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Harsdorf wants DNR to find out about lake tax

A state senator wants the Department of Natural Resources to find out how many lakeside landowners are taxed on part of the water.

Nobody's supposed to be taxed that way because the public owns all lake beds.

Wayne Anderson of Frederic in Polk County found out he was being taxed on 13 acres of Young Lake.

He eventually got $12,000 knocked off his purchase price - it saved him $60 a year in property taxes and he complained to his legislators.

Others are also paying taxes on their lakes, but the DNR is still not sure how many. That's more than a month after Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls, first brought it up with the agency.

The D-N-R's Jeff Bode says it's hard to get a handle on.

Wisconsin has about 15,000 lakes, and almost 12,000 are smaller than 25 acres.

Not all those lakes were surveyed back in the 1800s. So Francis Thousand of the Wisconsin Society of Land Surveyors said at least some smaller lakes ended up on private deeds.

Anderson is apparently the only one who complained.