Legislative Alert: Four Supreme Court Cases Victorious for Wisconsin Homeowners

A look at how current WRA-supported legislation is moving and making progress toward preserving and protecting a healthy real estate economy.

 July 09, 2018

The WRA Legal Action Program filed amicus curiae briefs, or “friend of the court” briefs, in four cases providing arguments in support of private property rights and fair treatment in the development process. Here’s what these decisions mean for the real estate industry.

Use value taxation: If a property is being used for agricultural purposes, as defined in state law and tax code, the property must be assessed as agricultural property under use value law. The actual use of property is the important determination.

Vested rights: When a property owner submits a complete building permit application that complies with all existing zoning and regulatory requirements, the property owner has a vested right to construct the building and use the property as identified in the building permit application.

Tax increment financing (TIF): A different ruling by the court could have subjected every TIF to a legal challenge by anti-TIF opponents, resulting in significant delays and costs for other economic development projects.

Restrictive covenants: While the ruling in this case is limited to restrictive covenants, the case may provide property owners with a tool to defend against future claims in which the rental of property is a commercial use in violation of local ordinances that limit the use to residential.

Learn more

To find out more details about these cases, see the article “Four of a Kind”.

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