State budget repeals personal property tax on machinery

State budget contains partial personal property tax repeal

The 2017-19 state budget recently signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker includes a provision long sought by small-business owners: A partial repeal of the state’s personal property tax on machinery.

Previously, the state collected a tax on office equipment and machinery that included computers, fax machines, copiers, X-ray machines and other electronics.

The new provision repeals the personal property tax on machinery, which is defined as, “…a structure or assemblage of parts that transmits forces, motion, or energy from one part to another in a predetermined way by electrical, mechanical, or chemical means.” Essentially, if it plugs in and isn’t furniture (e.g., lamp), then it is now most likely exempt.

Statements of Personal Property will be due on March 1, 2018. The Wisconsin Department of Revenue has stated that it will not issue guidelines to local assessors on how to handle this exemption. However, the assessors and their trade association will likely provide guidance.

The Wisconsin Dental Association advises members to speak with their certified public accountants about compiling a list of items they believe to be exempt. Please note that assessors have the right to view any personal property on the statement, so be prepared to justify any equipment includes as exempt.

If you have further questions, please contact me at [email protected] or 608-250-3442.