Property Values End Five-Year Decline

After declining 9.1 percent during 2008-13, the current market value of all taxable property in Wisconsin rose 2.6 percent in 2014, signaling the end of the five-year slump in values – the longest decline in modern memory.

However, at $479.5 billion, values remain almost seven percent below the 2008 market peak of $514.4 billion, according to a new report from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX). WISTAX is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization devoted to public policy research and citizen education.

Value changes were far from uniform across the state. Total equalized (or full-market) values fell in 12 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties and rose at sub-average rates in another 31 (Door County’s fell 6.7 percent). In only nine counties did values rise four percent or more.

Moreover, some parts of the state were affected more than others during the 2008-13 real-estate downturn. In 10 western counties from Vernon north to Taylor, plus Calumet County near Appleton, values rose, defying statewide trends. Increases were greatest in Monroe (7.8 percent), Jackson (5.4 percent), and Trempealeau (5.1 percent) counties.

In 23 counties, values declined more than 10 percent, worse than the statewide average (-9.1 percent). Most noticeable were declines in nine southeastern counties, which also had above-average job losses during 2001-12. For example, in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties, values were off 16 percent or more.

Value declines were also significant in five counties in central Wisconsin, three northern counties, and six in the northwest near Minneapolis-St. Paul. In centrally located Adams County, values tumbled 20.3 percent, the most of any county in the state. Pierce, Polk and St. Croix, all Minnesota-border counties, were close behind with values off more than 17 percent.

Detailed county-by-county value information is available on the WISTAX website ( A copy of the new report, “State’s property values up 2.6% in 2014 but still trail 2008,” is available at or by emailing [email protected]; calling 608.241.9789; or writing WISTAX at 401 North Lawn Ave., Madison, WI 53704-503.