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Kenosha County Eye

Who Says You Can’t Fight City Hall? : Kenosha Resident Takes Property Tax Dispute To Supreme Court Who Accepted The Case


The Wisconsin Supreme Court accepted a petition to review a case involving the City of Kenosha today, March 24.  The case involves a local resident who disputed the City’s classification of his land.  In 2017, Anthony Nudo purchased vacant land in the City of Kenosha to develop into a residential subdivision.  The City Assessor changed the classification to residential after Nudo purchased the land.  Nudo, a local attorney and former City Alderman knows the rules well. He objected on the grounds that the land, although purchased for residential purposes, was not yet residential.  In fact, Nudo argued, the land was agricultural land because of a walnut orchard and Christmas trees growing on the property along with chickens being kept on the land.  However, the City held that they can consider what the future use of the land could be to get higher taxes. 

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Why does this matter?  Well, under Wisconsin law, agricultural land is taxed MUCH less than residential land.  Nudo was registered with the State of Wisconsin as a livestock premises and obtained a license from the City of Kenosha and County Health Department to keep chickens on the land known as Nudo Farms.  The County Clerk issued Nudo a harvesting license to cut and sell Christmas trees from the land.  Walnuts were harvested from the orchard.  But none of that mattered to the City.  After several appeals, including a split decision from the Court of Appeals with a scathing dissent against the City, the case has found its way in front of the Supreme Court. 

            Only 5-8% of appeals made to the Supreme Court are accepted.  The vast majority of cases never get there.  Under state statute, the “Supreme [C]ourt review is a matter of judicial discretion, not of right, and will be granted only when special and important reasons are presented.”  Wis. Stat. § 809.62(1r).  It appears here that the Supreme Court wants to make sure that landowners are treated fairly under the law and not on the whim of an assessor.  How much has this fight cost the taxpayers?  Likely tens of thousands of dollars that the City cannot recover. 

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Nudo is representing himself in this case. Not many attorneys they have been practicing law for only 3 years have argued in front of the highest court in Wisconsin. As for a timeline, both sides have about a month each to file a brief. Then comes the oral arguments. It could take another 6 months to a year before we hear the court’s decision.

The old adage goes “you can’t fight City Hall.”  One brave citizen has gone against that and brought the fight all the way up to the top.  Let’s hope this fight helps the City to start following the law and stop bullying taxpayers. 

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  • Kevin Mathewson

    Kevin Mathewson is a disciple of Christ, husband and a father to two wonderful children. Mathewson was born and raised in Lake County, IL and worked as a police & fire dispatcher from 2005 to 2010 in Round Lake Beach, IL. Mathewson moved to Kenosha County in 2006, later being elected to the position of Alderman of the 8th District in 2012 and 2016. Mathewson is a private investigator, security contractor, journalist, and photographer. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, camping and boating. His favorite amendment is the second, followed closely by the first. He loves his country and community.


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6 Responses

  1. Kudos to Mr. Nudo. I have great respect for people who judiciously question authority when authority loses its way. Wishing you well with the Supreme Court.

    Also, Thank you Kenoshacountyeye for keeping us informed.

  2. Nudo is a great man and I’m sure he will succeed. Maybe the wrong platform. But maybe a post on how all the “Kenosha 7” Kevin Glowicki “never stop lying media” and other activists don’t post or make a big deal about the fuller trial, or the murder that happened a few weeks ago by the 51 year old murderer? Does it not hit the profile of “activists?”

  3. Or Josh barker? Any word?
    Shawnell gross? He has a no contact order for jury tampering for Martice fuller. Also a KUSD employee. Kinda a trend I see

  4. Eh…..I guess you could summarize the case that way. In reality, Nude worked for Bear Property, he isn’t stupid.

    I’m pretty sure he didn’t buy this land for farming and the stuff on that “farmland” was already there when he bought them.

    I think the decision provides a lot more detail here…..he isn’t going to win at the SC level….but hey, good luck.

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