Even the owners of swamp land have to pay property taxes – unless they don’t.
The Kewaunee County Land & Water Committee on Tuesday (Feb. 11) held up consideration of a resolution – which had been slated to go to the full County Board that night – that would put the county on record as supporting Glacial Lakes Conservancy’s plan to buy 420 acres in the Black Ash Swamp for conservation and recreation.
The swamp is a huge wetlands area straddling the Door-Kewaunee Line about five miles inland from Lake Michigan.
The Department of Natural Resources has tentatively granted a grant from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. If the sale to the nonprofit Glacial Lakes Conservancy goes through, county records show that land that generated $14,365 in property taxes last year would be taken off the tax rolls.
“The county’s going to take up negotiating with the buyer to see if we can negotiate a payment in lieu of taxes so we can supplement the loss of tax money,” County Board Chairman Robert Weidner said Tuesday night. “There may be other parcels in Black Ash that come up for sale because the timber in that swamp is in distress right now – it’s diseased – and there may be other owners who want to sell.”
Weidner said the county wants to maintain its revenues and plans to talk with the environmental group later this month.
The Lincoln Town Board went on record supporting the purchase in December.