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Committee approves freezing property tax hikes

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Property taxes would essentially be frozen for the next two years as Gov. Scott Walker proposed, but would be allowed to increase slightly after that under a plan that has passed the Legislature’s budget committee.

The Joint Finance Committee voted Thursday to cap property tax levy increases for counties and municipalities over the next two years, but would allow up to a half-percent of unused levy authority to be tapped.

Starting in 2013, property taxes would be allowed to increase 1.5 percent a year.

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimated that even with the cap in levy limit growth, property taxes statewide would still go up on average 1.5 percent this year and 1.4 percent next year. They could go up more under changes approved by the committee.

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