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General Machinery Guidelines

“2017 Wisconsin Act 59, effective January 1, 2018, exempted machinery, tools and patterns. This is the property reported on Schedule C of the 2017 Statement of Personal Property. The exemption does not apply to manufacturing property.” 2018 Wisconsin Property Assessment Manual Chapter 19 Page 22.

Most businesses will have a mix of both Machinery, Tools, and Patterns previously reported on Schedule C and Furniture, Fixtures and Office Equipment currently reported on Schedule D.

The following is intended to provide a general guidance on the distinction between “Machinery, Tools, and Patterns” and “Furniture, Fixtures and Office Equipment”.


Machinery alters material.  Wisconsin Statute 70.111(27) states “‘machinery’ means a structure or assemblage of parts that transmits force, motion, or energy from one part to another in a predetermined way by electrical, mechanical, or chemical means. ‘Machinery’ does not include a building”.  

Some of the types of business that might have machinery are:

  • Contractor shops

  • Heating and air conditioning companies

  • Landscapers Shops

  • Plumbers Shops

  • Auto Repair or fix-it shops

  • Welding shops

2018 Wisconsin Property Assessment Manual Chapter 19 Page 22.


Equipment is used to perform a task.  Equipment is the type of items you would normally find in offices, medical offices, retail stores, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, convenience stores, car washes, and the like. According to the Wisconsin Property Assessment Manual Furniture, Fixtures, and Office Equipment generally includes:

  • Architects furniture and drafting materials

  • Beauty salon equipment

  • Bowling alley equipment

  • Dentist chairs and equipment

  • Desks & chairs

  • Doctors equipment, including instruments

  • Filing cases

  • Furniture in motels, hotels, and rooming houses; kitchen equipment such as dishes, utensils, etc., for use in hotels and motels; and bedding

  • Laundromat equipment and furniture

  • Office furniture and equipment

  • Opticians furniture and equipment

  • Pool or billiard tables

  • Restaurant furniture and equipment such as dishes and silverware

  • Safes

  • Scales

  • Store furniture

2018 Wisconsin Property Assessment Manual Chapter 19 Page 23

Nicole F. Larsen

Commissioner of Assessments


Web Request: Ask the Assessor

  [email protected] 

 City Hall, 200 E. Wells Street, Room 507, Milwaukee, WI 53202

 Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 4:45 PM


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