Sunday, April 16, 2017

"Surrounded by reality"- Madison booms while rest of state stagnates

As a Madison homeowner, I find myself waiting on the April reassessments of city property to come out, to get an early indication of what our home is valued at, as well as what that might mean for our property taxes. And while my $15,000, 5% increase is notable, the city's overall report and the Wisconsin State Journal's follow-up article showed that, if anything, the rest of the city had its property values go up even more.
The new assessments show a 10.2 percent rise in real estate values, including the fourth straight increase in the value of the average single-family home, which jumped 5.8 percent to $269,377.

The rise in real estate values was driven by a 6.6 percent increase in total residential values and a whopping 16.6 leap in commercial values, the latter driven by construction of big apartment buildings and hotel revaluations, city assessor Mark Hanson said.

New construction topped $750 million, including $154 million for single-family homes and $560 million for commercial properties, which includes apartment buildings with more than four units, hotels, stores and offices.
And while these are the largest of the recent increases, it's only the next level of a trend of rising values in Madison over the last 4 years. The average residential home value in the city has risen by nearly 1/6 since 2013, and the rise in commercial property values has been higher than the increase in residential in that time period.

What that means is that the average homeowner in Madison will not see property taxes rise by the same percentage as his/her increase in home value. But the rise in property values and that $750 million in new construction does give the city more flexibility for its 2018 budget.
Under state law, new construction is vital because tight revenue limits restrict increases in tax collections to net growth, which is the value of new buildings, additions and remodeling minus the value of demolished properties.

The new construction figures will allow a roughly 3 percent increase, or about $4.3 million, in tax collections for the operating budget, Schmiedicke said.
But a 3% increase in taxes in a city where values are up over 10% would seem to indicate a notable DROP in property tax rates, and our home might not see much of an increase at all (and that's after a tiny 0.6% increase the year before).

Sure, we will pay a sizable amount in property taxes because our home will be assessed at over $310,000, but that's the trade-off for living in a great community that attracts talent. Maybe the rest of the state should learn something from the way we do things in the Mad City, because Dane County is kicking the rest of this state's ass when it comes to job and population growth as well.

Take a look at the most recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' local job report, as well as the Census Bureau's new estimates for County population. Let's use 2011 as a starting point for jobs, to reflect when Scott Walker and the WisGOPs came to power in the state, and you can see that the Madison metro area is adding jobs at twice the rate of the Milwaukee metro area. And the rest of the state also lags well behind what's happening in Dane County when it comes to attracting people over the last 6 years.

Total job growth, Feb 2011-Feb 2017
Milwaukee metro area +45,700 (+5.70%)
Madison metro area +44,300 (+12.50%)
Appleton metro area +11,100 (+9.81%)
Green Bay metro area +8,700 (+5.34%)
Rest of the State +98,400 (+7.50%)
US Rate of job growth +13.41%

Private sector job growth Feb 2011- Feb 2017
Milwaukee metro area +50,200 (+7.09%)
Madison metro area +43,200 (+16.22%)
Appleton metro area +11,000 (+10.95%)
Green Bay metro area +9,300 (+6.16%)
Rest of the State +96,400 (+8.54%)
US Rate of job growth +13.43%

Population change 2010-2016
Dane County +43,198
Brown County +12,394
Waukesha Co. +8,488
Outagamie Co. +7,831
Milwaukee Co. +3,712
Rest of the State +15,796

Makes you wonder how dead this state would be if it wasn't for us over-ejukated hippies in Dane County, huh? Maybe the mediocre business oligarchs at the Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce and WMC should take a look at what's happening her, and instead of continuing to spend big money to back the stagnating policies of WisGOP, start learning and copying the strategy that works in Madison.

You know, concentrating on advantages like quality of life, good public education, and paying good wages.


  1. Wow, I can read Jake's economic 'analysis' on a regular basis now? Considering they will likely have the net positive value of an aging yellow semen stain on a pull-out sleeper sofa, I can hardly wait.

    1. You've always had that chance W(HITE TR)ash Co Repub troll. I just decide whether to actually waste my bandwith with your "brilliance."

      Stick around, maybe you'll learn something about why much of Wisconsin is stagnating and why talent is leaving most non-Madison places in droves. You live in the Bubblicious garbage pile of mediocrity and fearful racism known as Washington County, so these concepts will likely will confuse you. But that's a you problem.