The Gazette followed up with an editorial on the story where they concluded that absent changes in state law, and as lower assessments and settlements continue, homeowners should expect to pick up bigger shares of the tax burden. They are absolutely correct in that summation.
But who knew that at the time of their story in March, the Gazette’s parent label, Bliss Communications, hired a tax lawyer to, as lawyers are described in their editorial about the retailers, to “prey on the city” by filing an objection to their own property tax?
According to a city memorandum (File Resolution No. 2016-1333) from this week’s council meeting, Bliss Communications lawyered a “settlement” with the state by having $576,000 of assessed value knocked off its property on Parker Drive. The difference in value from the previous assessment translates to a $30,000 lower annual tax bill for the media company.
Bliss also had the assessed value for their facility on Wuthering Hills lowered by $709,500. That tax bill will be lowered by $35,000 for a combined difference of about $65,000 less annually for local taxing jurisdictions.
That means Janesville schools, the county and city combined must now refund Bliss that amount for their last tax bill and use those new lowered assessed values as the current baseline moving forward.