A proposal to eliminate personal property taxes on business owners

A state lawmaker is pushing a new bill to lighten the burden on business owners by phasing out a personal property tax.

Bill Weslow loves what does for a living, and has been serving his customers at his scooter shop on East Brady Street for the last decade.

He like other business owners in the state of Wisconsin have to pay personal property taxes, this includes items inside their property bought to help execute their daily operations.

\"Small businesses like mine, it's not a big money maker”, said Weslow.

State Representative Bob Kulp is pushing a bill that will phase out and eventually eliminate those property taxes to help make Wisconsin more attractive for business owners.

Do I move to Minnesota? Do I move to Wisconsin? Do i move to Illinois? Indiana? Michigan? I'm going to say that's an extra tax that Wisconsin has, that other surrounding states don't\", said Kulp.

The lawmaker is also concerned this personal property tax blocks owners from improving their business.

\"It stops the investment in new equipment, because you have increased values, so you have to pay the increased values, delay upgrading equipment that should be upgraded, and the assessor community is not for it”, said Kulp.

Weslow doesn't understand why he has to pay a personal property tax on equipment or even his computer.

\"I've owned it for years”, said Weslow. “Why do I need to pay taxes on it? I really don't understand it. But if I didn't have to do it, it'll be great.\"

Personal property taxes generate nearly 3% of the overall tax base in Wisconsin.

In Milwaukee, Kulp says those numbers are close to 3.5%, and that adds up to more than 26 million dollars a year.

This bill could face some opposition due to a hole left in budgets for small cities and counties in Wisconsin.

The state representative is planning to introduce the bill in Madison in early April.

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