Real Estate Transfer Return Legislation Improves Efficiency, Security

For Release: March 13, 2008
Contact: Jessica Iverson, Communications Officer, (608) 266-2300

MADISON — The State Senate today passed a bill regarding the confidentiality and electronic filing of real estate transfer returns, similar to one passed earlier this week by the State Assembly. The Department of Revenue (DOR) applauds this legislation as a step forward in governmental efficiency and privacy protection.

"This legislation will help safeguard confidential information, create governmental efficiencies, and provide the real estate industry with complete, timely data on market trends," said Revenue Secretary Roger M. Ervin. "We appreciate the efforts of Senator Hansen, Representative Wieckert and the many others who worked quickly and in a bipartisan way on these important changes."

DOR is required to share the information on the returns with local assessors, other local officials, and other state agencies. Prior to this change, DOR had been restricted in the type of information released. The change gives DOR the authority to provide the data to the public free of charge with the exception of personal information like social security numbers, and requires that all returns be filed electronically.

The Department has supported the bills as a means to enhance security and efficiency. Electronically filed returns provide more accurate and complete data than paper returns, and can be processed much more quickly. Housing the data in a secure electronic environment will prevent unwarranted access to confidential taxpayer information.

Page last updated March 13, 2008