assessments 

tax levies, tax rates, based on — ^< table) 144-5 



212 REPORT OF THE WIiSOONSIN TAX OOMMISSION. 

Local aaseasmeaU Page 
all property with percent of true value and percent of in- 
crease, 1920 over 1916 (table) 126-7 

in 1919 6 

Logs and timber 

assessed and true value, 1920 (table) 136—7 

state and local assessment, 1910, 1915, 1920 (table) 125 

Log: driving: and boom companies 

taxes, 1911-1913 (table) 123 

Machinery 

held to be real estate by court 41, 42 

Merchants' and Manufacturers' stock 

state and local assessment 1905, 1910, 1915, 1920 (table) 

125, 134-5 

Milwaukee 

. assessors of, chosen iby whom 23 

Mines 114-119 

difficulty in connection with valuation of 115, 116 

how profits are ascertained 116 

illustration of way profits are derived 114, 11*5, 117—119 

valuation of, by Prof. W. O. Hotchkiss 114-119 

Money and credits 

state and local assessment, 1910 (table) 125 

Municipal accounting see Uniform municipal accounting 

Municipal reporting 

expenses for, 1916-17; 1919-20 11-17 

Municii>alities 

indebtedness of 7 

statistics of, 1920 7 

National tax association 

advocates repeal of federal estate tax 121 

recommended model system of state and local tascatlon . . 27 

recommended method of selecting assessors 23, 25, 26 

Neat cattle 

state and local assessment, 1905, 1910, 1915, 1920 (tahle) 125 

Occupational taxes 

collected, 1911-1'920 (table) 123 

Personal property 

assessed in 1911, 1917, 1919 • 39 

assessed to true valTie and percent of total, 1920, (table) 

128-9, 140-1 

present day values used 6 

state and local assessment, 1905, 1910, 1915, 1920 (table) 125 

taxes, 1912 39 

Personal property offset • • , 31—43 

not allowed against bonus taxes 13 

repeal of, recommended 31 

Per capita 

cost of government in cities (table) 57, 175—' 

tax levy below adjoining states .51 

Plank roads 

taxes collected, 1911-1915 (table) 121 

Poll taxes 

collected, 1912-1917 (table) . 12 



INDEX. 213 

Population . Page 

cities, 1'920 172-5 

increase in cities and state, 10 yr. periods 166 

of Wisconsin 1872-1920 (table) 124 

Public service corporations 

assessment and tax, 1920 (table) 83-113 

earning's of, fluctuate 86, 87 

five year period used for measuring: earnings 87 

formula used in computing: averag:e rate applicable to . . 91 

Public utilities 107-109 

assessed and true value, 1919, 1920 (table) 107-109 

Pullman company 

contesting: taxes for 1913-1920 Ill 

Railroads 87-92 

Appraisal in 1903 84, 85 

assessment, rate. tax. 1904-1920, 1911-1920 (table) 83, 89-91, 123 

data used for valuation purposes 87—89 

formula used in computing average rate applicable 

to 91, 112, 113 

net earnings of larg:e interstate roads, 1913-17; 1918-19; 

(table) 88 

rate applied to 91 

reduction in earnings 6, 88 

stocks and bonds value, 1914-1919 6 

Railroads — Terminals 

distribution tax roll, 1919, 1920 92 

taxes paid to locality 91 

Rates, see Tax rates 

Real estate 

assessment and per cent of true value to total, 1920 ... 128-9 

comparison of ratios of banks with 78 

state and local assessment, 1905, 1910, 1915, 1920 (table) 6, 125 

Real estate sales 

fielded by assessors of incomes 12 

number in 1916-1919 12 

fliree years' average used in 1920 5 

Reassessments 28-30 

law weakened in 1917, 1919 28, 29 

number ordered in 1919—1920 ?? 

tax commission recommends amendment to law 30 

Recommendations 

access to income tax returns in certain cases 44 

county assessors in lieu of local 22, 28 

date of payment of tax on railroads changed 112, 113 

dividend reduction 44, 45 

family exemptions extend to nonresidents 43 

increased appropriation for income tax 20 

in event of repeal of offset provision, bank dividends to 

'be taxed . 44 

personal property offset, repeal of 31 

rates of individuals increased 45 

reassessment law amended 30 

taxation of net income of individuals regardless of source 43 

Salaries 

of city officials 170 

School taxes 

in cities (table) 178-180 



214 REPORT OF THE WHSOON&IiN TAX COMMISSION. 

Sheep Page 

averag-e value per head, 1920 (table) 132-3 

assessed and true value, 1920 (table) 132-3 

number, 1920 132-3 

state and local assessment, 1905, 1910, 1915, 1920 (table) 125 

Sleeping car fcompanies 

assessment and tax, 1903-1920 (table) 83, 110, 112 

taxes collected, 1911-20 ttable) 123 

Soldiers' bonus taxes 

collected, 1920 (table) 123 

not subject to personal property oifset 13 

State and local assessments 

classified, 1905, 1910, 1915, 1920 (table) 125 

tax levies and assessments, 1872-1920 (table) 124 

State and local taxation 

model system recommended by Nat'l. Tax Ass'n 27 

State assessment 

based on general property value 5 

of real estate, 1919, 1920 6 

percentage of, to total, 1905-1920 (table) 142-3 

ratio of local to, 1910 (map) 143 

Statistics 

department of, expenditures, 1916-17; 1919-20 11,16 

Steam and other vessels 

assessed and true value, 1920 (table) 136-7 

state and local assessment, 1905, 1910, 1915, 1920 (table) 125 

Stocks and bond^ 

market value of, railroads 6 

Street railways 93—95 

assessment and tax, 1908-1920, 1911-20 (tables) . . .83, 93, 94, 123 

distribution of tax 95 

distribution tax roll, 1918, 1919, 1920 (table) 96-107 

Suit taxes 

collected, 1911-1915 (table) 123 

Swine 

assessed and true value, 1920 (taJble) 132-3 

average value per head, 1920 (table) 132—3 

number. 1920 (table) 132-3 

state and local assessment, 1905, 1910, 191'5, 1920 (table) 125 

Tax commission 

appropriation inadequate in 1919, 1920 10 

computed surtaxes under bonus laws 13 

emergency appropriation 9, 15 

employes and salaries, increase in 14 

engineering office, decreased expenses, 1916—17; 1919— 

20 16 

expenses of 1916-17; 1919-20 9, 11, 16 

uses real estate sales in state assessment 12 

Tax levies 

in Wisconsin and adjoining states, 1917-1919 (table) ... 53 

local and state, 1918, 1919 (table) 144-5 

state and local and population of Wisconsin 1872-1920 

(table) 124 

Tax rates 

applied to railroads 91 

average for state 1911-19, 1917-1920 (taibles) 7, 144-5-, 148 

cities, 1919 (table) 168, 169 

in Ohio quoted S 

rural and urban by counties, 1919 (table) 146-7 



INDEX. 215 

Taxea Page 

collected in cash 1911-1920 (table) 123 

comparison ol, Wisconsin and adjoining states, 1917-1920 

(table)  B4 

lower In Wisconsin 55 

per capita, Wisconsin and adjoining states, 1917-19 

(tables) 6* 

Telegraph companies 

assessment and tax, 1930 (table) 83, 111 

taxes collected, 1911-1920 (table) 123 

Telephone companies 

license fees collected, 1911-1920 (table) 123 

Timber, see LiOge and timber 

Tobacco, see Leaf tobacco 

Vessels, see Steam and' other vessels 

Uniform municipal accounting 162-15B 

counties under system 163 

in cities IBS 

municipalities Installed since 1911 153 

reasons (or system 153-4 

towns, cities and villages having system (map) 156 

Wisconsin system not compulsory 153 

United States bureau of Isibor statistics 

cost of living shown, 1914-1920 15 

Wasfons, carriages and sleighs 

average value, 1920 (table) 134-5 

assessed and true value, 1920 (table) 134-5 

number, 1920 (table) 134-S 

state and local asaesament, 1905, 1910, 1915, 1930 (tajble) 125 

Watches, pianos, etc. 

state and local assessment, 1910 (table) 125 

Water and light companies 

assesssed and true value, 1920 (table) 136-7 

state and local assessment, 1910, 1916, 1920 (tails) 126 



VAV2 41921