This report was compiled from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue Integrated Property Assessment System. There were 164 documents recorded for The City of Racine between April 1, 2013 and April 30, 2013.
The Complete listing of properties can be found by clicking HERE.
In April there were 51 foreclosures bringing the total to 167 for the first 4 months of 2013. Many of the foreclosures are rental properties, and occasionally there is a foreclosure on a large block of rentals with the same owner. It is just another effect of the continuing unemployment situation in Racine. People are leaving Racine, which is creating a surplus of housing, driving down prices, and unsaleable homes are simply abandoned. This is a growing problem which won’t go away.
Milwaukee acknowledges it’s growing problem. When will Racine?
Milwaukee becomes reluctant landlord
May 8 2013 From the Journal Sentinel:
It could be your elderly neighbor who exhausted her savings and had no one to turn to. Or it might have been the couple down the street who were jobless for months.
And now they’re gone, another tax foreclosure statistic that leaves the city holding the bag.
While mortgage foreclosure rates have stabilized somewhat in the area, tax foreclosures have given Milwaukee this dubious distinction: It may be the biggest landlord in the city.
The city holds title to nearly 1,000 homes. These are homes the city took over because the owner was delinquent in paying taxes.
A tax foreclosure, which can play out over several years, is different from a bank-owned foreclosure in which a bank or other lender forecloses on a property owner. In a tax foreclosure, it’s the city that ends up with the property.
While the city has its hands full with more than 1,500 bank-owned foreclosures, the number of tax foreclosures is worsening. City Treasurer Spencer Coggs anticipates his office will start the tax foreclosure process for more than 1,300 additional properties before the year is over.
“The numbers are alarming,” Coggs said. “People lose their jobs. You want to help people keep the home they have. We don’t want their home; we just want them to pay their taxes.”
“We don’t want to be in the landlord business,” said Martha Brown, deputy commissioner of the Department of City Development, which has the unenviable task of trying to sell the homes the city now owns.
“We are taking a lot of homes from the elderly,” Taylor said.
One employee in the treasurer’s office, where taxes are paid, told aldermen at a recent meeting that some employees have tears in their eyes when they take phone calls from people unable to pay their taxes.
“It’s a huge neighborhood problem to have those vacant properties that are not contributing anything to the quality of the neighborhood,” Brown said. “They’re actually detracting.”
Worse, some of the homes are immediate candidates for demolition, Brown says. Art Dahlberg, commissioner of the city’s Department of Neighborhood Services, has a list of 500 homes he would like to demolish immediately. And that list isn’t going to disappear anytime soon as more distressed properties end up in tax foreclosure.
Since the housing crisis took hold in 2008, the city has seen tax foreclosures increase alarmingly. In 2007, the city acquired 155 properties throughout the city. The next year it went up to 184 parcels acquired. The city acquired 461 properties in 2009, 532 in 2010, 597 in 2011 and 744 properties last year.
Seeking economic insight, Walker, Cabinet secretaries visit city
May 7, 2013 From The JT
RACINE — Gov. Scott Walker took his Cabinet “on the road” Monday, kicking off a series of statewide economic listening sessions at Modine Manufacturing Co. to learn how the state can best help create jobs. His answer came from the Racine County Economic Development Corp.’s Gordy Kacala, who presented alongside a representative from the Kenosha Area Business Alliance. According to Kacala, Racine County’s biggest economic challenge, particularly in terms of unemployment, remains the City of Racine. “People are engaged and using a variety of strategies” to combat the city unemployment rates, Kacala said, “But it’s just going to take us some time to make a change in the community.” The pressing issue is an education system that doesn’t prepare potential employees to qualify for open jobs, Kacala said, meaning that many open positions get filled from outside county lines. What the government can do, Kacala said, is continue to work with the county to offer tax incentives to incoming companies, something he said many have come to expect. For developers, there’s a pervasive idea that “if you’re not asking for significant incentives, you’re missing the boat,” Kacala said. “Unfortunately, it’s still ‘show us the money.’ ” Kacala, RCEDC’s executive director, noted a shortage in vacant industrial land, concerns about uncertainty surrounding the federal health care law and immigration policy as other places the government can provide answers and assistance.
Why can’t Gordy Kacala come out and say the truth? RACINE CAN’T COMPETE! The decline is terminal! I can only guess that the truth would eliminate Gordy’s taxpayer dependent job.
The former IPS Binding and Stitchery Plant – 3911 N. Memorial Dr. Fair – 2011 Assessed value of $3.5M Property taxes = $98,571.
The Sportplex at 10116 Stellar Dr. – 2011 Assessed value of $5.4M. Property taxes = $115,610.
Something happened to the assessed value of 3911 S. Memorial Dr. The assessed value dropped from 2011 to 2012 by $1.9M. It was in 2010 that IPS was bought out by Deluxe Stitcher and closed.
Per Wisconsin DOR, machinery and equipment used exclusively and directly in the manufacturing process is already exempt from property taxes. IPS was already gone – when Cumberland Packing Corp bought the building. Coincidentally, Cumberland Packing Corp also owns the property at 2330 Chickory Road (Butter Buds), which has also received a significant drop in assessed value and taxpayer assistance because Racine tax-rates makes the company non-competitive and unprofitable!
HEY GORDY – let me tell you the secret to Racine’s failures - IT’S THE TAXRATES! Racine can’t compete!
Read more about Butter Bud’s ability to leverage the City HERE. Butter Bud’s is correct about Tax Hell Racine! However every Business and Resident is suffering from Racine’s Tax and Develop crowd that is ensconced at City Hall!
After viewing the above property records – did RDA’s Brian O’Connell say this with a straight face?
The city property tax break will apply to the existing Butter Buds and the building to be acquired, O’Connell said. Together they now pay a combined $71,947 in property taxes. Seventy-five percent of that figure over 10 years equals a $539,603 rebate.
The rebate will come from the Intergovernmental Sewer Revenue Sharing Fund which was designed to be used for economic development. So the rebate would not affect the city budget, O’Connell noted.
Really? It actually appears that the General Revenue would be shorted by $50,000/yr by lowering the assessed value of 3911 S. Memorial Dr.
May 14,2013 From The JT:
“At our meeting on April 29, we also considered this section of the ordinance … We determined that what it means is that the officer or employee took an existing record of some kind and altered it so that it was no longer accurate,” ethics board Chairman Mary Wyant said Monday. “It does not mean that the officer or employee said or wrote something that was not factually correct.”
It’s just part of everyday business for City of Racine officials to lie.
Another hard lesson for Milwaukee – will Racine listen?
Sweet Water Organics ceases production, owes city $137,000
Bay View firm raised fish, grew produce for area restaurants through urban farm system
May 10,2013 From the Journal Sentinel:
Sweet Water Organics Inc. has ceased production and can’t pay back over $137,000 from a city loan, says a new report to the Milwaukee Common Council.
The council’s Community and Economic Development Committee will consider a proposal Monday to take possession of a tractor and other equipment used by Sweet Water as collateral.
The city would lease or sell that equipment, which includes a compost mixer and aquaponics system, with the proceeds reducing what Sweet Water owes, said the Department of City Development proposal. The remaining amount owed would be written off as a loss.
Sweet Water operated at a Bay View industrial building, 2151 S. Robinson Ave., where it raised fish and grew produce for area restaurants. It used an urban farm system known as aquaponics, which uses fish waste to help fertilize produce, with the produce helping to filter the water used to raise the fish.
The council voted 14-1 in 2011 to approve a $250,000 forgivable loan to Sweet Water. The company spent $206,699, with the remaining funds returned to the city.
Department officials opposed the loan, citing changing plans for the cash, and a high cost to city taxpayers for each job the company said it would create.
To avoid making annual loan payments, Sweet Water was required to have 10 employees by the end of 2011; 21 by the end of 2012; 35 in 2013; and 45 in 2014. Sweet Water met its 2011 job target, allowing the company to skip its first $62,500 loan payment.
But a Journal Sentinel article in April 2012 raised questions about how that target was met.
Workforce numbers were boosted by including Sweet Water’s two founders, who hadn’t drawn salaries until job numbers were certified by the city. Also, wages paid by Sweet Water were far below what the company had projected.
At the end of 2012, Sweet Water had only 2.35 jobs – allowing it to skip just $6,994 of this year’s loan payment.
Sweet Water doesn’t have the cash to repay the outstanding loan balance of $137,205, according to the department proposal. That document doesn’t indicate how much the city hopes to recover by selling or leasing the company’s equipment.
Sweet Water officials in February told committee members they wanted to change the loan’s terms.
OH! The IRONY in Real Racist Racine!
Alderman “Lying Jim Kaplan” argues against allowing Northwest Funeral Home to purchase the Woman’s Club at 740 Lake Avenue. Northwest Funeral Home is owned by African Americans. Despite having ZERO experience in operating a funeral home, Alderman “Lying Jim Kaplan” expresses concerns on how the owners will move caskets around inside the building! How blatant must the racism be before it is called?
In a perpetually dying Downtown Racine that has been yearly dependent upon millions of $$$ worth of taxpayer funded welfare and is filled with vacant and crumbling buildings, life imitates art as members of Racine’s “Whites Only” Downtown business owners, Aldermen, Commission Members and even Mayor John Dickert worked together overtime to deny Northwest Funeral Home a place in Downtown Racine IN SPITE of meeting every demand put on them.
City Plan Commission Feb. 29,2012:
Mr. Sadowski reviewed the options presented by the applicant for staging and routes for processions provided. He also read comments, both for and against, this use. Some of the ‘against’ comments include concerns about parking, viability of the shuttle service, the unknown of how many attendees may be present at the funerals, traffic concerns, especially if there are 2 funerals at one time, traffic management, negative impact on neighboring businesses, competition for parking on Main Street, and the viability of the staging plans.
Mayor Dickert also reiterated the public concern about the parking issues, and that the shuttle service may not be feasible. (is there a list available of those who comprised the unnamed “concerned public”, and why isn’t the Mayor taking up the cause of the “concerned public” that doesn’t want to pay John Dickert’s legal bills?)
Commissioner Sutton Ekes noted she too is conflicted about the proposal, stating she is familiar with the parking issues downtown, which is common down there, and any use of the structure is going to cause a parking concern.
Why didn’t Mayor Dickert, Alderman “Lying Jim Kaplan” , Sutton Ekes and the Common Council just come out and say it?
Shortly after Northwest Funeral Home is denied permission to purchase 740 Lake Ave, Marsh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home purchases the Woman’s Club at 740 Lake Avenue. Marsh-Meredith is WHITE owned. If, as Commissioner Sutton Ekes stated, that “any use” of the structure is going to cause a parking problem, why is the structure still there? Is there a future use possible that is RACE Based?
Jan 31, 2013 From The JT
The Woman’s Club held an estate sale in January 2011 and has since sold its building, located at 740 Lake Ave. and now owned by (White) Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home, Jansson said.
The Woman’s Club is sold at a $25,000 LOSS!
Shortly after the sale, an odd thing happened. The “special assessments” figure was lowered! It may be legitimate – but why? Who else is experiencing a decrease in taxes? From 2008-2011 there is a yearly increase.
In 2012 after Marsh-Meredith & Acklam purchases the the property, the “special assessment” drops. If Northwest Funeral Home had purchased the property it would have lost it’s tax exempt status and contributed to the tax base. Why has Marsh-Meredith & Acklam been allowed to retain the privilege of a tax-exempt property?
The Marsh-Meredith & Acklan property at 803 Main St. was given an Assessed value of $810,000 in 2007. It has not increased since then! Didn’t Brian O’Connell and Matt Sadowoski recently claim some success in Downtown Racine and declare property values are rising? How come the property values at Maresh-Meredith don’t reflect that success? Why do they get a break on the ever increasing property taxes others in Racine must pay?
Some of the Speakers for and against allowing an African-American owned funeral parlor in Downtown Racine.
RACINE - A new report accuses one local community of squeezing out minorities while re-developing its downtown. One Racine business owner says discrimination and racism are alive and well in Downtown Racine. The report calls downtown stakeholders modern day plantation owners, using slave catchers to do their bidding.
Click HERE to read the Report.
One question that comes to my mind is: Why are properties in CERTAIN neighborhoods assessed at THREE TIMES their sales price, while properties in OTHER areas, like North Bay, are assessed closer to their ACTUAL sale price, and Gaslight Drive properties are UNDER valued? Are City of Racine officials targeting certain neighborhoods for elimination via property assessments?
Dickert opposed to counting fees in property tax limits
May 10,2013 From The JT:
MADISON — The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee voted Thursday to tighten the leash on local property tax limits, fueling Mayor John Dickert’s assertion that cities will have to resort to “the one thing that is left — cut services.”
Dickert said, “There’s only one thing that is left — cut services.”
In Mayor John Dickert’s scandal plagued Racine – this just in!
In RE the marriage of Marcia Lynn Mozol and Robert Edward Mozol
Racine County Case Number 2012FA001423
Is it related to THIS?
Adultry is a FELONY in Wisconsin.
944.16 Adultery. Whoever does either of the following is guilty of a Class I felony:
A tribute to all those City Hall Dogs who visit Reichert Court to watch the Submarine Races and re-live those High School Daze!!