Last year’s SCOWIS ruling was applied in overturning a new property tax in the village of Pewaukee
The News: The Village of Pewaukee’s recently passed “transportation utility fee” has been ruled illegal by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, citing WPT v. Town of Buchanan – a major unanimous Supreme Court of Wisconsin (SCOWIS) decision won by WILL in June of 2023. We believed, as it is evident today, that the Buchanan ruling would serve as precedent to protect property taxpayers across the state of Wisconsin.
The Quote: WILL Deputy Counsel, Lucas Vebber, stated, “This is yet another great win for taxpayers in Wisconsin. WILL stands ready to fight back against any and all government overreach and illegal taxation. We are pleased to see the unanimous decision from last summer be utilized to protect taxpayers throughout Wisconsin.”
Additional Background: Road costs are financed primarily through property taxes, which are subject to strict levy limits and uniformity requirements. In June of 2023, SCOWIS unanimously ordered the Town of Buchanan to repeal its transportation utility fee because of a lawsuit WILL filed on behalf of Wisconsin Property Taxpayers, Inc. (WPT).
The lawsuit against the Village of Pewaukee’s transportation utility fee was filed before the unanimous SCOWIS decision was released. WILL represented WPT and filed an amicus brief in the Pewaukee case, arguing that the Buchanan decision is controlling and that Pewaukee’s transportation utility fee is an unlawful tax. The Court agreed.